Why watching dance is important for dancers

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June 15, 2015 by Nicole

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had many different opportunities to watch dance: local performances, competition showcases and of course, on tv. And every time, I’m reminded why it’s so important to watch dance when you’re a student.

Watching dance is kind of like watching a living, breathing “what to do/what not to do” list. You’ll see maybe some of your own habits come to life in front of you and why you might want to not repeat them. You’ll also see your challenges and how others execute them well. Watching the alignment – the physics of the movement – can help make you a better dancer if you can apply what you’re seeing in your own classes/practice times.

It will also help refine your own aesthetics and sensibilities, especially if choreography is interesting to you. Watching how other people move their bodies, what works, what doesn’t, what’s interesting to you, what’s not – all of these answers will inform what you create, in your own body or on other dancers.

That’s why it’s important to watch, and to do so with a critical eye. Take notes. Write down what you see, what you like, what you don’t. Make that part of your dance journal.

How has watching dance made you a better dancer?

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