Forgetting to Look Backwards

One of the biggest tools that you should use is to always remember what it was like when you first began dancing. We all too often make the mistake of trying to stay too heavily focused on the struggles we may be having in the present. It is very importan


Date added to ADN: Saturday, Jan 12 2013
Originally Published: Saturday, Jan 12 2013
By Lori Gonzales

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Beginners are given the charge to lay the foundation to better dancing in the future. This is the primary job a beginner has. You are laying your foundation. You are laying building bock after building block. We start with the very fundamentals slowly and carefully watch, paying careful attention when to build more steam and when to pull back, allowing the student to construct that foundation at a comfortable pace.

This is the biggest reason why beginners feel self conscious in a class or a practice event...they feel like everyone is watching them bump and hiccup on the dance floor. If the truth be known, all dancers are conscious of the same thing. It does not matter what level you are dancing...we always see where we need improvement in ourselves because that is how human psychology works......We will always be our own worst critics. Remember that you are a work in progress. Compare yourself to your previous performance not to the people dancing next to you.

The longer you work on your dancing, the more comfortable it will start to feel. If a student is wise and utilizes all the learning options available to them, they will start to feel their dancing smooth out and it becomes more comfortable to them. It will slowly begin to look and feel better. It can start to feel like you are gliding across the floor. Sometimes I can see a euphoric look on a student's face at this point....But remember, this will not happen at first, nor will it happen all at once.

This does not mean that intermediate and advanced students no longer have to work hard, the challenge actually changes to a different focus after a few months. Since they already have the foundations of dance layed out, they can now concentrate on more intricate patterns and timing variations. This provides a deeper challenge to the student while they can incorporate and draw from previous experience they gained as a beginner.

The intermediate or advanced dancer is still challenged with other things....They are still working and striving to make their dancing better! still working out that footwork, that timing variation or keeping the dance frame intact. Believe me, they are working hard to produce a better dance quality in their own work! And it is usually during this time that they can all too easily forget when it felt difficult just to learn to dance with another person. The awkward feeling of bumping into your partner, forgetting to strive dancing as a couple, and not as a solo performer, or forgetting which foot to start with. At times, looking back may feel like a distant memory. But in reality, these intermediate and advanced dancers are those who can give the most encouragement to those new beginners, who are watching in wishful admiration from across the room.

When we forget to look back we also forget to see and acknowledge just how far we have come. I encourage all dancers new and seasoned to take time on a regular basis and remember what you have gained over the last few weeks. They may seem like small things right now, but it accumulates very quickly. If you are a higher level dancer, please remember to help and encourage the new dancers. It will go such a long way. Also be sure to take the time to recognize these things and regularly give yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done!


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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Lori Gonzales
Meridian, ID 83704

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