What We Learn By Watching

As the school year flies into full swing, so do the back-to-school colds, ailments and injuries, so I thought I’d post on the benefits of watching your dance classes if you’re unable to participate.  Now please don’t get me wrong, I by no means want dancers to drag themselves to class to watch when you’re throwing up, have a fever, or are contagious!  However sometimes dancers are able to come and watch class even if they aren’t fully able to participate, and this can still be hugely beneficial! Here are a few reasons why!

  1. Sometimes when you’re dancing, there are so many things to focus on, it can be hard to process your teacher’s corrections!  When you’re sitting and watching, you can really listen to the corrections the teacher is giving and think about how to apply them to your own dancing.
  2. It can often be a challenge when you’re dancing, trying to remember steps, and watching out for your classmates to really see the shapes that you’re making in the mirror.  When you’re watching your classmates dance (and watching your teacher!), you can clearly see the shapes that you’re meant to be making.  This is often really helpful for applying to your own body when you are back up and dancing.
  3. Oftentimes, it’s easier to see what is going right, or not so right, in someone else’s dancing then it is to feel it in your own.  You might notice for example, that your classmates arms aren’t very rounded in second position in ballet.  This will hopefully lead you to re-evaluate your own body positions to see if you can fix those things.  The opposite is true too!  Maybe while watching, you really admire the way one of your classmates is using their upper body, or using their feet in their transitions, or the quality of their performance.  You can really study their movements, and what you like about them, while you are watching and then incorporate them into your own dancing!
  4. When you watch, it can sometimes be easier to see the progression of the class and how things are building on each other.  You might notice the teacher giving your classmates the correction to put their heels down when they land their jumps, and you can connect that to the same correction that was given in pliés at the barre.  It can help your brain connect how all these things build on each other as class progresses!

All our teachers at ABDC really understand the importance of watching class and how much you can learn!  And while, we know you’d rather be up dancing, we hope you can see how watching can still benefit you!  At ABDC, if you come to watch class, your teacher will give you a “Classroom Observation Worksheet” to fill out-this will get you thinking about the corrections that are being given and how you can use them to improve your own dancing!  And of course, lots of hand sanitizer and vitamin c to ward off those back-to-school bugs never hurt, either 🙂

Happy Dancing!

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