Dance Practice and Expectations
OUTSIDE OF CLASS PRACTICE
In order for a dancer to improve and advance, practicing at home, outside of regular classes, is encouraged. Practicing at least 10 minutes a night is not really very much at all, and actually, for the first year, you will hardly be able to get them to stop dancing. They will be skipping around the house, in the grocery store, at school and the like.
When practicing, please watch and make sure they are going through all that they have learned. We find that our dancers tend to spend most of their time practicing their favorite reel step that they know and can already dance very well. Most dancers will have more than one dance and should be practicing each dance and/or step daily.
The following is a suggested practice time that is suggested/expected for Dancers:
Beginners should practice 10 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
Advanced Beginners should practice 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
Novice, Prizewinners and Champions should practice or drill their steps a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week, over and above regular classes. Stretches, cross-training and pilates are also encouraged for our more advanced dancers.
NON-COMPETITIVE / NON PERFORMANCE STUDENTS
Some parents may wish to enroll their child in Irish Dance lessons and that is it! They do not want the child in public performances and/or competitions. This is not a problem, but please let the instructor know (and reminders are good as well) because, as your dancer progresses and their skills develop, the instructor, may want to include the child in team dances. Who knows? You and your child may change your mind and want to perform or compete. Just remember, your wishes will be respected by the instructor.
HERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL LINKS WITH INFORMATION TO HELP YOUR DANCER:
Healthy Tips and Stretches
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOUR DANCER PRACTICES
Arms are always held tight to the side
Hands in fists
Shoulders should be pulled back
Chest out and Chin Up.
Toes are pointed out, right foot to the right; left foot to the left.
Feet should be crossed at all times (one foot in front of the other). If your dancer uses heel stickers, you should be able to see them in the mirror.
Knees should be pulled up straight - and extend legs and ankles.
Toes should be pointed to the ground
Having the appropriate dance music is extremely important. It is highly recommended that your first purchase for Irish Dance should be music, either in CD form or through I-Tunes or other MP3 format, should your dancer use an iPod or other type digital device. CDs can also be uploaded to iTunes for iPods. Unfortunately your favorite soundtrack to Riverdance or Lord of the Dance will not work. There is designated music with specific names and speeds that the dancers should be using. Some of the better well known musicians with CDs available are Pat King, Mervyn Bell, Jim Butke, Mark Arrington, and Dean Crouch. You will be able to find all kinds of CDs at Feisanna, for dancers to practice to. If you are unsure about music, please ask one of the instructors, or one of our experienced parents, and they can guide you on the best CD to choose.