Smarter Practice Outline

  1. Set an intention for your practice, write down what you want to accomplish and what you are going to focus on. Take a few deep breathes and clear anything not related to your focus from your mind. 
  1. Warm-Up
    1. Quick cardio: Jog, walk, bike, or have a spontaneous dance party…just MOVE to get heart rate up and raise body temperature. 
    1. Mobility and muscle activation for areas you know you need work on…example: band pulls and shoulder rolls if you are working on posture OR hip openers if you are working on turnout.
  1. Physical Therapy exercises: If you are in physical therapy/have exercises you know you are supposed to be doing from your DPT, you can do them here!
  1. Dance drills
    1. If your softshoe is stronger, start with hardshoe, vice versa.
    1. Start with basic foot placement, work way up to more complex drills. Do ones that are part of your steps.
    1. Finish with a full run (even if you don’t have a lot of room in your practice area, just try your best. We want to get to a point where full runs don’t feel like a big deal or even that difficult. The more you do them, the easier they will get). 
  1. Break down step
    1. Pick one step to work on (either assigned from teacher, or that you know you need to work on the most).
    1. Break it apart focusing on the technique(s) you chose to work on when you set you intention.
    1. After you finish drilling each piece, go back through your entire step 3-5X, making sure you can implement the technique you just worked on.
    1. Clean up any last pieces you need to from your step.
    1. Run through that step 3 more times.
  1. Stamina /All the way throughs
    1. Do your dance all the way through with full out effort. Recover, until heart rate has come all the way down. Repeat.  Do 3-5 all the way throughs of the dance you were working on.
    1. Remember if you dread all the way throughs, doing them more will make them easier. Both physically and mentally.
  1. Flexibility work (you’ll gain the most flexibility AFTER your practice sessions, so take time to work on splits, turnout range, and any other flexibility components you know you need to work on).