Effective Practice: Pushing Your Boundaries
Practice makes perfect! We've all heard that saying before, and it's quite possible a few of you cringed at the memory of a certain high school teacher or piano instructor while reading it, but it holds true all the same. In our last two blogs we talked about alternative methods of practice, but sometimes building that "muscle memory" really does come down to practice, practice, practice. However, there is a caveat to the idea that constant, hard, sweat-inducing practice is the only way to achieve perfection. It's not as effective if you don't apply a specific focus and take breaks.
That's right, even physical practice has a "perfect" method. As it turns out, many professional talents break their practice down into multiple practice sessions that fall into allotted time slots and provide ample breaks to readjust, refresh, and refocus. Not a bad idea. Have you ever noticed that you become more frustrated after prolonged repetition that yields the same imperfect results? Maybe you pushed yourself not to stop until you got it right? In some ways that mentality can create a mental block that is harder to overcome than your actual goal. So take a break and come back with a fresh plan of attack.
The next part of the practice method utilized by athletes and dancers the world over is to push the boundaries of your current level. Consciously devote some of your physical practice specifically to things you have trouble with, the movements that are far from perfection and maybe a little above your capability. Pick one thing that continually escapes you and tackle it, knowing that today may not be the day you achieve perfection, but you are taking a step closer to it.
Thanks for checking in! Hopefully you learned a little something about different methods of practice and we hope to see you in the studio utilizing these techniques to give your ballroom dancing a boost. Please contact us for information on group and private classes. Happy dancing!