Search

Part 4: Overcome the Challenges of Practice

Updated: Sep 1, 2019

Source: Tomas Howlin | July 10, 2018


Photo by Casey Horner

Learning the technicalities of tango is exciting. During class, you hear the teacher describe optimal movements and you find the words stimulating. You see how her movements are precise and effortless, and it is inspiring. You think about the concepts, and you are taken with the thoughts they provoke in you. You are amazed that two bodies can move together so gracefully and in sync. This is one of the joys of going to class. Everything seems possible.


But when you try to repeat what you learned in class, it suddenly feels foreign. The level of detail you are exposed to in classes can be hard to assimilate. You hear and see the teacher explain and move, but you cannot find a way to reproduce it yourself.


This is the moment when practice begins. Practice will complement and support what you learn in class. Practice helps you absorb the class material, it allows you to make sense of the moves and concepts. It gives you the time and space to fully integrate all the information.

While practice will helps you learn faster, it demands your trust and effort and comes with its own set of challenges.


BUT IT'S SO SLOW

Yes, practice has a slower pace than classes. Practice can feel arduous, even futile, whereas classes can feel like a fast-track to learning. When teachers share lots of new steps, it feels like you are advancing, but this is a misperception. It is an illusion of progress. People usually forget 90% of what they learn in any given class within 30 days, and most of this forgetting occurs within the first few hours. True progress begins after class, when you practice and assimilate those new steps.


“Practice helps you integrate new material by changing the speed of your learning process.”


Practice helps you integrate new material by changing the speed of your learning process. Slowing it down changes how you feel, see, and process detail. It is what allows you to integrate class material into your body.


When you practice and time slows down, the advances you make are more granular, conscious, and reliable. You also allow yourself the time to make what you learned your own, and this feels slower than learning it in the first place. However, this process is crucial for your growth. Appreciate the value of the deceleration that practice offers you.


I'M CONFUSED

How do you find the right practice objective? How do you know if you are practicing the right thing? These are both common questions that people who practice ask themselves.


When you don’t have a good practice objective, practice feels more confusing than clarifying. To help you with this here are two things you can do:


1. Ask your current teacher for a practice objective that fits your experience.

2. Choose a practice objective from what you have learned in class. As you go over the class material, find an exercise that your teacher emphasized. There is always a valuable practice objective hiding in each exercise teachers present in class. Use that exercise as your practice objective. Once you believe you have it, ask your teacher to make sure you got it right.


Having a clear and actionable practice objective is crucial for you to succeed at this stage. This permits you to remain clear about what you are trying to achieve during practice.


For more information on practice objectives, read my previous article.


I'M BORED

Practice is repetitive and predictable, and that can make it feel dull. To keep your interest piqued, try to transform your boredom through curiosity.


“Conscious reiterative movement is the key to mastering skills.”


Your practice session is repetitive because conscious reiterative movement is the key to mastering skills. It also increases confidence and strengthens connections in the brain and the body. Conscious repetition reveals new and deeper levels of sensitivity. Knowing this, turn your attention to what is arising and how. By looking for these details, you engage your curiosity and learn to capture and treasure that new information.


I will dedicate the last article to one single challenge: how to fit practice into your daily schedule.

6 views
Facebook.jpg
youtube.jpg
Red LinkedIn.jpg

Professional tango dancer committed to dancing and teaching consistently to participate in the highest level of the art form. Highly dependable and responsible for the continuing education of those with the love and desire to tango.

OTHER NEWS

ABOUT US: Read more about who we are.

BLOG: Read article about tango.

GALLERY: See videos about tango.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LEGAL STATEMENT AND TERMS OF USE.

This entire content of this site is protected by applicable Copyright law.  Copyright©2011. Angela Avila.

All rights reserved. Email: Copyright 1999-2020 Tango in San Antonio. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

LIABILITY WAIVER

WAIVER OF LIABLITY AND MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION: I, the undersigned, hereby consent to the aforementioned student participating in or watching dance, dance workshops, audition, rehearsal, events or performance and other related activities (collectively “Activities”) with TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO. I recognize that and assume all liability for potentially severe injuries, including permanent paralysis or death can occur in any activities including, but not limited to, those involving height, exercise, dance or motion. I hereby release TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO, its owner(s), agents, volunteers, assistants, employees, guest artists, instructors and staff members from any and all liability claims, demands, or causes of action whatsoever from any and all damages suffered by the student while under the instruction or supervision of TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO. I also agree to release and hold harmless TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO, including its owner(s), instructors and its staff as well as the facilities used by TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO, from any cause of action, claims or demands of any nature whatsoever arising from or out of the activities. I also fully understand that the owner(s), instructors and staff at TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO are not physicians or medical practitioners or any kind. With that in mind, I hereby authorize owner(s), instructors and staff at TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO the render first aid to the student in the event of any injury or illness, and if deemed necessary, to call an ambulance or for medical aid and payment of for which I agree to be solely responsible. I further agree to provide health insurance for the student and/or guarantee payment of any medical expenses incurred as a result of activities a t or with TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO. This Waiver of Liability and Medical Authorization has been read thoroughly and understood completely by me and as such is acknowledged by my voluntary signature below.

 

PHOTOGRAPH AND VIDEO RELEASE: I grant permission for student to be photographed or videotaped during activities at or with TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO and grant TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO permission to use such recordings for promotional purposes. Such recordings are the sole property of TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO.

 

TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO TERMS AND CONDITION / MISCELLANEOUS: I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the attached TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO Terms and Conditions, which are part of this agreement and may be changed, upon reasonable prior notice, at any time by TANGO IN SAN ANTONIO without my consent. This Student Agreement and Liability Waiver shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws the state of Texas, excluding its choice of law rules. Any dispute arising under this Student Agreement and Liability Waiver shall be brought in the courts located in San Antonio County, Texas.

 

I have read, completed, understand and agree to all of the previous information. I also understand that I am entitled to copy of the Student Agreement and Liability Waiver upon request.

 

  • I AGREE

0