Everything looks better when you point your toes and straighten your legs. This is more of a technical lesson, but unless otherwise instructed to do opposite, if something doesn’t look clean the best way to get the line is to point your toes and straighten you legs.
Use your core. The center of all body movement is the core. Trust me, everything is easier if you are engaging in your core and trusting your core to have the strength to support your entire body. You must work on getting a strong core for dance class and for life so no one can knock you down.
Mind over body control. When you think your body is telling you that it is tired and sore but yet you can pull of doing an intense 3 minute jazz routine 5 more times in a row with out a water break. That my friends is the power of mind control and body discipline. “Trust me, you ain’t tired.”
Always go to the front of the classroom. Common Sense. When learning a dance you can actually see the teacher, so you actually know what the steps are supposed to look like first hand. Instead of trying to see past people in front of you or look at them for the step. Also when your in the front, you guessed it, the teacher can see you too, and may even give you corrections before the students in the back.
Listen to the Teacher and when they ask a question answer it using your voice. Dancers have voices and dance teachers want to hear them when they ask a question. Dance is community and conversation is a part of that, feedback, questions, answers, and brainstorming about movement. It’s good to know that other people are in the room and not just dancing robots. When the teacher ask “How did that feel?” answer her/him.
When you compare yourself to others you will get stuck. It is human nature to observe your surroundings but you don’t have to compare yourself to your surroundings. You will end up spending too much time thinking about what everyone else is doing and what you are not doing, instead of just trying to do your best and being better than you were yesterday. Even if you are “the best”, then you really have no where to grow, because those who you compared yourself to no longer can “compete” with you and then you become content and stuck. No one is “the best” but you can be really really good and getting even better.
Attempt everything and the more fearless you are the better you look. You take dance class to dance! There is no being timid and scared of dancing when your in a dance class, no matter what the level. Another thing is no one cares how you look because they care about how they look. So just go for it, no one has the time. DANCE! Techniques is 20% because all you need to know is core, straight legs, pile, and pointed feet. Commitment is the other 80% because you must have the heart and courage to fully put your body and emotions in the movement.
I have been a dancer on and off for all of my life but I believe my true talent is performing. It wasn't until I got to college where I realized that my destiny is to be a dancer, choreographer, artist, writer, entrepreneur, etc. I am currently a student at Spelman College where I major in Drama with a concentration in Dance. I am a member of Spelman College Dance Theatre and started my own dance company, Ciara Dianne Dance Company. While attending a historically black college I constantly learn more about my heritage and how important black presence is needed in the dance world and the world in general.
View all posts by Ciara Dianne Jones