Do you have a hard time finding the motivation to practice?
I hear you.
. . . And I want to help!
Here are twenty ways to bring new life to your flamenco practice
The following ideas will not only spice up your practice but will also make you a better dancer. Apply them to a full choreography, part of a dance, a combination, or even a single step.
(Download your personal 20 Ways to Spice Up Your Flamenco Practice PDF here.)
1. Do it while singing (or humming) the melody.
OBJECTIVE: Connect the music to the dance. Move your focus away from the steps. Improve your memory. Improve your focus.
2. Do one part over and over.
OBJECTIVE: Solidify and perfect a given part.
3. Do it facing different directions in the room.
OBJECTIVE: Stop relying on the mirror. Focus. Test your knowledge of the dance. Learn to adapt to different situations. Prepare for performance.
4. Do it without moving your arms.
OBJECTIVE: Improve your footwork. Develop a greater understanding of the steps. Focus on the details.
5. Do it without moving your feet.
OBJECTIVE: Improve your arms. Focus on the details. Notice body positioning.
6. Do it all while sitting down.
OBJECTIVE: Test your memory. Focus on the details.
7. Do it pretending your favorite dancer (your flamenco boyfriend or girlfriend) is watching.
OBJECTIVE: Simulate feeling put on the spot. Improve concentration.
8. Do it imagining you are your favorite dancer (or a dancer you really admire).
OBJECTIVE: Look at the dance in a new way. Stretch yourself.
9. Do it consciously engaging a particular muscle.
OBJECTIVE: Use your body more efficiently. See how contracting a particular area helps or hinders you.
10. Do it concentrating on your breathing.
OBJECTIVE: Connect to you body. Ground yourself. Relax into the moves.
11. Do it really slowly.
OBJECTIVE: Focus on the details. Enhance your accuracy. Notice the elements you tend to miss or neglect. Improve muscle memory.
12. Do it to different music.*
OBJECTIVE: Sink the moves into your mind and body. Asses how well you know it. Improve focus. Notice how the musical cues help you.
(*If you've learned a dance to recorded music, try doing it to another piece, even a different palo. If you're preparing a piece to do with live musicians, try it to recorded music. If you're doing a 4-count dance, try dancing it with a pop song...)
13. Do it five times without stopping.
OBJECTIVE: Memorize the dance. Get into it. Feel it. Bring yourself closer to the point where you can do it without thinking.
14. Do it in your head while sitting or lying down.
OBJECTIVE: Assess which parts you need to give more attention to and which parts are the strongest. Improve your focus. Improve your memory.
15. Do it pretending you’re on stage.
OBJECTIVE: Get into a performance mindset.
16. Do it saying the sounds the steps make to the rhythm.
OBJECTIVE: Internalize the rhythms.
17. Do it focusing on one part of your body the whole time.
OBJECTIVE: Learn to use that part of the body well.
18. Do it with your eyes closed (arms only).
OBJECTIVE: Improve focus. Connect to your body. Improve your memory of the dance. Stop relying on the mirror.
19. Do it changing a couple of the steps.
OBJECTIVE: Learn to adapt. Improve focus. Test your knowledge of the dance.
20. Do it while counting:
OBJECTIVE: Better understand the rhythm. Improve coordination.
Try one of the approaches above. How did it feel? What did you learn from the exercise? Then tell me, what do you do to spice up your flamenco practice? I'm sure you've got some great ideas. Let me know in the comments below.
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Download your 20 Ways PDF here.