North Shore Dance Society recommend recording your dancing at least once a week.
I know, I know – you hate watching yourself dancing. Maybe you suspect you look terrible, and don’t want to demoralize yourself. Perhaps you’re thinking you can confine your dancing to the studio where only your instructor will actually see you. But, is that really what you want?
Let’s face it – you didn’t start learning to dance so that you could hide it away from the world. You did it to build confidence in yourself, to grow as a person and be part of a community. And yes, sooner or later, someone will see you dancing.
Since we can only delay the inevitable, it’s far better to see what you look like before they do. Here’s just a few reasons why.
1. You can be more objective with yourself.
No matter what your instructor tells you, your sense of what you look like to the outside world is biased by your personal opinions. I can’t tell you how many great dancers I’ve seen insist on how terrible they must look – or proud, opinionated dancers strutting their terrible technique.
Videos don’t lie – whether you like what you see or not, you’ll be able to spot what needs work, and what looks great. And that means you can better prioritize what you want to focus on next, not what you think needs improvement.
2. It’s easier to recall for practicing.
Speaking from personal experience, if I haven’t filmed what an instructor has taught in a workshop, I might as well have stayed home. Film yourself dancing the steps you’ve just learned, and you won’t have to struggle to recall it later.
‘But what if I don’t do it perfectly?’ You ask, ‘I don’t want to practice a bad habit.’ Fair enough, but not practicing at all is hardly a better solution. Even if something feels a bit off, you have the gist of a step you can keep fresh until you clarify it next time.
3. You can more clearly see your improvement.
It can be a very satisfying experience comparing a newer video of you dancing with an older one. Sure, everyone around says you’ve come a long way, but what do they know, right? The video will prove your improvement, giving you renewed satisfaction when you feel you’re plateauing.
4. You’ll be more comfortable seeing yourself dancing.
This won’t happen overnight, but the more you see yourself, the more you will grow comfortable with seeing yourself. Yes, you’ll still wince when something is off, but you won’t shy away from yourself like you used to.
Seeing ourselves more honestly is an important step towards forgiving the things we don’t like, which in turn will build confidence in your image.
5. You’ll be more comfortable with others seeing you dance.
Usually our fears of being seen by others centres around a fear of being judged. And yet, we are usually the harshest judge of all.
As I mentioned earlier, filming ourselves is a perfect opportunity to see ourselves in a more honest light, where we often find our mistakes are not as crippling as we thought they were. The fact is, if you can forgive yourself that muffed cou-de-pied, odds are your audience will too.
Author: Ian Crewe
North Shore Dance Society