Do it once and do it right. Work smarter not harder.
Find your why
This is the driving force behind trying to get better at anything. It’s a very personal journey, and every person will have a different “why.” This “why” carried me through being unable to walk. My foot was suffocating in my cast. For 5 days after my surgery, the top of my foot was rotting away to the point where I could see deep into my foot when the bandage was uncovered. Dancing is not what I do, it is who I am. I refused to let this be a permanent set back. I promised myself to be the best me I could possibly be.
If you can do it slow you can do it fast.
Everyone claps after a performer does the same thing 4 times in a row, or if some leg thing happens really quickly. Count next time you see a performance. However, if you have the fundamental strength and coordination to do it slowly, and not rely on momentum, I can almost guarantee you can do that step faster. Don’t just rush into trying to do a new step at full speed. BREAK IT DOWN. Keep adding a new step after you can guarantee you have it perfect up until that spot. Work smart, not hard.
Turn off the music
Ever try to write something while listening to a tune with catchy lyrics? Kinda tough. While musicality is super important, don’t underestimate the power of concentrated thought. Eliminate distraction. Do it once. Do it right.
Turn on the music
Washing dishes? This is the time to jam out to the music you will likely end up dancing to. The more familiar you are with the most popular songs of your style, the more confident you will be when you dance. However, don’t underestimate basic musical structure. There is most likely an underlying pattern that you can pick up in the beginning of the song that will carry you through.
Stand behind the teacher
Ever try to cut your own hair in a mirror? It’s really hard. Why are you trying to understand a step by mirroring it? This is making one more step for your brain to dissect. Look over your shoulder if you have to, but simply facing the right way will set your brain up for success.
Explore on your own
Try to do the steps alone. Falling over? Figure out why. If you cannot do it alone first, it will be infinitely more difficult with a partner.
Explore with a partner
So now we are on to partnering! If something isn’t working ask them what would make it easier. If both parties look at it from that angle you’ll come to the solution much more quickly than pointing fingers.
Support your dance with physical activity
Is something still missing? Perhaps look into a class that will support your body. Strength and flexibility is not a necessity in all forms and levels of every dance style. However, it can be extremely beneficial for the dance and overall health. Personally I love hot yoga, and I do different styles depending if I want to work on strength or flexibility.