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Tips for Learning Dance Routines

by Treva Bedinghaus

Updated July 07, 2017

One of the most important skills for a new dancer is being able to learn the steps of dance routines.  Not many people realize how much brain and memory ability is required for becoming a successful dancer.  Not only must a dancer be able to execute several dance steps, he or she must also be able to remember the steps in a set order.  The ability to learn dance routines quickly is usually a prerequisite for dance auditions.

Directors and choreographers prefer dancers who are able to catch on fast.

The following four tips will help you learn how to quickly memorize dance routines.

KNOW YOUR STEPS

Every dance routine can be broken down into a series of familiar steps and combinations.  Good dance instructors make an effort to instill core skills in introductory classes, urging students to learn both the step as well as the name of the step.  If you are familiar with the steps in the routine, the faster you will be able to combine them together to memorize a routine.  For example, if you are going to a ballet audition, it helps to brush up on the following: basic ballet steps, pirouette and ballet positions.

GET USED TO LEARNING STEPS IN SEQUENCES

Choreography is generally taught in series of step combinations. Watch your dance instructor closely as he or she demonstrates the steps.  Good dance teachers will stand in front of the class and demonstrate each step slowly.

Wait until the teacher has completely finished demonstrating before trying the steps yourself.  Some dancers follow right along with the instructor, mimicking the steps as they are demonstrated.  If you fail to watch first, you risk missing part of the step.  It is better to watch first, then try.

If your instructor only teaches verbally without actually performing the steps, you may want to look for a new instructor.

UNDERSTAND THE MUSIC

Dance usually combines movements with music.  When a choreographer creates a dance routine, the chosen music selection is vital to the success of the dance.  A piece of music is often selected because it possesses certain beats and tempo changes.  Listen closely to the music.  Try to find the beat and mentally associate the steps along with the rhythm or lyrics of the song.  Remember those step combinations are often repeated each time the chorus of a song is played.

PRACTICE

As with any new skill, practice makes perfect.  Do not be too hard on yourself if it seems to take you a little longer than others to learn the choreography of a dance routine.  Your ability to learn routines quickly will improve over time, as your mind will grow accustomed to forming associations.

Practice will bring about improvements in all areas of your dancing, which will make it easier to learn complicated step combinations.  The more comfortable you are with the steps, the easier it will be to link them together in your mind.


The Benefits of Dance for Kids

by REBECCA LAKE 

If you have kids, you may be wondering what is the best way to channel their seemingly boundless energy.  While traditional team sports are a good way to get your kids physically active, they may not be right for younger children.  Dance classes are a great alternative to team sports, and most studios offer lessons for children as young as two or three. Participating in dance classes can be beneficial for kids of all ages.

Improved Physical Health

Dancing is a highly physical activity, and kids who take dance lessons regularly should expect to see a significant improvement in their overall physical health.  According to Pro Dance Center, regular dance practice can increase your child's flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina.  The repetitive movements involved in dance can improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance and coordination and improve overall cardiovascular health.  Dancing is an aerobic form of exercise.  For children who are overweight, it can potentially help them to lose weight and improve their eating habits.

Socialization Benefits

In addition to being a physical activity, dancing is also a highly social activity.  According to "FamilyTalk Magazine," dance lessons can help children improve their social and communication skills, learn how to work as part of a team, develop a greater sense of trust and cooperation and make new friends.  If your child is shy, enrolling her in dance can encourage her to reach out to other children her age and help to reduce her anxiety about new people or places.  Dance can also help to alleviate fears related to performing in front of an audience.

Educational Benefits

Becoming a skilled dancer requires practice, discipline and focus, skills that can be useful in other areas of your child's life.  According to "FamilyTalk Magazine," dance lessons can help to spark creativity in young children and help them to develop an appreciation for the arts. Students who regularly participate in dance lessons typically tend to perform better academically than their nonparticipating peers. "FamilyTalk Magazine" estimates that students who have a background in dance tend to achieve significantly higher SAT scores and do better in math and science competitions.

Improved Self-Esteem

As children adjust to the movements and postures required in dance, they begin to get a better sense of their bodies.  As they become more comfortable in their own skin, their confidence and self-esteem also improve.  According to EduDance, dance lessons can encourage children to foster a more positive attitude and explore their own self-expression. This can be particularly beneficial for children who are physically or mentally impaired or those who are attempting to deal with significant emotional problems.

10 Reasons Why All Boys Should Dance

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa

#10.  Strength, coordination, fitness, agility.  Dance keeps you in condition and makes you strong and fit for other sports – and life in general.

#9.  Dance builds strong, healthy muscles and bones.  It’s also good for “posture, deportment and aesthetic formation,” says Shaw Coleman, male freelance dancer currently working in Europe.

#8. Team work.   Dancing is more of a team sport than you’d think. Performing in a group routine or company hones team skills that will come in handy in all areas of life and work.

#7. Adventure.  Because there are so few male dancers in relation to females, the jobs available to men are particularly significant.  Dance can see you travelling all over the world, working with inspiring people in incredible locations.

#6. Mental strength. The discipline required to be a dancer is beneficial to any area of life.  Dance teaches perseverance, focus and the importance of positive thinking.  “Learning discipline will help you succeed in any other pursuit,” says Shaw.

#5. Self-esteem and confidence.  Dancers are forever putting themselves in challenging circumstances, such as on stage or in a difficult dance class.  If you can slay a dance floor, an audition or a stage performance, you’ll feel like you can achieve anything. Because you can.

#4. Health benefits.  As well as body awareness and general conditioning, dance has many health benefits.  According to Better Health, these include improved function of your heart and lungs, improved brain function and psychological well-being.

#3. Creativity and self-expression.  A dance studio is a safe place where people are free to express themselves creatively.  Dancing also helps to process emotions that are difficult to put into words.

#2. To be a leader not a follower.  It’s sadly common to be bullied for enjoying dancing, but in the long-run, it’s you who will come out on top.  Bullies usually do what they do because they are unhappy, so don’t give into peer pressure; lead the way and let them know you don’t care what they think.  You may even inspire them when they see how much fun you’re having.

#1. Everyone thinks it’s cool.  Seriously.  Even if they pretend otherwise, they are secretly envious of your dance floor ability.  Plus, adds Shaw: “Girls like guys with skills!”


STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Congratulations to Sydney, our February Student of the Month! Sydney is a versatile, talented, hard working dancer and a joy to teach.  She has her  eye on a Show Biz career and we look forward to seeing her star shinning bright! 

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

This month we want to honor Stephanie Kazar, one of our amazing Adult dancers! This is Stephanie's first year with Rhythm Elements and we love having her in our dance studio family.  Stephanie danced in her youth and is back in her element rediscovering the part of herself that loves to dance.  She is doing a great job in her Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Zumba classes.  We are so inspired by our Adult dancers.  Way to go Stephanie and keep up the good work!

Student of the Month

Congratulations to Shahra Devoe our Student of the Month! This is Shahra's second year with Rhythm Elements. She loves to dance and it shows. Shahra works hard in class to improve her skills. Keep up the good work and inspiring others!

Student of the Month

This is Anslea's first year with Rhythm Elements.  We love her positive attitude, hard work each week in her classes and her passion for dance.  Congratulations and keep on shining!

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Rhythm Elements Dance Studio will be closed for Memorial Day weekend Friday, May 25th-Monday, May 28th. The studio will reopen for classes on Tuesday, May 29th. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and be safe!