Remembering Your Dance Steps, Part 2
So, you’ve figured out your preferred learning style and some strategies to help you remember everything you learned in dance class (if not, click here), but they’re just not working. Don’t despair – every person has a unique method of storing information, and your learning style only approximates what works best for you. Here’s some other strategies I discovered through research and personal experience – I hope they bring you closer.
- Confirm your teaching style with a test. Not positive you know what your learning style is? Try an online test – like this one.
- Give your brain time to recuperate. If you find ourself getting tired, frustrated or restless, take a few minutes to get water, chat with friends, or go for a walk outside. This helps keep you from zoning out during your lesson or practice.
- Find what you enjoy in what you’re learning. That pivot may be driving you crazy, but doesn’t it feel good when you feel balanced on the dance floor? The brain can retain more when it’s relaxed and enjoying what’s being presented.
- For the same reasons as 3, ramp up the importance of what you are learning. Imagine how awesome you’ll look with your new-found skills, or fit it into a story, like you’re a secret agent learning new combat moves.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is just a way to do multiple things badly, and it certainly won’t help you remember any faster. If an instructor gives you multiple things to work on, target one, make it better, then move on.
- Find ways to relate what you know with what you don’t know. No, it doesn’t even have to be other dance moves. If you’re a golfer, for instance, you might compare contra body movement to a golf swing.
- Trust your muscle memory. Everybody reaches that point where they just have to let go and believe their instincts will carry them through. Everything becomes automatic with practice, and that’s a good thing – it’s also how it becomes natural to you.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for almost 20 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance and his endless seeking for ways to reach new audiences eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.