5 Common Mistakes Serious Dancers Make
Mistakes are an important part of the learning process. How quickly you recover from mistakes is a great gauge of what level dancer you are. Do you stop completely and start all over when you make a mistake? Can you go with the flow and see the beauty in a flaw?
The head of a human weighs approximately 8% of a whole body weight. As a result, what dancers do with their head has a significant impact on how they move.
Dancers are lazy. We don’t want to use a lot of stress and effort to move. We find the most efficient ways to move and most comfortable positions to get the job done. At first, the body may have to put out a lot of effort and stress to achieve the more efficient movement, but don’t call yourself a serious dancer until you do. Good posture makes a good dancer. Great posture makes a great dancer.
Don’t look down! There are a very limited times where looking down is appropriate and doesn’t affect your balance. Unless you are a certified dancer or competition winner, it is likely you are only guessing when it is appropriate to look down in the name of styling.
Don’t hunch over! This is where back injuries begin to happen. Injury doesn’t happen overnight, so you may not notice until a few years later, and *crack* it is too late. The spine has natural curves in it and it is important to respect these curves for a healthy back. But over-twisting and bending as your default position will surely lead to an uncomfortable and short dancing career.
Yes, we all know that we can ‘play’ with the timing. It can make the dance a lot more fun! Specifically for the more advanced dancers. Sometimes though, people are just plain WRONG! Check yourself to make sure you aren’t thinking you are on the 1, 2, 3, while you are jamming out to the 5, 6, 7. You know when the timing is completely off. It makes the dance (and your partner) feel awkward. Listening to the type of music you dance to in your free time will help you familiarize yourself with the timings and spaces that can have interpretation.
Practice! Practice! Practice! This idea is easily applied to any skill set. How many days a week do you dance? How many hours? How much of that time is you focusing on the quality of your dancing? Patterns and choreography are fun and have their place in making you a more skilled dancer, but your technique development is what makes you go from a good dancer to a great dancer. Think about the questions I asked before, do those honest answers put you on track to the type of dancer you want to be?
Going out to socials, private instruction, and group classes all have unique benefits. A serious dancer takes advantage of all three.
You don’t have to be able to do the splits to be a great dancer, but if your foundations are bad, what do you think the rest of you will become? If you don’t have good feet position, or can’t point your toes, don’t call yourself a serious dancer.
Ahhh, the ego, can’t live with it and serious dancers of all types definitely can’t live without it. Don’t forget those who have helped you. Don’t forget those who have screwed you. Ego is the reason we can’t unlearn bad habits. Your ego should never be bigger than your coach’s. If your coach is a Latin Dance Champion for the last 6 years in a row, your ego should be bigger than someone who’s coach learned from a random guy who learned from a guy who looked good on a stage. Awkwardly enough, the egos are normally reversed, where the guy who learned from a guy has a much bigger ego than the student of a 6 time Latin Dance Champion. Keep your dignity and lose your ego. There is always someone out there better than you… Unless you and your partner were just named the Blackpool Dance Champion for all of the Latin dances.