Jess Cranney

Dance is such an expansive skill and art. There’s so much to learn When you are just starting to dance, it is easy to make some mistakes not only with your technique and new moves but also as a student. From not knowing that criticism can be constructive to forgetting to stretch, avoiding these slip-ups and misdirections will help you improve from a true beginner to a dancer so much faster.

Being too hard on yourself

It is easy to be your harshest critic. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! Acknowledging areas that you need to improve is not the same as tearing yourself down! Taking the time to try something new is amazing. Don’t expect yourself to start something new and immediately be perfect. Follow the journey! It’s a process to learn and get better at dancing. 

Forgetting to Stretch

Keeping your muscles stretched and healthy is so important. Both your mental and physical health nare important factors in your success and enjoyment of dance. One of the best ways to avoid injuries inside or outside of dance class is stretching. Build your ideal stretch routine with a teacher or a senior dance classmate! It is no fun getting into the groove of dance just to get an injury from not stretching!

Not Taking Corrections

It is important to listen to your teachers and choreographers when they give you corrections so you can keep improving and growing as a dancer. If they tell you something about your technique, your movements, or even your attitude when you are in class, take note and apply those corrections. These people are your support system in this learning process. They are there to help you consistently improve, and the only way to do that is by listening to what they have to say. 

Lack of Confidence

It’s hard to enter a new environment feeling fully confident. You don’t what you are doing yet and might not be comfortable. But with time, comfort is something that will become easier for you. Know that everyone was a beginner at some point, so any mistakes are mistakes that dancers have made as long as dance has existed! Cheer yourself on, and embrace the challenge!

Not Dancing with the Music

Feeling the music is part of what makes dance so special. You have to feel the beats, the tempo, and everything else included in it. The emotions that come from this blend of movement and musicality are what grab an audience and convey a message. Don’t treat the music as background noise. Immerse yourself in it!

Comparing Yourself to Other Dancers

It is easy (and common!) to fall into the rabbit hole of comparison. Remember that you are new to this. Even if you see other new dancers making more or different progress than you are, everyone will make mistakes and find different areas of dance more easily or difficult. Learning from your mistakes is part of any skill. Embrace each learning experience with enthusiasm.

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Trina Hannah is a graphic design major and dancer at Siena Heights University. She loves all things creative including photography, painting, and writing. Trina has a passion for helping other young women build up their self esteem and chase their dreams all while making a positive impact.