What is the best way to make use of practice time?

Answers from Competitors, Coaches, and Adjudicators - Stephen Cullip, Michelle Officer, Glenn Weiss, Marianne Nicole, Rozana Sweeney, Dan Rutherford, Pierre Allaire and Mireille Veilleux.

Date added to ADN: Monday, Jul 01 2013
Originally Published: Monday, Jul 01 2013
By Christine Zona

"What is the best way to make use of practice time?" Roberta Schnepper - Rinard, IL 

Stephen Cullip
(Coach and Adjudicator)

The most important thing is to not waste time by arguing. Most of the time the partners don't know enough to have a decent argument anyway! And quite often your arguments will adversely affect others who are around you.


Michelle Officer
(1996 U.S. American Smooth Champion)

For pro/am dancers, progress is definitely related to how much time is spent practicing. Take your own notes in your own words during and after the lesson and review your notes on your practice time between lessons.


Glenn Weiss
(Coach and Adjudicator)

It's important that you have a common goal and work together to achieve it. Don't spend the practice time trying to prove who is right or wrong.


Marianne Nicole
(Coach and Adjudicator)

It takes two to make a wrong and it takes two to make a right, so stop wasting time arguing and just get on with it. I always say, "When in doubt, throw it out." If a line or trick doesn't work after five or six tries, it's not worth it to keep it in. I guarantee you will worry about it before it comes, and if you flub it, you'll still be worried about it four bars of music later. Most arguments are over things that don't work, so just get rid of them.


Rozana Sweeney
(International Latin Competitor)

Normally, Terry and I practice two and a half hours, but if we're getting ready for a championship, we'll increase it to three or four hours. First, we warm up by doing rumba walks and exercises for about fifteen minutes. Then we begin dancing together doing basics in each dance and working on connection. The last part of each practice period we work on conditioning and stamina by dancing rounds.


Dan Rutherford
(U.S. American Rhythm Finalist)

Nicole and I try to address our most recent performances. We talk about how we can be more dynamic and work on strengthening our connections. From there, we go to full out dancing to increase our stamina. For amateur or pro/am dancers, I recommend working on the development of body movement in front of mirrors. And for everyone, remember to laugh!


Pierre Allaire
Mireille Veilleux
(Ten Dance Champions)

Sometimes we try to practice our own thing and don't know what the other person is thinking. We need to talk about what we're going to practice that day as a couple. Try to focus on two or three things at a time, not ten. Develop those things, then move on.

About the Author:

A health major in college, Christine Zona has always been interested in physical, emotional and mental wellness. She is currently working on combining her dance expertise and healthy lifestyle knowledge to give dancers a lifestyle program that will increase their energy, enhance their performance and reshape their bodies.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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