Generally, in a dance class, there are 2 types of dancers:
1. The one who, after seeing a sequence once, can demonstrate it with no trouble at all. We call these the lucky ones!
2. And then the rest of us, who need at least a few more run throughs to get the grip of each section.
Each way in which we learn and retain information, or in dance talk, choreography, varies between each dancer, and is different for everyone, so don't be ashamed about being either Dancer 1 or Dancer 2 above!
With time and training, retaining choreography does get easier, but in the mean time, the team at DYNS have created a list of our top tips to help you nail that routine you've been struggling with in no time!
Know what type of learner you are:
There are 3 types of learners:
Knowing what type of learner you are can make you priorities the ques you are given from your instructor. For example:
If you are an auditory learner, you may benefit more from listening to the word cues throughout a routine, like the names of the movements or those funny noises every choreographer makes when running through a dance (bom sha, ka ka ka, boom tat.. and all the rest!) These word queues may also include counts, such as 5, 6, 7, 8.
By playing these noises back in your head when rehearsing, may help you retain the choreography.
Film your class:
Filming your rehearsals (with permission of course), and just watch over what you learnt that class. If you are a visual learner and struggle with choreography retention, this is the tip for you!
Change it up:
Every once in a while, it might be worth changing your position/location in the studio when learning the routine.
Often we stand in the same place in a dance class, similar to how we are sat in the same chair at school, simply because it's similar and comfortable.
Changing where we stand in a studio will give us a different visual angle of the routine, give different sensory cues, and will give a completely different feel to the routine. Notice how different it makes you feel in a different space and how it impacts your learning and your performance.
Take it slow:
When marking a dance, make sure to mark it slowly, this will allow your body and brain to become more aware of how the movement should look and feel, not to mention improving muscle memory and mental capacity.
Marking dances quickly may result in missing critical steps and transitions, ultimately resulting in your remembering the routine incorrectly.
Food is fuel:
Not eating before a class could possibly restrict your mental capacity for choreography. Remember, FOOD IS FUEL. You wouldn't let your car run on empty, so don't do it to your mind and body!
Practice with friends:
Practicing with a group, helps to refine the choreography you've learnt. Allowing you to pick up hints, corrections and tips from your friends that you may not have noticed or considered of before.
With the help of these tips and tricks, you can now actively start to improve your memory of choreography and make the most of every class.
Practice makes perfect, and with time, training and persistence, learning choreography will become second nature. But always remember, no one is perfect. Love yourself, your mind and your body first.
Thanks for reading guys, we hope we have been some help.
Lots of love
The DYNS Team xx