Effective Practice: Slowly But Surely
Welcome back to Quick Quick Slow's series on unconventional improvement and effective practice techniques! Our quest for achieving perfection starts and ends in the studio, but there's no reason not to give every opportunity for growth a try. In our last installment, we explored visualization as a means of developing progress and we hope you've considered adding a 10-minute mental practice to your daily schedule. It's great for those stretches between lessons and will keep you focused on the correct execution of movement even if you aren't physically performing.
Today, we'll be looking at a tried and true form of practice that has become a favorite of musicians as well as dancers. This form of practice involves walking through the physical routine, but not at performance level. Instead, this form of development requires you to slow everything down, performing the movement in the slowest of slow motion. Think: tai chi underwater. Very slow and very precise. Coordination itself is a result of repetition and slowing yourself down to exert the bare minimum of effort allows your body - and brain - to focus on the correct completed action.
Slow repetition may seem like the most boring practice ever, but it allows the body to learn the correct series of movement as your brain breaks down and absorbs the transitions. As you become adept at performing the slowed down movement your body will become familiar with the pattern, eventually able to go through the action in real time by rote. Gradually, you will increase the speed of your practice, creating correct, quality movements that bring you closer to your desired result - whether that's a perfectly completed turn, step, or pose is entirely up to you. The point is, if you slow it down to examine and learn the bare bones, you can improve your form when it comes time for performance mode.
As always, we welcome all dancers to our studio and hope to help you continue discovering and honing your own love of ballroom dancing. Our friendly and talented staff is here for you, so contact us today.