Here's my naggy, scold-y version of how to get better:
- Expect progress to happen spontaneously. Progress isn't elusive, but it will keep you honest. If you aren't improving the way that you'd like, is it really your situation or is it your lack of a plan, commitment, motivation, or follow-through? Remember, there's a whole learning curve to new things and goal setting is helpful.
- Kind of learn. Go to classes ready to learn; do not go with pre-conceived notions or a hard-headed attitude. Do not waste anyone's time (especially yours!) by going to classes that where you don't respect the teacher or have no interest in the dance/technique/style being presented.
- Chill. There are some things you can learn by hearing them once or twice, or watching other people do them, or thinking about them. DANCE IS NOT ONE OF THEM. No one watches LeBron shoot a few threes and then expects to be able to do it like him. You must move your body a lot to learn to dance.
- Cram. You just checked on that plan you made. It might be a competition, or a showcase, or a competition [cough, cough], or a random date on the calendar, but that deadline is coming in hot. You schedule 8 hours of extra practice time with your partner. You call up your favorite coach and book a lesson STAT. I'm not telling you not to do that, but your favorite coach isn't going to be able to tell you anything really helpful (that will improve your dancing in a long-term, time/money-efficient way) that you can apply in the next week. So, they won't. They'll give you a "cheerleader" lesson, where they tell you 90% of everything looks good but you should do [this] with your arm and you missed a heel lead over there and other [minor] things. It'll be a throw-away lesson for all of you, because your coach has so many BIG things that they want you to know, but if they tell you those things right before you perform/compete/go to that dance, you'll be so in your head your dancing will suck. And that would be irresponsible as a teacher to do to you. And so your teacher will be sad. Sad, not to impart great info to you. Sad, to give you a sort of unnecessary lesson. Sad, because they want you to improve as much as you do.
THINK OF YOUR TEACHERS. PLAN YOUR LESSONS AHEAD.
Slower. Lamer. Expensiver. Ugh.