October 22, 2013 by Nicole
1. Be prepared.
Pretty obvious, but important. We all have days when things just get away from us, but in general, you should be prepared for class. Pack a bag – it doesn’t have to be a “dance bag” – and have what you need in there. At the very least, you’re going to need your dance shoes and a water bottle. Ultra-prepared would also include a spare pair of tights/bottoms, small sewing kit with safety pins, brush, extra hair ties/headband/whatever you use to secure your hair away from your face and a basic first aid kit.
You should also know what you need to be ready. If that includes particular light stretches or toe taping, do that before your scheduled class start time.
2. Dress the part.
This seems superficial but it’s HUGE. When you come into class dressed appropriately, it says that you’ve taken the time to prepare for class. It says that you care. How you enter the room matters. It sets the tone for the rest of class. Also, the act of getting ready is a signal to your mind, and therefore body, that you’re preparing for class.
For those who are considering audition scenarios, taking class is your best practice for that. And not just for technical reasons. If you’re not comfortable dancing in leotard & tights only – standard ballet audition uniform – you’re not going to magically be that way on audition day. This is true for all kinds of dance, not just ballet. Think about what you would be asked to wear to an audition & use class as your chance to get accustomed and comfortable dancing in that attire.
3. Be on time.
Again, we all know that life doesn’t always go according to schedule, but being on time is important to setting yourself up to dance your best in class. Rushing in at the last second or worse, late, doesn’t give you time to adequately prepare yourself mentally or physically to get the most out of your class time.
4. Think about your corrections.
Before you start class, think about what you would like to improve and/or any corrections you received last class. Consciously putting your mind’s attention on these things will help you address them subconsciously as you go through class. Being mindful in what you’re doing will change the way you do it.
5. Leave the rest of your day at the door.
There are plenty of reasons to not want to go to class – bad day at work/school, season premiere of your favorite show, bloated, tired…I really could go on. The bottom line is that if you’ve made the decision that you’re well enough to be in class, then be there. Take that 60-90 minutes and focus on just that. After all, you’re already there, dressed & ready. Why waste that time & energy? Try to let go of whatever is eating at you and make the most of the time you’ve committed yourself to when you walked through the door. As I mentioned earlier, how you enter the room matters. If you walk in moping and sad-faced, you’re bringing that energy in with you. If you walk in mentally committed to class, with a positive attitude, you’re ready to work.
What did I miss? What’s your class preparation strategy?