Trick #1 – Take Notes or a Video
It’s often helpful to have a small notepad with you so that you can jot down some notes about the patterns you just learned. What is name of the 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. A quick cell phone video will also be a big help. Lots of students this trick to remember patterns.
Trick #2 – Practice New Dance Steps Immediately and Often
Chances are that if you do not review your new patterns immediately after a lesson or at least on the same day, you will most likely forget it. Right after class is over, take a few min break then come back to the pattern and try it again. This will help groove the memory for easy recall. A few time per week try to walk through your pattern at least once to keep the memory fresh.
Trick #3 – Use Visualization
Many Olympic athletes routinely use visualization to perfect their sports performance and you can do the same for your 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 moves that you just learned and visualize yourself dancing those dance steps to the music. Visualization is an extremely powerful technique that allows you to rehearse your patterns in your head before you ever step out on the dance floor.
Trick #4 – Remember the Basics in Your Patterns
Each move has a basic. Is you new move based off of a push, pass, tuck or turn? Remember what basic the pattern is built on and then try to find the thing that makes that move different. What makes this move unique. If you can remember that key difference it will be easier to recall and then lead the new pattern!
Trick #5 – Teach Someone Else
This isn’t for everyone but teaching someone else or practicing with a partner is a great way to remember! 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.
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