Dancing Tips & Advice


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Setting Up a Practice Session

Posted: 25/02/2018

Last week we talked about finding a partner to practice with - now we're looking at holding a practice session.To start with, practice before class can often work well, but in time you may want a place for a dedicated practice session.If you don't have space at home or work, you may look at hiring a space; e.g. Michael's studio.This is also where private lessons are taught, and adding private lessons to your partnership is a great way to accelerate development!

Practice on the Social Floor?

By default, the social floor should be for social dancing.If you want to have a song where you're working on something in particular, or giving feedback to each other - that'll often be fine if you ask first!Even if it's something that doesn't require your partner to dance differently (e.g. if you're working on your timing or posture), letting your partner know first means they can give feedback (and they'll know why your concentration face showed up!)

Tips for a Productive Practice Session

Before you start, allow some time to stretch and warm up, check how your partner is doing, and what you each want to work on for this session.Even if you're doing regular practice sessions, one of you may want a break to practice something different this week.
One of the most useful tools for improving your dancing is a video recording (or at least a mirror).Expect that it will be difficult at first - what your dancing feels like and what it looks like are not the same (and people tend to be overly critical of themselves); in time you'll find it's useful to see how you're dancing.
Keeping a record of what you've worked on (a video recap at the end or written notes) can be handy if there's something cool you discovered, or want to continue working on.
And finally, remember that partnership applies to practice sessions as well - try to include a fair mix of things that you each want to work on individually, as well as things you both want to work on as a partnership.For example; you may have a song where you're both playing with shapes (start with slow music for this!), a song where the lead sticks to simpler moves so the follow can work on styling, a song where you're both practicing engaging with your audience, a song where the follow works on being predictable so the lead can work on styling (or spins, etc.), and a song where you're both trying to focus specifically on your connection with your partner.
Mixing it up and working on what your partner wants as well keeps it fair, and will give more variety and growth to your own dancing!

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