When people begin dance classes, they invariably picture themselves as Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. They loved the grace and poise the couple possessed on the big screen; and they envision themselves with such elegance and style. But, as all people are inclined, we overlook the years of hard work and dedication, expecting to attain for ourselves this level of proficiency in a class or 6 easy lessons.
The truth is, as with anything worth doing, dancing takes time, practice, and dedication. That’s how greatness (or even comfort) is achieved.
Besides having started his dance career at a young age, Fred Astaire was infamous for requiring perfection in his routines before anyone could see them.
They would spend weeks creating all the dance sequences in a secluded rehearsal space…
His perfectionism was legendary…
A few practice tips:
A little practice goes a long way.
Don’t think that you have to spend hours per day, practicing, to improve. (Just if you want to improve substantially.)
Practice your own steps alone before trying to dance with your partner. Once, a great dancer said: “What right do we have to ask someone else to dance when we cannot first dance ourselves.”
Always focus on elements in your practices. don’t simply run through patterns, but focus on one single aspect of each pattern that you would like to improve. This may seem tedious, but it’s the best way to master technique.
Always practice your basics. Even re-taking a basic beginner’s class can be a great way to improve or refresh- and certainly reinforce- good technique. Many great dance habits are developed through the basic patterns and actions in the dance. Many great dance habits are also forgotten once we begin working on more advanced steps. So always refresh your basics.