Have you ever arrived at a ballroom dance event, excited to try out your new ballroom dance moves and once you get on the dance floor – Doh! – your mind blanks out and you can’t remember those fancy dance steps? Well don’t worry, it happens to everyone. But are there any secrets or tricks to remembering your ballroom dance steps? Yes there are. Let me share a few with you.
Trick #1 – Take Notes or a Video
It’s often helpful to have a small notepad with you so that after your ballroom dance class you can jot down some notes about the dance steps you just learned. What is dance step pattern? What are the lead and follow techniques? What is the count for each dance pattern? By writing down some notes, your mind creates a stronger memory for that dance pattern. If your cell phone takes video then do that. A quick video of the dance move is a great way to help you with your dance practice.
Trick #2 – Practice New Dance Steps Immediately
Chances are that if you do not review your ballroom dance steps immediately after a lesson or at least on the same day, you will most likely forget it. So once you get home, put on some music and dance around the house! It doesn’t matter if you have a partner or not, by simply dancing the steps you will be on your way to building the muscle memory that is necessary for elegant and relaxed ballroom dancing.
Trick #3 – Use Visualization
Many Olympic athletes routinely use visualization to perfect their sports performance and you can do the same for your ballroom dancing. Simply relax, play some music and start to visualize in detail how you are going to dance to the music. Think about those cool ballroom dance moves that you just learned and visualize yourself performing those dance steps to the music. Visualization is an extremely powerful technique that allows you to rehearse your ballroom moves in your head before you ever step out on the dance floor.
Trick #4 – Teach Someone Else
Teaching someone else or practicing with a partner is a great way to remember ballroom dance steps. When you are teaching, you are forced to think back and remember all of those lead and follow techniques that you were taught in class. By verbally teaching a dance move, your mind quickly transitions from the mindset of “I can’t remember the dance move” to “I remember the dance move and can teach it to someone else”. This is a powerful shift in thinking.
Trick #5 – Refer To The DVIDA Syllabus
The DVIDA Syllabus was developed by some of the top ballroom dance teachers in the world and is a list of ballroom dance steps that are to be learned for all of the levels (Bronze to Gold) for both the American and International ballroom dances. Refer to the list and highlight all of the ballroom dance steps that you know. Use visualization and dance practice so that you don’t forget those moves and keep track of your progress! Keeping track of all of the dance steps you have learned will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. The DanceVision website has a convenient list of the names of each dance step for every level of dance style available at: https://dancevision.com/buyers-guide/resources/dvida-syllabus-step-list/238/