Effort – The definition is a vigorous or determined attempt.
How can we instill qualities in students to ensure they are putting forth their best efforts with a growth mindset?
Below are examples taken directly from class room and stage experiences. Utilizing these qualities in the class room will guarantee your students are on the way to becoming a dancer that can see their growth potential and use hard work to reach their goals.
Giving students opportunities to identify patterns in daily class work is imperative. During ballet barre, incorporate specific patterns that replicate those same patterns that will be seen later in center work. Mention the intention and purpose for the use of the pattern given. Give as many examples as possible.
This will allow the dancer to retain the information, and memorize it more efficiently. Comprehension of patterns will increase speed, coordination and help with reversing the movement in different directions.
Spatial awareness can be incorporated in the very beginning of dance training at a young age. Dancers as young as 3 learn about spatial awareness as they are required to stand on their designated spot, follow the leader with out bumping other dancers and how to stand in line with out squishing their neighbor.
As they progress, they learn to stand in windows and take turns across the floor with a partner. All of these things requiring spatial awareness.
Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in the space around you. Knowing the body positions and stage directions to travel freely while dancing and moving is the ultimate goal. As students progress in their training, this concept is imperative when performing or auditioning.
The famous quote, “dance now, think later” couldn’t be further from the truth. Dancers spend most of their young dance life thinking. And thinking some more.
Dance technique and body alignment are concepts that start with your thought process. Learning the correct muscles to use and even visualization exercises to help try to achieve the right look of a dancer.
Anticipation is the act of thinking ahead of oneself. When a dancer is performing ballet barre exercises, the brain must be faster than the pace of the music to relay the message to the body.
Dance is intellectual.
You are not only thinking of the steps, you are thinking of the technique behind the steps that will enable you to execute them correctly. When preparing for rehearsals and auditions; anticipating trouble spots will help you think on your toes and be ahead of the game when under stressful situations.
Understanding Different Techniques
A strong foundation in Ballet and Tap is a great start for young dancers! At 8 years old, the dancer is physically and mentally ready to introduce additional styles of dance to their training. Dance Classes in jazz, contemporary, hip hop and other dance techniques are highly encouraged to be the most well rounded dancer.
It is important that dancers educate themselves on the history that has impacted dance and paved the path as we know it today. Studying as many styles of dance will get you out of your comfort zone and give the knowledge needed to perform your best in class, on stage or at an audition.
Learning to be an effort oriented dancer takes time and constant training inside and outside of the studio, you too can achieve this if you put in the effort!