Dancing in my head again

jazz silhouette

Dancing in my head was the topic of a post I wrote back in 2012 and I thought it is time to say something more about this exciting topic.

What I refer to as, dancing in my head, is often called mental practise or mental rehearsal. In dance this mental practise involves imagining that one is in the dance environment performing the desired dance task or tasks. One aspect that I find works really well for me when dancing in my head, is rhythm. Going through the step or movement in rhythm in my head helps me to get the right feel of the dance, step or movement. Feeling the rhythm in my head is the same as feeling it in my feet or body when I dance it or teach it.

Mental rehearsal is a good way to get steps, movements or a dance clear in your head before you physically perform them.. Take Highland dancing for example, dancing a new step or a new link from one movement to another, in your head reduces the amount of energy needed and hopping that needs to be done. In fact, Highland is a dance genre where teaching your students about mental rehearsal or dancing in their head can really benefit their performance. Competitive Highland dancers and other competitive dancers of course, can gain from ‘dancing in their head’ as part of their training regime for competitions.

I like to explore using a variety of ways to achieve the end goal and mental rehearsal is one that you might find helps your dancers to focus on how to practise and get the most from that practise.

Whatever dance genre/s you teach why not consider encouraging ‘dancing in your head’ for your students and see what they make of doing regular, mental practise?

Remember to read my previous post on this topic for more information.

 

 

Feet

Foot on ball

Did you know that the foot has over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments?

Do you know what the main functions of the foot are?

Find some more basic foot facts in my Focus on Feet  free to download below.

As well as foot facts, Focus on Feet gives you some ideas for foot conditioning exercises. You can share these with your students and of course, you can do them yourself too.

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Highland dancers – achieving steady raised arms

Highland dancing

I remember when I was a young Highland dancing competitor that we all worked hard to have steady arms. With so much elevation and jumping going on in Highland it is not surprising that achieving steady arms is, for some, a real challenge. But does it need to be?

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My latest book purchase

Dance Medicine in PracticeMy copy of Liane Simmel’s book ‘Dance Medicine in Practice’ (newly translated into English) and published by Routledge has just arrived. I love the anticipation of opening a brand new book. When I heard that Liane’s book was now available in I immediately ordered it and at first glance, it certainly does not disappoint.

This post is about my first impressions of this book as I have yet to read it. But flicking through the sections and pages it seems well thought out and offers a lot of useful information as one would expect from a medical doctor, osteopath and former professional dancer who specialises in dance medicine.

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Knees in Line

Holding DaisiesDo you find that some of your Line dancers report aches in their knees after Line dancing? If you do then it might not surprise you to learn that this is quite common. I was writing about achy knees in Line dancing well over 10 years ago. The issues today are similar to back then but I thought it is worth flagging up some simple ways that you can use to help Line dancers reduce or prevent ‘Line dancer knees’.

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