This is part 2 of 3 of ‘Understanding Dance Growth, Plateaux and Bad Habits’. Click here to start with part 1 if you’ve not read it yet.
Picking up bad dance habits & incorrect techniques.
Graph 4 shows the negative effect on your dance growth when you pick up bad habits or incorrect techniques.
Picking up bad habits can happen anytime and anywhere. One common cause is trying to learn movements that require using correct techniques.
When it comes to picking up bad/incorrect techniques, I can see 3 common causes:-
- Bad teaching where technique explanations are not clear or non-existence or missing context so students start making assumptions or misunderstand.
- Bad teaching again, where teachers are trying to teach techniques beyond their ability, knowledge, and understanding.
- Trying to learn a technique by yourself through visual learning without the guidance of qualified professionals who understand the intrinsics of the technique.
Correcting bad habits would require someone who can identify them. Usually, a professional teacher can help, hence why privates or small classes are important where you have an adequate amount of teacher’s attention.
The correct technique is something you should always go learn through a reputable professional teacher and not something to try and learn without proper guidance. Again, small classes or privates are great to avoid wasting valuable resources (time and money) to unlearn and relearn.
Please note, some techniques, concepts, and movements may be easier to learn than others for different people. There are many techniques and concepts that can’t be and shouldn’t be learned without having a solid foundation, otherwise, you will negatively impact your dance development and progression. Don’t run before you’ve learned how to walk.
Becoming worse than when you’ve started out.
I always enjoyed dancing with complete beginners but having danced again with them in 1-6 months later of classes, they often seem to have gotten worse.
Graph 5 illustrates how you can actually get worse from starting out. Yes, it’s possible!
I believe there are 2 main root causes and reasons for this:
- Our early enthusiasm and fascination of seeing beautiful dance movements by experienced dancers and our failed attempts of mimicking complex movements with an untrained body.
- At this very early stage, our body and mind are not proficient in multitasking the many different aspects needed to create an emotionally energy driven and coordinated dance. We overthink every detail learned in classes and try too hard to apply it all at once.
To reduce or prevent the chances of becoming worse than you’d started out, avoid learning complex movements or patterns. Instead, stick with practicing plain simple basic techniques, concepts and movements. Again, don’t attempt to run before you can walk (seriously).
You should subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye out for a future blog called “The Key To Effective Dance Practice”. This would help prevent or reduce the early stage decline in progression and also assist your overall dance growth.