Ballroom Dance > Practice better every day or alternated?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Chris Stratton, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    It's fairly common knowledge that when pushing your limits athletically or especially when trying to build strength that you want a schedule of training that includes both days of challenge and days of comparative rest (or challenge for other muscle groups).

    What about dancing? If you are treating it like a fully athletic activity or doing strength exercises, then it's clear that the same ideas would apply.

    But what about just dancing normally, or working on challenges that are as much intellectual as physical?

    Is it good to get on a floor every day if you have the time and desire? Or still better to schedule both work and rest days?
    chomsky likes this.
  2. swan

    swan Member

    There's always the diminishing rate of return theory...I personally believe in some 'rest' days. But I'm really not 'resting' per se. I may be doing cross training or mentally thinking. Very occasionally, I do want to just 'rest' & shake dancing out of my head completely.

    I used to believe in consistency training & thought 'more is more'. Then I realized something (both what my instructor said & what my partner inspired). Every practice & every step you take will create a different feeling than the last time you have executed the same step. My instructor said, Don't ever try to match or find the same feeling you had yesterday or the last time you had that good practice.

    My partner even went as far as he'd like to surprise me with every time he got to see me (which is not as often due to the distance). And so far, I have not been disappointed :)
    chomsky likes this.
  3. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    I'm inclined to believe that when it comes to dance, there is no such thing as too much practice. There is one thing that is sure to stir up feelings of jealousy in me towards another dancer, and that is meeting someone with enough money to afford to devote themselves COMPLETELY to dance, take two or three hours of tango lessons every day, and take 3-4 ballet classes everyday, and go dancing every evening. I can't afford that. And it just about makes me sick when I meet someone who can, because that's how I'd like to live if I was obscenely and disgustingly rich.

    My teacher once pointed out to me that in the state ballet schools in Europe, the students and professionals alike would spend 5-6 hours a day, 6 days a week in ballet classes an rehearsals, in addition to academic studies and professional performances. Was that too much? I guess that's one reason why Baryshnikov shone like a nova in White Knights, and why Gregory Hines, as phenomenal a dancer as he is, looked like an amateur next to him. Those grueling hours of harsh discipline at the barre and in the studio leave their mark on your body. I wish I were rich enough and physically strong enough for that kind of regimin. I'm not. After about two hours, the ballet master is screaming at me for pooping out in the middle of class.

    Okay, time to focus and just salute, say, "Yes, Sir," and work harder.

  4. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    500 push ups for you!

    I kind of feel the same way about the jealousy/money thing. But it's just driven by the fact that I love to dance so much. So, I buy my weekly lottery ticket and plug along.

    But, I train in other ways that just don't cost me anything extra. I belong to the local Y, so I take advantage of the aerobics, pilates, and gym equipment. That's gotta give me a little bit of a leg up (pun intended!). And I figure in my age group (low 40's) and at my dance level (bronze to early silver), my competition probably isn't going to be in that much better of a position, on average. At least I haven't really seen it yet....

    As for practice, I try to get some in every other day....although the pro/am practice is probably not quite as beneficial as practicing with an amateur partner.
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I do find that I can accomplish much more foot rise after 2 or so days off than when I have been dancing (even in a fairly relaxed way) every day.
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Depends on how much one does each day... One can have intense 4/8 hour days as I remember people talking about with pros (Larinda?)...If one does 2 hours of practice each day working on different aspects/different dances then that sounds doable too. I know doing different dances different days of teh week allows me to do more without getting burnout rather then just focussing on one dance. :)
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I think it's not so much the number of hours that makes for "too much," but too many hours of frustrating pointless practice where you don't accomplish anything. I know a couple that practices 10 hours a week and they're stiff and miserable and always picking at each other. Perhaps if they scaled back a bit so that when they went to practice they were much fresher mentally then they'd accomplish more. To me, the ideal is for the majority of time to arrive at practice looking forward to dancing with your partner rather than dreading the whole activity. Of course there are ups and downs, I just want the ups to predominate.

    As for me, my partner and I are sort of "fits and starts" practicers. One month we might practice 12 days in a row and then three days a week for the remainder of the month. Other months we might practice 4 or 5 days a week consistently. Others we might skip an entire week. It has been working for us because we constantly monitor our mental and emotional state regarding our dancing -- we've both been in situations of EXTREME burn out before and don't want to get there again. If we start feeling obsessive and all "crunchy" about what we're doing we dial back and relax -- and then find that we get more done in the same amount of time.
    twothreefourone likes this.
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Yup. "Practice makes perfect" isn't true. "Perfect practice makes perfect" is true.
    jerseydancer and twothreefourone like this.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Well said, Joe. 8)
  10. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    I used to practice 27 hours a week. But I had more time then.

    These days, I generally put in 12 hours a week for floor-work. Then I grab strengthening and flexibility exercises when I can. Like in front of a computer when I work on keeping my posture straight and my shoulders down. Or toe and ankle exercises when watching the news or a movie.

    Although I've decided that I won't be doing many arabesques anymore. Especially in a double-breasted suit-- in front of an elevator door during rush hour. Not again anyways... :)

    chomsky likes this.
  11. Adwiz

    Adwiz New Member

    I can't resist asking for details. Sounds like a story we would all enjoy.
    chomsky likes this.
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Pics? :D
    chomsky likes this.
  13. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Hear, hear! :applause:
  14. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    Oh alright... :) Not much of a story really...

    • EMPTY Elevator foyer at 30th floor of a really tall building.
      Big presentation day (I was lead presenter).
      Majorly HUUUGE account.
      Decided to go to the board room ahead of time to get a feel for the place.

      Tense morning so I had my headphones on--Tchaikovsky CD blaring.
      To loosen up I did some barre warmups.
      Decided to do some GRAND PLIEs (you know the kind... bent knees down to Sumo wrestler stance only MUCH lower).
      Then decided to try a full Arabesque
      complete with arm styling
      (Felt like Baryshnikov--but, let's be real... looked like crap)... :)

      Apparently the elevator door had opened.
      Heard a loud *EHRMMM* in the background.
      Swung around to face the elevator.
      And there
      With the VERY important client--and her entourage--
      was the Chairman of the Board.

      *And that would be our lead presenter warming up* says he
      as the elevator door closed. Stern look on his face.
      Client's protege says encouragingly *nice Ferragamos* (shoes).
      Bites her lip to suppress smile (possibly laughter), barely giggling.

      What does one do in this situation?
      Well, make the most of it.
      So I bowed with a flair and flamboyance that would make even the great Nureyev look plain.

      Or so I thought...

      :shock: :shock: :shock:
      With much alarm,
      I realized that my bottom felt, uhmmm, *drafty*
      Apparently my Armani's had sprung a seam during the bow...
      (Thankfully it WAS during the bow).

    Moral--always bring an extra pair of pants--if you're dance-crazy. You never know...


    The rest of the day was a haze. Altogether, it turned out to be an odd, funny, and pleasant meeting. We landed the account. Client said that she was pleased to *ehem...see* (here, protege was practically ROTFL) that we had the *artistic component in the team* (CODE for I'm glad I won't be dealing with just a bunch of bureaucrats.

    Ended up dating the protege for a fair you are.
    slhull.13, chomsky and ajiboyet like this.
  15. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Excellent story!!! Sounds like it all worked out more than all right in the end :)
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    In the end...LOL.

    Yet another reason to have two pairs of tailsuit trousers! :)
  17. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I thought that was why they left the coat so long in the first place
    Chr0n likes this.
  18. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

  19. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Renee, we must always live from within ourselves. If we learn to like oursleves then there will be less room for jealousy or thinking ill towards another. If we can find joy in our own world, we won't need someone else's. :friend:

    And Hines was the better tap dancer, too! ;)

    Everyone's body needs a rest, even Baryshnikov, Hines, and yes, even Renee. ;)
    chomsky likes this.
  20. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    So how much money did you buy on lottery tickets that could have gone to more dance lessons? ;)

    This is an interesting comment. I'll start a new thread!

    (Woah! DP is resisting a hijack! That might make front page news! :shock:)

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