Comparisons? Compliments? Does it REALLY help?
From compliments to constructive criticism, feedback from your dance teachers, or other professionals (like at dance conventions/competitions) can work wonders.
Dance is unique, as it's both an art form AND a physical sport. So the right amount of feedback can enhance your skills as a dancer AND as an athlete. Understanding the wisdom of experienced dance teachers and actually applying those suggestions will set you apart from the rest!
But here's the thing: sometimes we dancers become our own harshest critics. We focus on what needs improvement and forget to celebrate our growth and accomplishments. The pressure to perform flawlessly can turn us into self-doubting, nervous wrecks. And that mentality isn't healthy for anyone.
This is when truly honest feedback, from trusted sources, can squash that annoyingly negative voice inside your head. By simply seeing yourself through the eyes of your dance teacher, you'll discover what truly deserves attention in the studio mirror. Your teachers can guide you on what will shine on stage and what the audience won't even notice.
Your dancer teachers - the ones that work with you daily each class - their feedback can be the ultimate magnifying glass. They know you - how you move, what you're working on, or what skill you just achieved. Their honest compliments are not just empty statements or pats on the back. These invaluable insights into what worked and what should be replicated are VITAL to your overall improvement. It's like they create a personalized roadmap just for you.
However, It's your job to take their suggestions and make necessary improvements. Do you get annoyed whenever your teacher yells "Fix your arms!" Or "point your feet" ? While it may slightly sting in the moment, (a completely natural response, by the way; after all, we're only human.) try to remember that these corrections are not meant to upset you. Nor does your teacher think you're doing everything wrong. We are only trying to help you, by ensuring your form is correct, bad habits are not created or injuries do not occur.
Also, let's not ignore the feedback from your own body either. Pain reveals potential injuries, while feelings of warmth and excitement indicate successful techniques. If your body feels tense or tight, it could be a signal of mental blocks you need to address. Or maybe certain muscle groups that need extra stretch time before class.
So, what is the takeaway or main point of all this feedback talk?
Learn to embrace the power of honest feedback. It's the secret sauce that will catapult you into dance greatness - whatever that greatness may look like for you can vary.
Keep dancing, keep trying, keep growing ; everyone has their own path and yours may look completely different from the dancer next to you. All kids develop their muscle memory at different ages - no two dancers are alike!
Relax. Take a deep breath.
Chin slightly up.
And try again.
Thank you to SLDC's very own Keli Lesker, Contributor to this article.