The Truth About Being Part of a Dance Team
This Sunday, June 26th, 2016, 2pm, we will be hosting auditions for Through The Motion’s Dance Teams. This is part of a studio project called “The Next Draft” and everything involved is being approached in the spirit of “being recreated” after it’s first revision. I always tell my students to think of their dancing as a rough draft constantly being revised, improved, and moved toward excellence. This is also how I choose to think of my business. We will be offering a ballroom, nightclub Latin, ladies, and youth team. Being part of team will come with many benefits including: one private lesson a month, unlimited teams and group classes, and unlimited socials. To learn more about some of the other benefits associated with teams continue reading.
Being part of a dance team has many preconceived opinions and ideas attached to it, like the following thoughts:
“I am not yet good enough to be a part of a dance team.”
“I have no desire to be onstage or compete.”
“I am not in the appropriate physical shape.”
“I am too old.”
“I don’t have the time and/or money.”
“I am TOO GOOD to learn anything or achieve anything from being a part of a dance team.”
“I will only be allowed to learn exclusively from this studio and it’s teachers”
Being part of a dance team goes much deeper than the preconcieved notions attached to it and Through The Motion upholds certain values and standards when it comes down to what a dancer can expect. Consider the following:
1. Consistent Improvement through Consistent Practice- In my experience many potential students get an unfortunate start into learning to dance. Everyone wants to teach them to dance, but has overlooked teaching them about the learning process. It is important to understand that consistency is the most vital part of the process. Once you have attained a small amount of information you must consistently study it. This is what we call practice. Practicing creates a platform from which to build. Consider the process of learning the alphabet. First, we learn to visually recognize each letter, recreate the letters, and recognize the sounds they make. After we have learned to do this with the entire alphabet, we learn to put those letters together to form words. Then we learn to put words together to form thought, and so on and so forth. Learning to dance is very much the same. We start by learning the alphabet of the dance we have chosen- we call these pieces “the basics” of the dance and first put them together like walking steps with very little character. After we have learned the basics, recognize the pieces, and can recreate them we add others dimensions of understanding, such as: how to articulately use our feet, musicality, partnership, characteristics of movement, and embellishments. When you are part of Through The Motion’s dance teams this will be the first priority which will equip you for putting pieces together in choreographed format, will improve your social dancing, and allow you the capacity to learn and do much more than you anticipated. Being part of a team also commits you to focusing on these things for at least two hours a week which will allow you to see steady progress.
2. Serious Deadlines Make Your Practice more Seriously Focused- Goals and deadlines are important so that you have a time and place in which to focus what you are learning. Sometimes it is pressure enough to commit to going out on the weekend to dance and beyond that performances and competition add the little bit of pressure we need to make our practice time worthwhile. Naturally, we all want to feel that we are progressing and becoming increasingly more successful on the dance floor and it’s easy to measure this with a set time in which you have to be ready and set dance material to focus on. Through the Motion’s dance teams will offer MANY opportunities to place deadlines on your progress with the many choreographed pieces you will have the chance to practice and perform. Plus, if one deadline seems to be creeping upon you too quickly you can always choose to wait for an opportunity that allows you more time to prepare.
3. Fitness is Promoted, Encouraged, and Taught without Pressure- As a young dancer, I was addicted to Salsa and it was always a dream of mine to be a part of a salsa dance company. I tried out for many and quickly learned the disappointment of rejection. In my immature mind at the time I thought that meant that my body wasn’t hot enough to be in a costume that could second as a swimsuit and now as a more seasoned and experienced dancer I recognize that fitness means much more to a dance team. Fitness means balance enough to be responsible for my own body weight so I don’t burden my partner or even worse, hurt him. Fitness means endurance enough to make it through rigorous two-hour practices or more…dancing hard for two hours is challenging, don’t be fooled by those who make it look effortless. Fitness means strength enough to hold my own when it comes to dips, lifts, and tricks which can easily be the most intimidating parts of the choreography. Fitness also means confidence enough to sport my costume and, more importantly, my body, with confidence. However, the most important part of your costume is your smile and the ability to exude all of the fun you are having on the dance floor. Through the Motion’s dance teams will have the opportunity to work on becoming more physically fit with daily opportunities to stretch and build endurance.
4. There Will Be Many Opportunities to Dance Routines That Appeal To Your Likes and Ability- When it comes to choreography, everyone is going to have different favorites and different abilities. A unique part of Through The Motion’s dance teams will be the fact that we will offer several choreographed projects to work on- some easier, some harder, projects for every partnership dance we teach, projects for big performance opportunities, projects for casual performance opportunities, and the list goes on. Our goal is to create dance projects that appeal to every kind of dancer. The misconception of being “too old” comes from lots of different origins- injuries, physical ailments, not having the desire to attempt the more acrobatic choreography, and not having the desire to perform routines that seem too sexy or too far out of what we would take interest in when it comes to the theme of the dance. We will be offering regular projects that appeal to everyone.
5. If You Are Willing to Commit Your Time and Dedication Money Can Always Be Worked Out- We will always make time for the things we consider priority. If a dancer can make dance practice a priority finances can always be worked out. We want to be able to create opportunities to dance for EVERYONE that has the passion and desire.
6. The More You Learn The More You Recognize How Much There Is to Learn- Hopefully, you never find yourself in a dance hole where you believe that there is nothing left to learn. The greatest dancers in the world will tell you that you can spend a lifetime learning all there is to learn about just one dance. Most of the time, that dance hole can be avoided by keeping a healthy attitude when it comes to learning to dance. Strive to be an excellent dancer. Here are some of the characteristics:
- Excellent dancers strive to learn all kinds of movement. Some dancers start as salsa dancers or swing dancers, but quickly learn to maximize their instrument by learning as many forms of dance possible so that there are always fun and interesting ways to express themselves.
- Excellent dancers are eternal students. They recognize that dance is like technology…always evolving, and because of that fact there is always something new to learn and ideas to explore.
- Excellent partnership dancers have the ability to dance with anyone, whether beginning or advanced. The ladies are hypersensitive to all the leads that come their way and recognize leads instinctually because of all the experience they have had. Leads can tell the level of dancer they are working with without any explanation and do their best to make that dancer feel like they followed perfectly 100% of the time. They never try to trick the follower and always work to make their partnership harmonious and flowing.
7. Your Dancing Belongs To You- It’s not a common practice but Through The Motion believes that in order to grow our dance community we have to encourage our students to utilize the classes and teachers all around them and for that reason we don’t require that our students ONLY be part of our studio’s teams. You can become a better dancer by taking from multiple instructors and committing your dance time to a variety of places. Through The Motion believes in this business practice and also believes that it will help to grow our community of dancers as the trend spreads.
For every objection to being part of a dance team there is a misunderstanding to clear up. Being part of a dance team is a great way to take charge of your learning. Start to practice and learn in a way that makes you feel like a dancer instead of a dance student. Be part of a group of teams filled with people that will encourage you, make you laugh, and grow with you. Be part of a studio that will present opportunities that will leave you with awesome memories of your journey through learning to dance.