• Ann Marie Schuler

5 Top Reasons Dance Team Dancers Need a Separate Technique Class

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

So your son or daughter has expressed a desire to try out for the school dance team. YAY! I am not a studio owner who requires their dancers to choose between the middle/high school dance team or the dance studio. I am actually a big proponent of your child being able to do BOTH! I believe they are equally beneficial for many reasons.

However, as a parent, you may feel that for them doing both is too much of a time commitment and might distract from schoolwork.

You may be the one to decide they need to pick one or the other. If that ends up being the case and your child chooses the school dance team, then it is vital to their success to make sure that they are at LEAST taking a private technique lesson once a week.

Listed here are my top 5 reasons why:

Skills needed to make the team have intensified over the years.

When I was captain of my high school dance team many, many...many moons ago we were only required to have a solid double pirouette, and our front right leg splits. If we could do a toe touch, great. If not, that was okay, we’d choreograph around it. If you could do a back handspring you were a rock star! I was lucky if I could do a cartwheel.

Many of today’s dance teams now require a consistent triple pirouette, solid "a le seconde" fouette turns, a turning disc, A Calypso, a kip up (or Kick Up), at minimum. If you can do an aerial then you’re a rock star.

Your child needs to meet the minimum requirements their team specifies in order to make the team. That poses a problem if your child has never danced in a structured setting.

Dance team doesn’t teach technique, it teaches choreography.

While dance teams DO drill pirouettes, leaps, etc., which is great, they do not teach HOW to properly execute them to begin with. Every dancer is different. Body type, flexibility, in addition to how each one learns varies and it plays a part in how one executes a skill.

Dance teams consist of a large number of dancers, who are learning choreography for the upcoming season of performances and competitions. The technique of movement can be easily overlooked when the goal of a team is to execute the routines with precision and uniformity. Dance studio lessons will help enhance and fine tune their movement.

Less prone to injury

While it may be true that your child could potentially learn skills needed to make the dance team by watching a YouTube tutorial, they will not have the live, “in-the-moment” correction of movement needed. As I said before, each dancer is different. An approach that works for one dancer, may not work for another. Whether they have watched a video, or just tried a particular movement on their own, your child may be susceptible to injury as a result. It is important to have an instructor who understands how a skill or movement, when incorrectly done, can lead to a broken ankle or a busted knee.

As a side note, YouTube may be great to see the latest and greatest, but content is largely generalized. Your child can become easily discouraged if they end up watching the wrong video and are unable to master what the instructor on the video says to do.

Helps to solidify their ability to retain and react to choreography, adapting at a faster level.

If you’ve ever seen a dance team performance you know how fast the choreography can be. When your child is auditioning for their school dance team, part of the criteria to make any team is how quickly they can learn and perform a short routine. We’ve all read the studies on how dance lends to the overall health and well-being of an individual. Particularly when it comes to memory and cognitive function. If your son or daughter has not taken any formal training, this can be a big shock to the system, and if they are not prepared can seriously hinder their chances of making a team.

With a proper, separate technique class your child will be ahead of the curve, for their dance teacher will help them to hone those skills before their audition.

The Edge

By providing an opportunity for your child to take a separate technique class, whether in a group studio setting, or a private lesson, you are setting that child up for success. Not only that, but you are giving them an edge over other kids auditioning who have had little to no formal training. Especially important when a dancer has a desire to work their way up to a collegiate level.

I currently work with several of the Noblesville High School Dance Team girls through private weekly lessons. They are all at various stages/skill levels and are working on not only strengthening certain skills to prepare for the upcoming audition at the end of the month, but to also maintain those skills during the off-season. Much like many sports, the audition/tryout process tends to be at the end of a school year to solidify their roster for the following year. Just like any sport, what you do in the off-season is equally, if not more important than what you do during the regular season.

If you are a parent who has enlisted the help of a studio to aid in preparation for tryouts, then I implore you to not stop those lessons once your child makes the team. You lose what you don’t use. If your child has recently expressed a desire to tryout for the team, but has never had any formal training, but is too busy for a full studio schedule, find a studio willing to work with your child through private lessons.

If you live in Noblesville, IN or the surrounding area and are looking for a studio that offers private lessons, look no further. Known by my dance team students as “The quarterback coach for dancers,” I am here and more than happy to help.

© 2018 AMS Dance Collective, LLC

AMS Dance Collective     9625 E 150th St.  Suite 205  Noblesville, IN  46060  317-526-8005