With competition season rehearsals kicking off for our studio, soloists are always looking for ways to outshine the competition. This week we have an article from guest contributor Wendy Dessler, about what you can do differently to set themselves apart from the pack – enjoy! Wendy is a “super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.” Hope you enjoy her insights!
In 2009, it was recorded that there were more than 450 million professional dancers in the world. As with any difficult profession, (and dance is a difficult profession) there are levels of expertise. There are great dancers and good dancers and many dancers who are talented but will never reach their ultimate goal of being the best.
There are certain things that a good dancer does differently than the talented but not spectacular dancer. These are tips they learned from someone better than them and incorporated into their lives. This is how we grow. So, let us give you a few tips to help you see the world of dance through their eyes.
Take inventory of your surroundings
Every platform and venue are different. The dancer has been practicing in a particular studio and without even knowing it, in their mind, they know every inch of that studio. They know the distance they have to turn, jump, and move. If there is anything around the floor, they know exactly where it is and as they practice, they calculate those inches.
Before a performance, test out the stage if possible. Take inventory of the area you will be given to perform. This will maximize your comfort and control.
Floor, lighting, props, and distractions
Check the floor. Where are the markings? How do your shoes perform on the floor? (Always have rosin with you to treat your shoes if needed) Where are the props and what are they made of? Are there mirrors, spotlights on the floor, sound or other lighting equipment? All of these things could potentially distract the unprepared dancer.
Incorporate other physical challenges into your life. Build your body and muscles in every area for longevity in your performances. Try swimming, biking, or running in addition to your dancing and you will realize a major return on that investment.
Take into account what you are doing and use your attire as a tool. If you are practicing, wear your dance attire made for that purpose. You can take advantage of a good discount dance supply store and always have the right tools on hand. If you are auditioning, impress them with your talent and the fact that you know what to wear for every style of dance. Few ballerinas will get a part when they audition in hip-hop clothes.
Learn to listen to your body
A good dancer is in tune with his or her body. They understand that food is fuel, but the body needs different fuels for different demands placed upon it. If you are preparing for a long performance, you need protein and lots of it. But, if you have been performing for longer than expected, and you are running out of steam, you need some fast acting carbs. Know how to use food. Chocolate milk is a great instant refuel drink for times like that. Experts agree it is better for you than those expensive protein drinks. It gives you instant energy from the sugars and carbs and protein that rebuilds the muscles.
While dancers must eat a healthy diet, do not discount the need for special treats and your ability to draw something good from them. You can use candy as a quick fix in some occasions. There are proven benefits to athletes eating small amounts of candy. However, it’s definitely not wise to go to the candy counter every week. You could order some in bulk and have it around for yourself and your dance friends when needed or wanted. For a supplier, check this out.
Practice these tips and you will soon find yourself growing as a dancer and helping others to reach their goals as well.
Thanks Wendy for your post – Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.