But why do I have to practice...We've all heard it right? As dance teachers, we hear it at the studio ALL the time...

COMMON EXCUSE #1: I don't have time to practice I have to do my homework...

COMMON EXCUSE #2: I can't practice my Mum won't let me...

COMMON EXCUSE #3: How am I supposed to practice between swimming, hockey, dance, school, feeding the cat and emptying the dishwasher?

If this is you and you need extra encouragement to practice, here is what I learnt in New York and why you NEED to practice at home...

 

While I was at the Dance Teacher's Summit I attended a seminar with Denise Wall (that's right Travis Wall's Mum!). Now, I like to think she knows what she is doing as a dance teacher I mean Travis has a pretty successful dance career and I also found out during the seminar that she has another son currently dancing at ABT. She also bought some students along who had some pretty spot on dance technique on display. Anyhow, the discussion of practice came up and how students are SO busy these days they really struggle to fit it in...well here is what she had to say to that...

Q. How many hours are there in a week?

A. 168!

Q. How many hours do you attend dance class per week?

A. Think about it for you, but for this example, I am going to pretend we are a dancer training regularly at their studio so lets go with 20 hours per week.

Result: So that means you have 20 hours as a dancer per week and 148 as a regular human being.

Now, think about ALL of the things you do as a human being? I'm going to pick a few...

School: how many hours do you spend sitting slouched on the school mat or over a book at your desk?

Social Media: do you love your cell phone? how many hours do you spend hunched over texting, snapchatting and following your friends?

You're starting to get it right? As dance teachers, we are trying to teach you good posture and dance technique but we are fighting against those 148 hours where you are being a regular human being. So, you NEED to work on your dancing outside of the studio if you want to see any improvement in your dancing at all.

Here are Denise Wall's 2 top practice tips, to begin to balance your dancer vs human being hours WITHOUT paying for extra dance lessons...

1. Sit straight at school

If you can start to think about your dance posture while at school then this counts as dance hours! Think about your posture when sitting on the mat, working at your desk and walking to assembly!

2. Practice for small amounts of time daily

The thought of fitting in two hours dance practice can be daunting when you have so many other commitments BUT if you split this across the entire week, it's not so scary. So schedule 15-20mins dance practice EVERY day rather than bulking it into one day, you'll find this so much more manageable and easier to fit in!

So, there you have it a good excuse why you CAN practice your dance this week. My challenge to you is can you commit to it for the next 7 days? Leave us a message in the comments if you're committing to practice and also let us know what your human vs dancer hours are, how balanced can you get them?

Team BoPPA x

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