When do you find time to practice??

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by debmc, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Ok, I love to dance, I want to dance better, I understand that practice is essential, but when do you find the time to practice? I work late hours, have lots of commitments, I am frustrated because I want to practice, but don't know when I can fit it in. Suggestions?
  2. bia

    bia Active Member

    This may work for us only because of special circumstances like working on the same campus and practicing at the rec center there, but we've found lunchtime a useful time for a chunk of practice. It means that actual lunch is just a sandwich at the desk, but we'd often be doing that anyhow. How far is your studio from your work? Or is there a fitness center nearby with an aerobics room?
  3. Mengu

    Mengu Active Member

    I try to make practice time one of those commitments. Tuesdays, 8pm. Bam! It's a commitment, it's on my schedule. Friend needs a ride from the airport? Tough luck, find someone else. Buddy broke up with girlfriend needs a shoulder to cry on? Shoulder will be available, after practice. Circus in town for one day only? Too bad, maybe next decade (or not).

    If you can't decide what's important, try a life balance circle. Things you have to do, things you want to do, and things that would be nice to do. Put them on a pie chart, assign the size of slice you want them to be, and see where things fall. Once you've come to terms with what's important to you, either you'll find more time to practice, or you won't feel so bad about not having time to practice. Happy ending both ways. At least this is the theory.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    between posts :)....seriously, because I have a practice floor, that happens alot...also usually on thursday which is a day off for me...and on weekends
    GGinrhinestones likes this.
  5. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Sunday afternoons. Since it's the only exercise I get, it's a pretty high priority for me.

    Finding a good space seems to me more difficult than finding the time. That's why it's Sunday afternoons for me, because that's when there's a good space available.
  6. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I"m very fortunate because our team has 3 2-hour chunks of space reserved each week at the gymnasium. I do practice outside of those times, though. This usually happens in the morning before class. I just make it a priority to get up an hour earlier and stop by the gym on my way to class
  7. Milen

    Milen Member

    I have the same problem as you - it is not easy to find times to practice with partners and I have had to change partners on multiple occasions because of my work schedule.
    I had to asses my schedule and see when I have 1-2 hours of free time to go to studios where my prospective partners and I could practice/take lessons. For a year and a half there weren't enough time slots on my schedule to make it worthwhile to even look for a partner and compete so I stopped dancing. This year I have found time either at 10am-noon or 10pm - midnight. Very often I dance after midnight on weekdays as this is the only free time I have.

    Obviously such time constraints lead me to look for partners with a stable schedule. My prospective partners' ability to accommodate my schedule became one of the top criteria when assessing a potential partnership. Before I would just look for someone around my height and +- one level around my level and then go for a tryout; now I try to learn their schedule right away to avoid wasting our time.

    My advice is to try to find a partner/partners who can easily accommodate your schedule every week. If they don't know about the time constraints from the beginning it's unlikely to work out for long (it hasn't for me at least).

    It also helps if you and your partners study/work near each other so it's easier to travel to practice/private lessons when you have time. Otherwise it becomes harder and harder to show up regularly for practice.
  8. Miss Silly

    Miss Silly Active Member

    I work daytime office 7-5 type thing..... and fitness studios are never available after work because they are booked with classes but the studio is almost always empty at 5am. So i practice at 5am if it's solo practice. My partner can't do that time cause he's already at work so we reserve our weekends for long practice sessions together.
  9. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    It's hard to find practice for us too: my partner has the opposite schedule from me (I work from 9-5) and he works from about 3pm-9pm. Also, getting to the studio is a pain because the highway is under construction, so it's taking me twice as long (read an hour one way) to get there. We've found a workaround because there's studio space near where I work and he comes in to practice during my lunch. It's not a perfect arrangement, but it works.
  10. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF Milen!
  11. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    I guess that's one advantage of doing pro-am, we don't have to coordinate schedules with partners to practice. It is hard to find time to practice if you have a heavy work load and a lot of commitments. I tend to take the tact that Mengu suggested, I make practicing one of my commitments. If you really want to improve your dancing, yes - you have to practice. And you have to make practice and improving your dancing a priority. If you choose less or no practice, it's not a bad thing - you just have to realize the consequence of the choice is that you will improve very slowly.

    On days that I have had to give up my practice time, I try to grab 10 minutes here and there thru out the day to practice and focus on small mechanical things that I can do in limited space.
    Miss Silly and Jananananana like this.
  12. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    If you don't take time you will never have time.
    smidra86 and danceronice like this.
  13. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    exactamundo!!!
  14. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I'm with Fasc on this one...mostly because I know "practice" for both of us means partnerless.

    If I had to find time to fit in travel and coordinating with another location, I doubt I would be able to fit it in. I have a dance floor (practice floor, really, and not nearly big enough for smooth, but I'm managing) in my house. I wake up early each morning (hard to do when I have to leave the house at 6:15), AND usually throw in anywhere from 15-60 minutes after work (when I'm being good, anyway). Weekends are good, because I can usually carve out anything from an hour to, on occasion, 6 hours here and there. Rarely is ANY of my practice time all in one sitting. It's 15-60 minutes here and there, scattered throughout the workweek and when I can find time on the weekends. I also end up doing a lot of walks (latin and ballroom) while talking on the phone...it's kind of become habit.
  15. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions. It sounds like I need to be more creative and flexible and realize I can get some things done in small segments. I tend to wait until I have an hour free... and that never happens. Maybe just seizing those opportunities... 5 mins here, 15 mins there will add up to more than I thought.
    frotes and Miss Silly like this.
  16. billman

    billman Active Member

    I work at a bowling center and my partner and future wife is a teacher at a school 3 blocks away from my work. She stops by Monday- Friday at 7AM. We practice out on the approaches of the lanes! Ballroom shoes and bowling shoes have similar soles. We have a quick cup of coffee and then practice 30-45 minutes. We use the bowling centers awesome sound system for our music.
  17. Milen

    Milen Member

    Thanks. I've actually been reading the forum for a few years now :)
    latingal likes this.
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    If you have trouble finding time to practice, then clearly practice isn't that high on your list of priorities. If it was, finding the time would be no trouble.
    smidra86 and Jananananana like this.
  19. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    I've also converted our guest room into practice space, I've practiced in parks, on basketball courts, in hallways, gotten kicked out of hallways, in classrooms, on hardwood, on rugs, and all in between both by myself, with a partner, with a practice partner, and in a group. You have to get creating with practice especially as an adult, because you don't have the luxury of sparse classes or few responsibilities.
    frotes and Miss Silly like this.
  20. Miss Silly

    Miss Silly Active Member

    I think that we tend to have a general conception that practice "must be X amount of minutes" (like 1 hour). As mentioned above, sometimes as little as 10 min here & there drilling something basic into your muscle memory can be highly effective. Often times those kind of mini-sessions can be done in very small space (phew! LOL) which makes it easy to bang out almost anywhere.

    I made my partner do cha cha lock steps continuously from our parkingspot to the coffee place once (heh heh). I didn't care what other people thought he looked like :cool:

    (i'm a partnerzilla :eek:)
    billman and frotes like this.

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