How are your practices going?

practice over the weekend was short, and this week has been drills and silly fun stuff to think about for a possible showcase. nothing last night because i was exhausted (bad me) and had a stupid early meeting today. lesson tonight in smooth!
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
Alternate-alternate am partner and I continue working on the toy tango that we are choreographing ourselves. We did it to music for the first time this week, and, once we made a few timing adjustments, actually got it danced up to near the end of the song, where there is a brief rumba interval. And the choreo mostly works musically too; we hit lines and things in the right places. We changed nearly all of the rumba bit this week. I think my partner got a bit frustrated with me there because sometimes it takes me a while to memorize choreo, but by the end of the hour, I mostly had it. The transitions in and out of the rumba interval still need work, but for the most part, the routine is there. Now I need to edit the song to make the beginning and end work the way we want. We talked about costuming a bit, but no decisions yet.
 
Have had to drag myself to practice recently, not been interested in doing the extra work needed. i know i am a little frustrated with what feels like lack of progress, even though i know rationally it's not true. Disappointed that i can't do ohio this year. itching to compete sooner rather than later. having trouble letting go of a poor performance that really wasn't that bad but still irritated me. Outside life stress is definitely playing a part.

But I did practice both smooth and rhythm over the weekend! one piece in mambo is finally getting more solid, and getting better at the right feeling of movement in smooth. I think i need to shake up my schedule or my dancing, do something new to refresh myself.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
So alternate-alternate am partner and I danced the toy tango in the showcase last weekend, and it was a lot of fun. Went over it Monday and talked about a couple of "dead spots" that we're going to dress up more. She also does figure skating and she wants to throw in a couple of skating things... :eek: Alternate am partner and I decided to scratch the VW we planned to do. It wasn't ready for prime time; we had tried to come up with a shortened version, but it's a routine that we're going in memory of someone, and so the first time we do it, we want to do it right.
 
Sort of resurrecting this as I likely won't be able to get a lesson in this week (studio is hosting a major comp and has pretty much shut down for the week).

My practices have been going well overall. I'm more focused after making a list of "what annoys me most" and then cross-referencing it with a list of what my coach brings up the most (thankfully they pretty much match). I still feel like Zoolander sometimes (any sort of turn to the right is leagues easier than a turn left) but a few things are starting to click here and there--especially with Samba. Jive makes me cringe a little inside and by far and away needs the most work.

That being said, I'm starting to wonder if I'm over practicing...something I'm very much prone to in all walks of life. I'm camped out in my gym's group fitness room a minimum of 3 hours a day seven days a week to practice--not including normal gym time which has basically made the gym my second home. I break it up into morning and evening sessions so that my concentration stays up, and I'm not having a bad time, but I'm just starting to feel physically and mentally tired. Going to try and force a rest day on myself today and then get back at it tomorrow.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
I'm starting to wonder if I'm over practicing [...]. I'm camped out in my gym's group fitness room a minimum of 3 hours a day seven days a week to practice--not including normal gym time which has basically made the gym my second home.
I'm going to go out on a limb with: Yes, you are over practicing. Unless this is your full-time job and you are basically a pro athlete, that's too much.

General* guidelines for us mere mortals, dedicated though we be: No more than 6 days a week, and no more than 3.5 hours a day including cross-training and lessons.

Practices, particularly solo ones, are best kept to 60-90 minutes, and at a weekly/biweekly ratio not exceeding 1:8 (lesson : practice). Day 7 should ideally be a complete rest day, though light active recovery (i.e.: a gentle yoga class) might be ok. Working on a cycle with a practice de-load week every 6-8 weeks is also a good idea to keep you fresh and healthy.

*I emphasize the general. Everyone's a little different, and for many, this would be way too much. This is built off of research into recommendations made by trainers, dance teachers, athletic coaches, etc.
 
General* guidelines for us mere mortals, dedicated though we be: No more than 6 days a week, and no more than 3.5 hours a day including cross-training and lessons.

Practices, particularly solo ones, are best kept to 60-90 minutes, and at a weekly/biweekly ratio not exceeding 1:8 (lesson : practice). Day 7 should ideally be a complete rest day, though light active recovery (i.e.: a gentle yoga class) might be ok. Working on a cycle with a practice de-load week every 6-8 weeks is also a good idea to keep you fresh and healthy.
Thanks for this! I was actually looking for some sort of breakdown similar to this but couldn’t find anything so I opted into my default mentality of “more is more” and well...yeah....Time to rein it in a bit and swallow my impatience to get better.
 
No reason to, watching video/visulisation will help you improve as well, while having an actual rest from the exercise.
I'd never actually considered this as an option, but it's definitely something I'll give a go. Also makes me aware that I should probably record myself every once in a while to not only track my progress but be more aware of what I'm doing wrong.

I find that for a single practice stint, 90 minutes is my useful limit.
I'm pretty much the same. I never go past 90 minutes in one sitting because my mind starts to wander and then it's not really practice but more just playing around to log minutes.
 
Lately I have lacked motivation to practice solo. It helps when a friend shares floor with me, both of us practicing solo. Sometimes we critique each other, or short video clips, in small doses. Lately we've gotten free floor time, but other times we've split floor rent, which was our original purpose for sharing.

I agree 90 minutes actual practice time is ideal, but I like to have 15 minutes warm-up before and 15 minutes stretching after, so a 2 hour session is ideal, for me. Ideal, but not happening lately.

Yesterday a friend mentioned how much she enjoys solo practice because "it feels like flying". I remember when I felt that way, when solo practice was its own reward.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
In lieu of my usual Thursday run/gym, I went over to the studio this afternoon to practice the showcase routine. And I managed to get all the way through it WITH THE MUSIC! :dancingbanana: Admittedly, this was without a partner, but. Couple of rough spots, but it seemed to be hitting most of the cues in the music.
 
Had a series of good practices in a row this week where something new seemed to click every day—almost like my body had small eureka moments and finally decided to what I’d been (trying) to tell it to on its own.

I think the biggest improvement actually came about when I was playing around dancing with a friend in my living room and realized that for some reason everything felt way more smooth and sharp. Once I stopped and thought about it later I realized it was simply because I was being assertive in my movements. Once I carried that into my practices later in the week everything just started feeling better and more things clicked one after the other.
 
Maybe: assertive = moving in balance = partner able to stay balanced = eureka?
I can’t be 100% sure as I practice solo for the most part, but this sounds about right. My balance has definitely changed significantly for the better since I made the shift. I think a big part of it is my weight changes are smoother and faster.

This is probably won’t make sense to anyone that’s not me, but for lack of a better of way of describing it, my body feels more like a taut rubber band while I move—sort of like my standing leg is providing a bit of pull forward while my free leg is providing push.
 
Practices have been solidly okay over the last couple of weeks. I've been working my way through finals for my Masters program as I'm nearing the end of the semester so most of my sessions have been shorter than usual. I've still managed to strike a general balance with most dances, but I'm definitely not putting as much time in as I'd like. Once finals finish after this weekend, I should be back on track, which I'm really looking forward to.
 

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