Jumpstart your dance practice regimen! I’m always talking about practicing. The questions I often hear are: “Yes but what do I practice? How do I practice? How long and how often?”
These are exactly the type of questions you should be asking! So today I’m revealing my personal dance practice blueprint. It’s based on my research and real-world practice habits with my partner, Paul. Though it will take a whole book (or regular private lessons) to address these questions in detail, this template is a great start.
First I’ll show you the basic blueprint. Then I’ll explain they whys and hows in the second half of the post. Click to download Blueprint »
This is a guest post by Mead McLean.
“All types of knowledge ultimately mean self knowledge.” -Bruce Lee
I’m sitting in the upstairs of a coffee shop as a gypsy jazz band is setting up. I send out a text to one of the new dancers in Boone: “Swing Guitars in 5 minutes. Upstairs at the coffee shop.” I get a call two minutes later: “Mead. Is there room to dance?” I take a glance at the packed upstairs, where there is zero dancing space: “Yeah. Plenty,” I say. “Alright. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”
Sorry for lying to you Russell, but this is the first and most important lesson I have to teach you as a beginning dancer: Click to continue »
To be fair, I'd probably listen to this guy's advice no matter how trivial it is.
You know how teachers like to give trivial or overly simplified advice from time to time? Yeah.
Being on the receiving end is baffling, frustrating, and limiting. But muddled as the advice is, usually they have an actual point.
This post explores a collection of 10 particularly useless pieces of advice.
I’ll explain why each piece of dance advice is confusing and give “Possible Translations.” These are examples of what your teacher may be trying to express.
If you get these pieces of advice and are confused, mentally translate. In some instances you may need clarification from the teacher.
Full disclosure: I personally feel annoyed when I hear advice like this. Perhaps you can be a better student than me and contemplate the meanings behind the words.
Here we go:
Click to continue »
Feelings of rejection are the bane of every dancer’s existence.
Here's a clue.
Last week I explained how to change your experience of getting turned down. This week, you’ll learn how take the sting out of rejecting people.
We all get to be in the shoes of the rejector at least once in a while. Some reject very rarely. Others reject more often: People who are injured, high demand/low supply dancers, the shy or awkward, and so on.
If you’re a newer dancer you might think, “Oh, I’ll never reject anyone!” or “No one cares if I say no.” Not true. The longer you are around, the more others will notice you and care what you think about them. One day you may be injured, or tired, or having a bad day. Best to learn how to gracefully say no to dance now.
There are 3 basic ways to reject someone gracefully: Click to continue »
Last week’s post stirred up quite a bit of conversation and sharing on Facebook. By and large, people loved the flow chart!
You know you want a piece of this.
The entitlement loop got a couple of questions. Some people ask, “Shouldn’t you say yes to others unless you have a really good reason not to dance with them?”
The thinking goes that always saying yes creates an environment of warmth and acceptance. Beginners will feel less nervous. If no one ever suffers rejection, the scene will grow faster. These are admirable goals. I, too, want a warm and inviting dance scene where we suffer less from rejection. I also want the scene to keep growing (otherwise I won’t have my dance world takeover).
I have a different way of getting to the same ends, one with fewer unintended side effects. My way is more individually empowering. Rather than changing the whole community, you can change your own personal experience right now by fully understanding: Click to continue »
Every dancer struggles with rejection. It’s heart breaking.
“People who reject you suck! You’re perfect the way you are!” is usually ineffective advice. And on this blog, we hate crappy advice! In this post, you’ll learn about the basics of reading body language and other signals to determine who will most likely say yes.
In real life, you’ll need to make split-second decisions. You won’t have time to whip out this fantastic flow chart. Study it now so the process becomes second nature.
Below we’ll discuss some of the details behind the chart. Click to continue »
A peculiar thing happened over the past couple months. I finally completed a project I’ve been thinking about for the past year. It’s my first eBook: “The Beginner Dancer’s Survival Guide,” a compilation of my very best blog posts plus several new essays.
All written for beginners.
The first 1-2 years are the most vexing for a new dancer. You have so much to learn, so many questions, so much excitement! This book is meant to be your support structure, your coach, your one-person cheering squad.
In fact, it’s exactly the sort of book I needed when I first started dancing. It would have saved me a great deal of frustration and heartache. Click to continue »