You may hear this all the time.. "Practice makes perfect". It's a very cliché quote.. BUT there is truth behind it, especially in dance. Well, in any sport really.
Footballers train for hours every week to play professionally, gymnasts train endless amounts to become the best that they can be. Dancers are the same.
Whether you child attends dance class because they want to pursue the career when they're older, or whether they want to attend class for fun and to make friends; practice is important whatever the reason.
Each child shares a love for dance, and this is why they must practice at home.
Here are a few reasons why..
Classes as a whole will work towards goals together. If you have 10 children in a class and 5 of them
practice at home whilst 5 don't, who do you think will reach the goal faster?
Of course, ability comes in to this too, but practicing at home definitely helps!
Going over the training they receive in class not only improves the technique but it also strengthens their bodies, which in turn, will improve their ability.
As I said above, more practice means stronger bodies. This applies to flexibility too. More stretching means greater flexibility. Dancers stretch at the end of their classes to cool down their muscles which prevents injury or soreness. However, stretching for flexibility is different. For example, children who want to be able to do the splits with good technique, (I challenge you to give me five dancers who DON'T want to be able to do the splits!) They must stretch often at home! Classes at YRAD, Acro for example, give us enough time to teach the technique of how to stretch, but students must apply the techniques to stretching at home to really improve their flexibility and get down in those splits.
Dance is an outlet for many children, classes are a fun, safe time and what they learn takes their mind off things outside of class. Practicing at home may just be a little bit of stress relief for them. Put some relaxing music on, and stretch or practice a new move. Even just putting on some music and improvising a dance routine could be the outlet they need.
Teaching children to work towards a goal in their own time, without being told, by themselves and without help, is a pretty good life lesson to teach. Which will definitely apply to later life. They will grow up understanding that good things come to those who work hard towards what they want. They will also learn about time limits, practicing an exam routine for their next ballet exam and perfecting it before the next class teaches them to meet deadlines. Again, another pretty good life lesson!
And last but not least..
If the children come away from school with homework, it's to support their learning at school. Much is the same with dance class, if a teacher asks a student to practice something at home, it's something that they particularly want that student to work on for what could be a number of different reasons. Dance teachers do everything for a reason! We know that children get a lot of homework and have other things to do outside of dance class, but we also know how much difference it makes when a student practices. Maybe it's to improve a certain move to strengthen a certain part of their body, maybe it's a stretch to improve flexibility so that they can gain a new skill, maybe it's just practising a routine because they don't have the best memory. Either way, it's always
for a good reason.. dance teachers are super clever at reading the children they teach, knowing each student individually and knowing what each child needs to work on.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.. LITERALLY! ❤