It’s only been 3 official dance lessons and we are almost done our first routine. That being said, a lot of my progress was also made outside of lessons during extra sessions with my mentor, Mika Backus. She has been helping me polish the choreography taught after each lesson so I would be fully prepared for the following week.
In the past two weeks I have learnt a total of five new moves that include:
- Three step spin
- Shoulder roll
- Door knobs
- Running man
- Hair flip
All the moves listed above were included in the choreography for the routine I am learning to the song Confident by Demi Lovato (NOTE: a sneak peek of the dance will be added to this post soon, but due to technical issues the file will not be up till later this weekend.) Between lessons with Bev and extra practice sessions with Mika this dance has come really far in a short amount of time. I feel like the mentor sessions in particular have really helped me better my abilities each week.
This past weekend Mika and I met on Valentines day for a hour long lesson to work on the new choreography from the lesson on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016. We started off by walking through the choreography slowly with counting to make sure I understood how to perform each move and what the correct timing was. Following that, I performed the dance once for her at full speed so that she could point out areas that needed improvement. This was a very effective method of figuring out my weaknesses and picking more specific areas to focus on during our lesson. From there we worked on my technique (position & posture) on the moves I struggled with most. Mika focused on my areas of weakness to help me better my dancing the best she could. This really helped me improve both in terms of my technique and my confidence in myself and my performance.
In the middle of our lesson, Mika and I took a break to join Mira for some fresh baked cinnamon rolls and a large class of water each, courtesy of Buzzfeed recipes. This gave us some time to bond and engage on a more personal level. It was interesting to find someone who shared many similar interests in a very different age group. It’s not something that I have fully experienced before. I’ve noticed that this sometimes has to do with adults being less open with children and vice versa, but I feel like our relationship is shaping up to be anything but that. Mika and I think very similarly, which helps us communicate very effectively. I never feel nervous or afraid to ask or share anything. Bonding experiences such as this one (eating cinnamon rolls together) have definitely had a significant impact on bettering our relationship and ultimately creating an open learning environment.
As a whole, I would consider the relationship between myself and Mika very positive. However, that does not mean that there aren’t any areas of improvement. In every relationship there are still weaker areas that both people need to focus. In ours, these include, not talking over each other, and attentively listening to one another. These both go hand in hand with one another in that by bettering one the other gets bettered with it. Both of us tend to get excited and start to speak over each other with the assumption that we know what the other person was going to say. This has not made to great of an impact on our relationship as a whole, but it is an area that could use some improvement. Some strategies that I would like to implement to solve this would be:
- Listen more, talk less. Pay attention to what the other person it saying, who knows they might say exactly what you were about to interrupt them to say.
- Stay in the present. Avoiding getting caught up in the excitement of the future even if it is only minutes away and focus on the person who is talking now.
- Be patient. Let the person finish their train of thought.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Mika and I have planned two more mentor sessions to practice the choreography before the final filming date of our first completed routine. This will be a good time to implement the strategies above and take time to focus on listening, rather than jumping right in as we’ve done in our past lessons. Hopefully this will lead to an even healthier relationship.