Teachers will be the first to tell you that it takes more than just talent to be a great dancer. It goes without saying that you need to work hard in your dance classes, too. However, did you know that the best dance students not only work the hardest, but display other common qualities? If you want to spring to the top of your dance class, take note of these traits.
- Arrive Early
Not on time. Early.
- Come prepared
Everyone is forgetful sometimes, but the best students start preparing for their class in advance.
- Stay focused and alert during class
Be rested and eat well to make this easier.
- Apply corrections quickly
No one likes to give the same correction over and over, so if you don’t understand…
- Ask questions and listen to the questions asked by others
Just remember to think before you ask.
- Practice or think about dance outside of the lesson
Practice makes permanent.
- Absorb movement and direction as quickly as possible
This is a skill that takes practice, but good dance students always work to get it faster.
- Think ahead as you dance
This also takes practice. Pay attention to how dances are built and what the next thing will be.
- Take notes
Dancers don’t often take written notes during class, but their parents can, and dancers can take mental notes and then write them down at the end of class.
- Condition the body outside of class
Dance class is where you develop your dance skills. You develop greater dance fitness, strength and endurance to perform these dance skills with cross-training outside of class.
- Avoid being a distraction
This is a ‘what not to do’. Know proper dance class etiquette and follow it. Older kids need to model proper behaviour.
- Listen to the body in class
A good dance student knows their limitations and modifies the movement when it is necessary to avoid injury.
- Talk with your teacher about things relative to the class
Establish a solid, professional relationship with your teacher. Stick to the subject and remember number 5 & 11.
- Trust and respect your teacher
Trust your teacher’s judgement, decisions, methods, and knowledge.
- Be ready, willing, and eager to go back to the basics
Hard-core dancers learn from dancing with beginners and returning to the basics of their technique.
- Mentally tag your mistakes and show up rather than show off
Wouldn’t you rather spend time trying to improve than rehash what you already do well?
- Be supportive and encouraging of your classmates
Clap for them. Praise their efforts and accomplishments. Offer to help or give help when asked.
- Respond graciously and with gratitude at all times
Leave any negativity outside the studio. Remember to say thank you for corrections and compliments.
Adapted from How to be an A+ Student in Dance Class www.rockettes.com