Finding Additional Dance Training

Reader Question:
I really like dancing and I think I could be able to be very good at it but I live in the country and there aren’t any great facilities.  I only have 1 ballet class a week and I would like to do competitions. What should I do?

 

14797593_sTemperance:
When I was younger, I actually faced this very same problem. There were only two studios to choose from, and neither was very strong or well known. The studios did offer competing teams, but we never placed high because we simply couldn’t be compared to the studios from the big cities where more talent and more students were. Also, when I was younger, technology wasn’t NEARLY as advanced as it is today! Just think of this- YouTube and Instagram did not exist. The only outside connection I had to the dance world was an expensive subscription to DANCE Magazine.Thankfully, you have many tools right at your fingertips to improve your dancing, even if you can’t get to a more advanced studio! There are several YouTube channels, one of my favorites being Just For Kix, that provide so many “how to” videos! You can learn all sorts of advanced tricks from these! There is a teacher who quickly teaches the basics of the step, and then an assistant to show how it’s done with proper technique! Also, many well known teachers these days are providing online master classes. Shannon Mather, who is the head of Mather Dance Company, posts these videos. She posts short clips on her instagram and the full videos are on the YouTube channel! Also, Autumn Miller and her mom post “how to” videos as well with tons of leaps and turns and other tricks that young dancers are doing today. Just search those names on YouTube or instagram and you will find them!To become the dancer you want to be, it takes a LOT Of stretching and practice at home. You can get proper teaching at a studio, but the effort and work it takes to actually take this teaching to a new level is to work on your own at home. Stretch as MUCH as you can, focus on pointing your feet at every opportunity, practicing balancing on one foot, practice leaping and spliting your legs as far out as your current flexibility allows, and stand tall with good posture!Finally, do research on studios that your parent is willing to drive you to. Talk with your parents about how important it is for you to be dancing more and perhaps they will agree to drive a further distance for you to be at a better facility! Search the studios; look at their websites, Facebook pages, or instagrams, so you can find out as much info as possible! That way when your parents think about allowing you to do it, they can have all the information they need too!Sherise:
I love that you want to learn more and grow! How exciting! It’s great that you are seeking out what opportunities are out there. There are some things you can do until you are able to move to a bigger city to pursue your passion. On the nights you take your ballet class, find out if you are able to assist in any of the other classes that evening. That is a great way to be in the classroom and still learn but from a different perspective.There are many YouTube videos and clips that teach lessons and  combinations. You can do these at home and as often as you like! This is a great way to learn different styles from different dancers. As far as competing, try asking your teacher about putting together a competition team, or starting a training regimen so that a competition team is the goal you’re training toward.  Above all else don’t give up!! Keep working on technique. Keep Dancing!!

Lesley:
There are many people who must commute in order to receive adequate dance training.  It takes a high level of commitment to dedicate because your time is not only shared with technical training but also traveling as well.  If dance is something that want, whole heartedly, nothing will stop you from attaining it, even distance.  In this generation, you also have access to a plethora of resources via computer technology with Facebook, YouTube, & dance websites.  You can also incorporate this technology in your own personal training to help you when you’re away from your dance facility.  I also suggest that you invest your time in reading literature that revolves around dance training as well.  This not only gives you imagery in terms of body placement but it also strengthens your mind and your ability to speak about dance.  You literally have the ability to do ANYTHING you want in this world but there aren’t any short cuts to success.  There are some people who must do a little extra to get their self where they need to be, but if you go the distance to chase your dreams the outcome will be worth EVERY bit of energy, time & money you have invested in that dream.

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