Something All Dancers Can Do To Get Better

Something All Dancers Can Do To Get Better

Dancers on every level are always working toward improving. This can get tricky no matter the style of dance you are doing. When you are in your own body dancing, as opposed to watching another dancer, it can be hard to get a solid gauge on where you are at. That being said, it’s super important to get feedback from others. For me, that feedback wasn’t always available when I was growing up in a small town, so when I was younger I had to figure out some out o the box ways to check in on my progress. (go out and seek intensives if you have to and when you can! But that’s a story for another day.)

When I went to college, I think my teacher introduced self evaluations in my second year. These proved to be SO helpful in being able to work from what I saw. Simply put, video yourself! I know it can be awkward and uncomfortable to watch yourself. I wish I had more videos of myself when I was dancing. You could video yourself doing a warm up, barre, center work, or a piece of choreography. You could even teach yourself a variation from a classical ballet and video that.

Here are twelve elements to watch during your self evaluation:

  1. How do  you connect your movement to the music?
  2. What are your hands doing?
  3. What is happening with your feet?
  4. Where is your focus?
  5. What is going on with your technique?
  6. How is the coordination between your upper body and lower body?
  7. If focusing on ballet technique, or a dance that utilizes external rotation, where do you lose your turn out?
  8. What are my transitions like? The in between moments?
  9. Am I utilizing my plié?
  10. Do I take up space, or am I holding back?
  11. What is the texture of my movement like? What should it be? Should it look like I’m moving in a deep pool of water or should it look like I’m submersed in a room of balloons?
  12. In considering artistry, am I playing with accents or all of my movements even?
no other dancer

When you sit down to watch your video, make sure you remember this. You are uniquely and wonderfully made. There is no other dancer like you, and no other dancer can say what you have to say through movement.

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