Joe Howard coaching in Oceanside1. Come in early and stay late. It happens a lot when you feel “put on the spot.” What’s my routine? How does the step go again? Where are my feet? Your mind goes blank because you’re so excited, nervous, star-struck, etc. by the coach in front of you. (Are they glowing?) And you don’t want to be wasting any of your valuable time, right? So come in early to warm up! Whether you take a lesson with your teacher so you’re showing your best dancing, or you come 15 minutes early to walk through the steps, you’ll have a better lesson with better, more accurate information. And then, when you’re starting to pick up some of that glow from the coach, the lesson is over! But don’t wander off into a dance coma. Stay with your teacher and practice for a lesson so it stays in your muscle memory and is easier, faster. If you wait, you’ll have to start over and try to re-manufacture your glow. No bueno. 2. Don’t be scared to speak up. All of our coaches are patient, talented teachers, but they are not, in fact, mind-readers. They are trying to give you the most helpful information or as full of a routine as possible. But if you are still mentally back in your driveway, while the coach is pulling onto the freeway, it’s not going to be beneficial later. So speak up! Ask questions! Let them know if something feels odd, uncomfortable or unclear. Who knows? That one question could be the difference between you feeling good immediately or weeks of trying to get it right. The coaches love questions. They’re there for YOU and YOUR DANCING and you are the resident expert on yourself. 3. Be open to new and different perspectives. The last point relates to this next one. Although you know yourself – your tastes, your comfort zone – you are also working with the coach to get their perspective, ideas and expertise. Be open to trying new things. They might introduce you to a new technique, styling or type of choreography that could dramatically improve your dancing – something you would’ve never thought to try. They’ve seen in all! So be open to giving new ideas a try. Take advantage of your next coaching with these quick and easy tips, so that by the end, you’ve gotten the best information possible.
Christy Melgoza at the Costa Mesa studio.