Challenges & trying to overcome them

Posted on 25th April, 2019

Everyone loves a challlenge, right?! I think it depends...Some dancers really enjoy being challenged and pushed to achieve harder choreography, more precise technique, better posture etc, whereas others feel overwelmed and a sense of failure if they don't "get it" after a few classes.  Therefore it is so hard for me as a dance teacher to find that balance - how much can I push my dancers but still keep it fun without adding unnecessary stress?


This term both my classes have tackled difficult choreography, and while I have seen some dancers flourish and really enjoy the challenge, others seem a bit dispondent and slightly stressed out by the technique or footwork or the prop that doesn't want to play ball!  


I would never intentionally want to stress out or discourage any of my dancers, but it's important for me to occasionaly throw a routine into the mix where it does take some added effort or technique, as I need to make sure I cater for all abilities of dancer - this is the problem sometimes with mixed ability classes.  What I would say to those who are struggling with parts of the dance here and there is the following:


1. Practise, practise, practise!  If you want to crack it, then the best thing you can do is practise at home.  I know how hard it can be to grab time for 'you' when juggling work, children, running a house etc, but try and find even 5 or 10 minutes to give to your dance - this might be just watching the video clip I send out, or listening to the music on the way to work in the car, or grabbing your prop and practising that certain move or combination over and over for 10 times in a row!! It doesn't always have to mean dancing the dance from start to finish.  Focus on the bit you are struggling with.


2.  Don't let it stress you.  This is meant to be fun, and the last thing I want is for you to be worrying or stressing about a dance to the point where you lose the enjoyment.  I love the fact that you want to get it right, and from a self confessed perfectionist, I know how we can beat ourselves up if we make mistakes, but this dance should be about a group of dancers coming together to do what they enjoy, have fun and show what they have been working on the past few months.  You are not selling yourselves as professional belly dancers so don't think your performance has to be perfect.  Just do the best you can do and enjoy it!


3.  Consider booking a private lesson.  I am not saying this because I want to be quids in (!) but I have had several of my dancers book in with me lately, all to work on different elements of the dance, and I can't tell you how beneficial this is to them.  That quality time is ideal for me to be able to scrutinise their technique (In a good way!) and offer tweaks or tips on how to overcome problems.  They all leave feeling more positive, with things to practise and implement into their dance.


So to all dancers - take that challenge and work with it, aim high and do your best.  But never lose the enjoyment you get from your dancing!

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Comments (1)

Well said Emma, totally agree with all you have said as difficult as it is practice does help at home, I find your videos so helpful thank you for doing that I know your time is precious and do appreciate it. I am, we are, all lucky to have your commitment that you constantly show to us one and all and I thank you personally for your support over the years I have been dancing.
Love 💕 best wishes 💖 Carol Copson