Why We All Have Time to Practice
‘But I’m so busy! How am I supposed to find time to practice my dancing between my work, house chores, and the classes I already take?’ It’s a valid argument, if you think of practicing as something separate from the other things on our to-do list.
If you plan on taking your dancing to the competition floor, you may indeed need to reprioritize your schedule. For us Average Joe’s however, there’s a lot of places and ways we can practice, even on the busiest of days. Here’s just a few times you can squeeze in some practice:
- Brushing your teeth: While you probably don’t want to try advanced moves with a toothbrush hanging out of your mouth, simple movement exercises like rolling through the feet or Cuban motion can easily be mixed in to your bathroom routine.
- Out on the town: Walking is comparable to a progressive dance, in that you still want to move smoothly and balanced, from point A to B. So tuck in your hips, pull up from the crown of your head, and start walking! You’ll know you are doing it right if people complement you on your excellent posture.
- Commercial break: Watching a show, and the commercials come on? Get up and practice your favourite steps! It’s the single best cure for ‘couch potato-itis’.
- In the elevator: These cramped quarters are perfect work on your Cuban motion, rise and fall exercises, or turns. Just make sure to finish before the door opens…
- Musical training: We live in a world of music, whether it’s softly in the background or blaring through your earphones at your cubicle. Train yourself to find the accents in the music, or when a new phrase begins. Tap a finger or foot to the beat to connect your ears to other parts of your body
- Hallways in your home: Make your hallway your progressive dance floor! Practice your feather steps, tango basics, and foxtrot promenades with every errand that sends you that way. Might as well do it in style, right?
- Mental memory: If you have footage of whatever you’re practicing, or just any awesome dance that uses moves you know, play it on your phone or laptop while having your next meal. As you watch, visualize yourself going through the same motions – studies have shown that this is almost as good as practicing it!
True, most of the tips above are for techniques, not steps. As you excel however, you’ll find that your enjoyment of dancing comes increasingly from doing your steps well, rather than simply expanding on the patterns you already know.
Give these suggestions a try, and you’ll be amazed at how much practice you can fit in! And what better than to have an immensely productive day, and still be able to tell your friends: ‘I got in so much practice time! How was YOUR day?’
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.