Learning a combination can be difficult, especially as a beginner, and defeating if you feel like you are falling behind in class. Find comfort in knowing that this is a very common problem with dancers. Starting out, chances are you have not yet acquired the tools it takes to retain a sequence of steps quickly and mimic them perfectly without messing up. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help next time you are trying to pick up a new choreography:
1) Focus on the Steps
When watching your instructor perform a set of steps we tend to take in every movement and not focus on how their feet are moving. It is easy to be distracted by their arms, head, or hands which leaves your question where to move your feet. Next time you are watching, zone in on the foot movement. Give all your attention to your feet, your head and arm movement will be easier to add in.
2) Find a Pattern
If the choreography is talking you all over the room and you can’t remember if you go left, right, backwards or forwards then try creating a pattern in your mind. Fore example, as you’re watching or practicing think to your self “up 1, left 3, back 2, up 2, right 1.” Getting yourself to go in the right direction is a large part of the battle. The more you flow with the class, the more confident you will feel.
3) Use Familiar Images
The majority of dance moves already come with names but a great tool for remember a move is giving it an image. Ask yourself what that move looks like to you. Does it resemble a wave? A pop? An ice skater? Use images that make sense to you and the sequence they go in.
4) Trust your Memory
It is easy to watch the dancer beside you while practicing. Every dancer is guilty of this. However, relying on watching someone else other than your instructor can potentially put your back farther from learning the routine than you are when you trust your own moves. If that dancers is making mistakes and you learn those mistakes, then you are forced to go back a correct your moves which can be harder then learning them properly the first time.