Challenge keeps us fresh and inspires continuous learning. But sometimes it may not seem that your dancers continuously feel challenged.
We’ve been looking and listening to some ways that you can challenge dancers to think on their feet and that dancers themselves can keep the challenge alive in their heads.
Let’s first look at ways you can challenge your dancers.
Change it up.
- Perform movements in retrograde – like a rewind video – and in reverse order.
- Turn students away from the mirror and force them to remember the dance without hints from their fellow dancers.
- After going through the process of learning a combination of moves to a specific rhythm, change the music so that dancers are forced to change their dynamics and show how well they have learned the movements.
- Put big movements in a small taped-off space. This helps them to develop problem-solving skills which will be useful when they need to adapt their movements to perform in different-sized venues.
- Give your students an exercise where they create their own exercises and movements using correct terminology and counts.
- Use improvisation as great ways to inspire their creativity as their minds hear and their bodies feel the music.
- Instead of answering questions right away, demonstrate steps and movements several times and push students to answer their questions for themselves.
Next, consider ways that you can encourage dancers to keep the challenge alive. They can:
Even when you’re not with them, your students can keep you in their heads, using reminders they see anytime and everywhere of what you’ve told them in class.
Remind your students that reviewing foot positions when they have idle time is powerful reinforcement for automatically doing it correctly when it counts.
Keep dance top of mind.
Even when they can’t actually review movements and foot positions, your students can dance in their heads. They can visualize their movements and where they are supposed to be on the floor. It’s a great way to commit their routines to memory and sharpen the nuances of their dance.
Resources: Dance-Teacher.com, ExperienceFlamenco.com
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