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February 21, 2017

'Practice makes perfect'


Did you know that there are many different ways to practice your dance routines at home?  How many times have you thought 'but I can't practice at home, my lounge room is too small?'.  Try out these practice tips to improve your dance routines!


1. Practice ‘full out’ (This one needs some space).  Perform your routine to the best of your ability.  This type of practice builds stamina, improves your ability to remember the routine, and also gives you the opportunity to improve your technique.  Your lounge room space is super helpful without mirrors too! Whilst mirrors are great for learning how to dance, there are no mirrors on stage and so it's necessary to be able to remember and perform your routine without viewing your movements in a mirror.


2. Practice to your music, without movement. Sit or lay down with your eyes closed and just listen to your dance routine music.  Visualise yourself performing the routine to the best of your ability.  These is a wonderful way to remember the steps and the corrections given by your teacher by concentrating on the images that you see, and not the movements that you feel.


3. Just practice one part of the body at a time.  Dancing is hard!  Trying to jump as high as you can whilst making sure the leg, foot, hip, arm, head and rib cage are all in the correct places is no simple task. Try practicing just the arm lines, then focus on the head lines, then practice the leg lines.  This works even better if you can be facing the mirror during this practice to correct each line.  


4. Practice your facial expressions in the mirror (this one can get a little 'giggly').  Your face tells a story during your routine.  Whether it's a sad lyrical routine or a happy and entertaining Broadway Jazz routine, your face (especially your eyes) are the 'icing on the cake' to your performance.  There is no need to plan or choreograph your facial expressions but you need to be sure to have an intention for your performance and ensure that your facial expressions are 'on' during your whole performance...even when upside down in your aerial.


5. Film yourself and watch it back.  Sometimes how you 'feel' when you're dancing is not how you 'look'. For example, maybe your grande jete felt like an Olympic Rhythmic Gymnast when you performed it but when you watch it back you may see that your back leg was actually bent etc.  Even better to film in slow motion...thank you iPhone!


Happy practicing!


Jess Solomon


Backstage Dance Academy

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