Thursday, August 12, 2010

Taking corrections

Most people you know hate hearing someone tell them what they're doing wrong.

But not you. You're a dancer. You want to hear what's wrong. You want to know how to improve your technique: a pirouette, a jump, even something as tiny as a tendu or an arm en bas. In fact, if you don't get a correction during class, you feel depressed, or worse, ignored.

Getting a compliment in class is nice, of course, but often teachers give those out when they're not warranted (not me, though - if you are my student, you can count on my compliment as sincere because just as sincerely, I will tell you when something looks horrible!). A compliment can be based on previous work, a previous correction or simply to be encouraging during a difficult step or combination.

Compliments are easy but corrections, on the other hand, are hard. They take a lot of work on the part of the teacher and student. First, the teacher has to notice you, has to see what you're doing and determine how it can be improved. Then she has to find the time and place to correct you. Then, *you* need to apply it. Finally, she has to see that the correction worked.

Most importantly, though, is that you understand the correction. If it seems complex during class, wait until afterwards and approach the teacher about it. It does you no good to nod your head and appear to understand when, in fact, you don't. Plus the teacher will assume either the correction didn't work for you or you ignored her suggestion. So, if it doesn't make sense or your mind can't take it all in during the class, be sure to get clarification. She'll appreciate that you want to get the most out of her class.

A general class correction can also be important to you: when a teacher gives a class correction, whether it's for a step or a combination, make sure you listen and internally apply it to yourself. If you're doing it right, good for you but if not, this could be an extra correction you can use.

When I was a young student, we were encouraged to use small notebooks and to write down every correction the teacher gave us specifically and as many of the general ones we could remember. The act of writing down each correction was itself a good exercise in correction retention, but also, we could review later or before the next class so the correction was not repeated. We hated to be told the same thing over and over! And the teacher hated telling us. While I don't keep a notebook anymore, I still remember every correction I get from my different teachers- even years later, I will remember them. They still come in handy.

Happy dancing~

1 comment:

inge said...

My goal, lean forward when i turn!!!
Thank you, see you very soon.
Yes, happy dancing!!!