Ballroom Dance > So you had a bad practice, now what?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Even today, when we have a bad practice, where nothing seemed to work right, it can get to me a little bit, but I know I have made improvement in this area. Our teacher has told us that after having a really awesome practice where everything seems to work perfect, look out! The next day's practice may not be as good as the last. That has been somewhat true for us. We don't "plan" to have a bad practice because the previous day went so well, but we do know there will be days that don't go as well as others.

    From stories I've heard, we are certainly not alone. While top couples may not be quite as bad on their worst day, every couple has their ups and downs, and when we are being measured through the results given by judges, it's very easy to fall into the trap of seeing a bad practice as the "end of the World", though you end always being able to look back and see that it wasn't so.

    How about you? How do you cope with bad practices?
    (for all the people that always dance perfectly, please stay out of this thread, as I'm not talking to you!) :)
  2. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    When it becomes clear during practice that either nothing is working right or is in fact getting worse as time goes on and we try to "fix" it, we cut it short and quit for the day. Otherwise it's highly likely we'll just end up ripping each other's heads off in frustration, and this doesn't solve anything.

    And you're right, this tends to happen after a GOOD practice or lesson. So frustrating b/c you can't quite figure out what was "different" that made it go so well.
  3. White Chacha

    White Chacha Active Member

    Reminds me a bit of driving to an unfamiliar destination. If I get there making lots of mistakes, the next time I make that trip, I know exactly how to get there. If, however, I've had the serendipity of getting there the first time without error, I'm quite likely to get lost the next time I try...
  4. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    Same here. lol
  5. BasicsFirst

    BasicsFirst New Member

    Simply put... "tomorrow's another day".

    As easily as a good practice yesterday turned into a bad one today, is equally as easy you'll be back to a good one tomorrow. But! You have to FORGET about what happened today.
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Am I the only one who's kneejerk response to the question was a glass of somethingg alcoholic? :p
  7. BasicsFirst

    BasicsFirst New Member

    But I do that even after a "good" practice... figured we were being asked what we do "differently".
  8. etp777

    etp777 Active Member


    Actually, my first response is that I have to get OUT of the studio. as bad practices really frustrate me, and studio is supposed to be home. I'll often stick around and talk to pros, etc, after a practice, but after a bad practice, i don't want to talk, I don't want to be there, I have to run out. :)
  9. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Objectivity and the understanding that "this too shall pass"....

    I also know that somewhere in even a bad practice, I am improving something I am working on. Even if it doesn't feel good, or things don't seem to work right, the fact that I am continuing the process of getting something new in to my body is progress.
  10. You keep your head up, figure out what you need to improve on and move forward :)
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Fiddle dee dee!
  12. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Seems I'm more familiar with bad practices on my own than good ones. Course, it'd be brilliant for everything to just be perfect and easy all the time... But my general view for bad practices is that they're "good", in the sense that they are *filled* with helpful information one can use to keep moving in the direction toward effortless coordination, balance, and movement. That's my take on it most of the time...getting caught up in feeling bad is understandable, given how much we wanna acheive with our dancing, but..."bad" can be "good" if viewed without the angst.

    Same thing applies to my mind with a "bad" partner practice...would rather take the misfires as pointers to some impending discovery and add them to a list to review with coach.

    The only really bad practices I've had with a partner would be where personal conflict gets in the way of the shared goal. This came up when a former SO and I decided to study & practice latin, and the conflict revealed very different objectives and values WRT the dancing. That is for me just miserable...and I did end that particular dance partnership because of it.

    But generally, "bad" just hold clues to some new discovery, mebbe on the next practice after a lesson, or after some investigation. Properly viewed...might even be considered something exciting, because it suggests the need to go on an adventure somewhere new, in the direction of unprecedented better dancing.
  13. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I've talked to a few people since I started this thread, and the consensus seemed to be that this happens to everyone, and its all in how you think about it, and you can count on it feeling good again soon.
  14. taylor1990

    taylor1990 New Member

    If I'm practicing something and I'm really having a hard time with it, I will usually go to another dance that I'm very comfortable with for a time and then go back to the thing I was having trouble with when I'm in a better mood. I tend to hate on myself when I'm not getting it right away (perfectionist that I am), but if I go to something I like and am good at for a little while I give myself a little ego boost. It puts me in a better mood and I'm more likely to not get frustrated so easily with the other thing.
  15. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    I was chatting once with a music history prof of mine who said something that I think is equally applicable to dance:

    "The thing about musicians is that they have to be totally at peace with delayed gratification. Practicing today won't make you better tomorrow. Hell, you might sound worse tomorrow. But practicing today and tomorrow and the next day will make you better months from now. We just have to keep at it and know that it's coming."
  16. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    Absolutely the best advice about learning to dance.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    love it...and I have to say that as soon as I figured that out having a bad practice became something that I just don't define that way...I practice...stuff measurable or immeasurable does or doesn't happen...i don't judge myself on practice...i save that hell for lessons...and even then, having learned patience the hard way...destructively to myself and others...the only time I even consider a lesson to be bad is when I am simply to tired or disappointed in myself to grasp and apply concepts as easily as I usually would...but when you travel a distance to a lesson you just grin and bear leaving isn't an option
  18. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing this dela! Very good thing to remember as we go through the journey!

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