26 Apr How to handle dancers with different levels? [VIDEO]
Be a Star Dancing Coach for Dancers at Different Levels
Just repeating a routine is not really what dance coaches should do. They have to be on their toes all the time thinking of new ways to impart fresh skill sets to their students. But, this is not an easy task, especially because students almost never come with identical skill sets and hence, do not perform at the same level. They have to be mentored in a way that they learn something new while honing their current skill set. There are many ways to achieve that and here are my two cents.
Group the Opposites
This is one strategy that needs to be closely monitored by the coach to deliver best results. Make your students get in groups of two. These couples should be as far as apart in their skill sets as possible. You should ask them to practice together at all times and keep resolving any issues that pop up on the way. During this process, both the dancers will learn new skills from each other, while becoming better at what they already know. As soon as you feel that their dancing skills are coming at par with each other, reshuffle the groups. In this way, the entire dance group will learn new skill sets, which is huge.
Hit the Record Button
This is a classic technique to make people learn anything, especially in the performing arts. Record your training sessions and then play it for your students. This technique will widen the view of the students because now they are able to get a bird’s eye view of their performance, vis-à-vis their peers. This will also help them to better understand the mistakes they are making and correct them. They can also check out other dancers in the group who are doing a better job and learn from them frame by frame.
Another great way to learn is by asking the students to record their performances at home. As a coach make sure that every student religiously submits their recording which should then be reviewed by the rest of the group. Each and every one of them. Of course, it will allow the student who has posted the video to get an extensive feedback. But, a more long-lasting impact will be on the students who are reviewing it. They will be able to learn from the mistakes or the lack of them, of other students.
The Unequal Treatment
Yes, treat your students differently. So, if you are a coach, you should know how your students react to feedback. So, you have to figure out the best way to approach each and every student. You can push them harder to perform, tread lightly, talk to them in private, or anything else, which you feel works best in getting through to a student. Your ‘different’ students may understand the same lesson differently, but this approach will ensure that by the end of the day, they are on the same pedestal as the rest of the group.
And one more thing (One more tip)
The energy circle.
This is by far my favorite technique. Put your dancers[pwal id=”159076843″ description=”click a like to unlock the rest of the tip (not mentioned in the video)”] in a circle and get them to perform the routine in a way that they can all see each other. No mirrors, no hiding behind another dancer. This exercise is all about feeling the energy of the other dancers in the crew. For it to be effective, your job as a coach is to stop them every time you feel they are out of synch. Try again!!! Tell them to look with a wide angle meaning that they don’t look at one person specifically but to the group as a whole. The dancer has to slow down or speed up to match the group. There will be lots of focus required so you can’t do this for more than an hour at the time. I tend to do it half an hour before performance as a ritual to get them to melt their energy into one. [/pwal]Works like magic.
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