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  • Writer's pictureAmna Mazin

How to correct your dancer's mistakes

Observation before Instruction

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

1. Know your students.

  • Learn how your dancers are motivated. Get to know their energy and hearts. What are their strengths, areas of growth? 

  • Learn their communication style. How do they respond when you correct their mistakes in front of everyone vs. in private?

  • How is their confidence? Are they only receiving constructive feedback from you? Would your relationship benefit if you shared more positive feedback as well?

  • Be aware of their progress according to who they were last week (instead of how they compare to everyone today).

2. Observe their movements.

  • Be detailed in watching your dancers’ movements. What sides do they tend to favor (right or left)? What muscles do they need to strengthen? Stretch? How are they transitioning between steps?

  • The more detailed you are with your observation, the more effective you will be with your instruction.

3. Catch mistakes early.

  • Take accountability for their growth and performance. It is your job to ensure they are moving the right way, on the correct leg, arms etc.

  • Each day missed on correcting wrong technique or dance steps = one more week of the dancer strengthening a wrong muscle memory.

  • Waiting to correct their mistakes a month before the recital creates undue pressure and stress on the dancer and is a reflection of the instructor's ineffective teaching skills.

4. Instead of lecturing, provide strategic and clear feedback.

  • Me, We, You strategy: Show them the right way to do a dance step by doing it yourself. Then do it with them. And then ask them to do it without you.

  • Their synchronization and knowledge of their technique is a reflection of your instruction so make sure you are proud of it when they are on stage.


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