Stuck inside self isolating? No better time to work on your solo routines and get ready for when the competition season is back! Check out these 9 tips on how to improve your solos at home...
1. Video your routine and watch it back.
Pretend to be the judge. What would you be looking for? Are you satisfied with your performance? How was your technique? Did you use the stage? Don't be afraid to pause, put in slo-mo and watch again and again.
2. Let someone critique you.
Easier said than done, but let Mum or Dad watch your performance and give feedback. They may not have experience or qualifications in dance but they can let you know if you dropped your performance face, if you stumbled, or if you looked unsteady etc.
3. Don't use your whole body to practice.
It's hard to perfect every moment and movement all at once. Sit down in front of a mirror and just rehearse your facial performance, then try just your arms and upper body. Then pop your hands on your hips and practice just your legs and feet.
4. Hold a dress rehearsal!
Get used to dancing in your costume by wearing it at home. Next time you're on stage it will feel more comfortable with all that extra dress rehearsal time. You can rehearse in your hairstyle and make up too...better make sure that your ponytail height doesn't interfere with that floor work section or that your hair doesn't get stuck in your false eyelashes!
5. Practice your hair and make up.
What better time then now to learn how to do your own stage make up and hair styles? Saves fighting with Mum on comp day in the future too...lol! PS. Mum didn't mean to stab you in the head with that bobby pin...or get that glue in your eye.
6. Compare your performance to others online
Do you have a copy of your routine from your last competition? Watch it and then compare to other similar solo performances on YouTube. Just type in your age and genre to bring up lots of solo routines in your search. If you were judging, what would your observations be? Is there a dancer who has really strong movements making them stand out to you? Did a dancer wobble in between movements? Did a dancer jump really high and look like they were using more energy and attack than others?
7. Keep up with your technique
A routine is a collection of dance steps. Don't forget to keep up the standard of your dance steps, core skills, flexibility and strength. This can be done by running technique classes at home. Allow time for repetition, breaking steps down etc.
8. Research your routine
So you have a character solo based on Maleficent? Have you researched this character? Who is she? What is the story? How has she been portrayed in Ballet performances or films? Have you seen the musical that your song & dance or Broadway Jazz solo come from? Print the lyrics to your lyrical solo and read them like a story to better develop your emotional understanding of the piece.
9. Go back over your teacher's notes...and again and again.
No doubt your teacher has given you notes and corrections to work on week to week so pull out your notes and re-read them. Highlight or tick them off once you have mastered the correction.