General Dance Discussion > I have this problem with practice\ rehearsal

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by the_raven, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. the_raven

    the_raven New Member

    Ok, so most people (at least, based on google results) are too shy to dance in public, be it in studio, or just at a party. My problem is that I feel stupid trying to practice by myself. I'm mainly a ballroom dancer, and maybe that's the main reason (me being used to practice in a studio full of people), but I'm not sure.
    I don't always have access to the studio, so I figured I'd use the garage for practice (since we no longer have a car anyway). Of course, I don't even have a partner (don't ask).

    Anyway, any of you have this problem? Know of any workarounds?
    I tried to 'just do it', but the feeling of stupidity gets the best of me after some 5-10 minutes! >.<
     
  2. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I think most of us had that problem, especially those of us without partners.

    At first, I wouldn't practice alone when anyone could see me. Instead, I'd take classes a few times a week (which was like forced practice), and maybe work 15-30 minutes at home in my kitchen or living room, mostly so I didn't forget my steps. That was enough at the beginning.

    Then it got to the point where my goals demanded more practice and more space to do it in... so I had to start practicing at the studio. And there weren't very many people that practiced solo... it felt awful. But I had goals... so I did it anyway. I started with 30 minutes when I was already at the studio for something else - so before or after a class or lesson - and eventually worked up to where I am now, where I'll go in for a couple hours just for practice.

    Some tips/ideas to make it easier:
    • Headphones helped put me in my own world (even if there was no music playing and I was just using them to block out the noise). Music definitely helps, and to this day I turn up the volume when I'm having trou
    • Ask studio owners (or map it out through observation) when are the quieter times and what are the practice fees. There's a range depending on location, and you might find a place that fits for you.
    • Figure out what you like. Some people find the energy of a full studio, or setting of an empty studio, or being at home conducive to a better practice. Everyone's different.
    • Coordinate with other dancers in your situation, so you won't be the only one practicing solo. If you're friendly with others in your situation, you can even invite them to practice with you in your garage.
    • Consider booking a private or semi-private to learn how to structure an effective solo practice, or to learn some drills that you can work on on your own.
    • Try to remind yourself that there's no reason to feel stupid. You're working toward become the dancer you want to be, and that takes work. You can't just will yourself there! Plus, if you're at home there's no one to see you... and even at the studio, most people are too busy working on their own stuff to pay any attention to you.
     
    SwingingAlong and raindance like this.
  3. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    I don't quite understand the reluctance to practice alone at a dance studio - I see it all time - pros, ams, whoever doing multiple styles. <shrug>

    At a gym, its surprising how much ballroom done slowly looks like a tai chi variation ;)
     
    j_alexandra likes this.
  4. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    This really varies by studio. Some places practicing is the norm. Other places you are the lone ranger, and you rarely see anyone dancing without a teacher. I have actually had people come ask me why I was dancing alone! Others already understand about practice, or understand immediately when you tell them that's what you are doing.

    Regardless, practice is a good thing. Find the right environment (studio or home, with or without music playing, etc), and get to it. It doesn't really matter if others understand what you're doing, or not. And it's OK to feel self-conscious at times. Just don't let that stop you.
     
    IndyLady likes this.
  5. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    This. Practicing alone is not really the norm at my studio, so even if I try to squeeze in 10-15 minutes before a lesson (for example), I will inevitably get interrupted more than once by people saying "hi" or noticing/asking what I am doing. Headphones work sometimes but I have found they are not foolproof.

    For some reason this is not an issue when couples practice (from what I've observed), but by golly, if you're by yourself, even if obviously busy, people don't think twice about approaching you.
     
    FancyFeet likes this.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think having a game plan helps rather than just standing in the garage or in front of a studio mirror and saying "ok... practice!"

    Are you going to focus on feet and connection to the ground? Body shapes? Timing? Are you doing your routine or a practice amalgamation?

    Having a focus makes a huge difference.
     
    dncergrl2, Mr 4 styles, bia and 5 others like this.
  7. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's unusual to practice on your own in a studio. Most people are too busy doing their own thing to notice, and if they do notice they are usually impressed that a student is practicing on their own.
     
    fascination and Mr 4 styles like this.
  8. dncergrl2

    dncergrl2 New Member

    You will probably notice that the more experience you get in dance, the more you need to practice on your own. In the beginning you might need a partner to help you remember patterns. It might help to make notes after your lesson, (when it is fresh) about what you learned and what your practice goals will be. Then when you do practice, you have an agenda. The other thing is that reviewing what you did in class or lesson right away (that night or the next day) will enhance your learning more than thinking about it right before your next class or lesson. Even sitting and imagining dancing is useful. You probably see Olympic level athletes visualizing what they are about to do. One day you might be that person covertly practicing at the bus stop and you will be more happy than embarrassed. I once had a man behind me at the grocery check out line say to me "You look like you are trying really hard not to dance." lol
     
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've spent many an hour practicing CW two step, Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, etc. in my kitchen which had a nice "linoleum" type smooth floor.
    I don't know about your garage because of problems caused by dancing on concrete.

    If 5-10 minutes is all you can manage because you start to feel stupid (which I don't understand, but it is what it is) you should do that.
    You can start new habits by starting small, and slowly increasing the amount of time you spend doing that activity.
    This has happened to me each for a bunch of years in a row when I return to the Pacific Northwest after a trip to somewhere the weather is nice and it's the darkest, wettest, coldest part of the year. Who wants to go outside in That?
    I'll start with a walk around the block. Well, that wasn't so bad. Then I do a bit more, and a bit more.
    Same with (trying !) to learn to play a new song. Practice. Then practice a bit longer, etc.

    BTW, many of the decades old books by "dance authorities" advocated practicing your part alone.
     
    raindance likes this.

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