Having just come back from teaching a fantastic workshop in Bundaberg with some wonderful friends of mine, I thought now was a good time to talk about coping with new choreography, teachers and styles.
The most important thing to remember is that, no new style is going to sit perfectly with you on the first day. It takes time for your body to adjust to a new way of doing things and it may also take your brain a few days to realize that you are now required to remember things in a totally different way to what you are used to.
The key is not to panic and not to put too much pressure on yourself in the first few days.
Allow yourself the time to slowly mould into the new shapes or in the case of tap, into the new rhythmic patterns of what you are doing. And allow yourself to be excited by a challenge!
Teachers at a workshop are usually very experienced and are very aware that the work they are bringing to you may be quite different to what you are used to – that is what workshops are all about. Trying things that are new and challenging – styles and steps that you may never have done before – it is meant to be difficult! So instead of getting upset when you can’t get that new rhythm or funky feel – just laugh at yourself and keep on trying!
You will most likely be very surprised at how far you progress in the space of a week………and by the end of the workshop you will wonder why you were so worried in the first place and will be grooving all over the place!
Also – never be afraid to ask questions in class.
Teachers love it when students ask a good question as it shows that you are keen, interested, motivated and thinking all the time of ways to better yourself. It will also make your class a lot more worthwhile if you voice any questions that are rolling about in your head. If you have a question- ASK IT! Don’t leave the room with that question still rolling around in your grey matter. That way, the teacher can answer and you can use that information to better your performance in the next class.
Finally – remember that visiting or new teachers have never seen you dance on stage before, so you need to show them your “performance skills” and sense of style in the classroom. The harder you work and the more you reveal to the teacher about how “advanced” you are in your skill level, the more challenging work they will give you. So don’t hold back! Lay all your cards on the table and really GO FOR IT!! In every class! Don’t be shy – get out there and have a BLAST!
It is your workshop – so make the most of it!
That is what the students did in Bundaberg and we had a fantastic time! By the end of the week they had all achieved so much!
So – next time you have a new teacher – whether visiting your dance school or at a workshop – try to RELAX AND ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF THE CHALLENGE!!!
Put your best foot forward, give 100%, stay positive and trust that the teacher is there to help if you have any difficulties with the new work or style!
So – have a great 2011 everyone!!
SUMMER SCHOOLS AND WORKSHOPS – DO YOU WORRY TOO MUCH?