Chris and Roz practice

  • Laugh, joke, goof off, and act stupid sometimes during practice. Believe me, it pays dividends. Nobody stays focused 100% every practice. You’ll either end up spending 10-20% of your time having fun and joking around, or you’ll end up getting too serious and spending 20-30% of the practice arguing and fighting, which will lower morale, plus sap creativity and productivity. 
  • Inspiration is a limited resource. Sometimes you’re gonna feel inspired to innovate new choreography, fix problems, and develop the feeling of a piece.. and sometimes not. If you’re not feeling inspired to revolutionize your material, DON’T. But when you are feeling inspired… Don’t stop! Keep on fleshing out the new ideas until they run out. Sometimes your brain is in the creative state and sometimes it just isn’t. Don’t “force it” when the inspiration isn’t there, but when it is, ride that wave until it gives out.
  • Never be accusatory. Substitute “we” any time you address your partner with a problem. This will save you many arguments right off the bat. “We’re not hitting that on the right count” sounds way better than “You’re not hitting that on the right count”. When you use confrontational language, the other person will most likely get defensive, sparking an argument. Also, it might just be some dumb mistake that you’re unconsciously doing that is causing your partner to screw up anyway, so “we” is usually more accurate anyway. Never forget that you and your partner are a team.
  • Any time practice starts to feel stale and dull, dance more. Don’t miss the forest for the trees. You’re at practice so that you can dance. You’re not there to educate your partner about your philosophy of dance, vent frustrations, or stoke your ego. If the tension starts to build over something that you’ve been working on intensely and you an feel an argument coming on, stop and dance some other stuff that you’re more sure about. This can help reset your brain and get you out of a funk, and the movement also releases endorphins that make you feel better.

Have any other tips and tricks that help you get through intense practice sessions without wanting to go postal? Please share in the comments section below!