Sing your Steps - a great way to remember routines
A couple of years ago I went to a social dance on the Gold Coast whilst on holiday. The venue wasn’t so much a studio as a hired hall which I believe was procured for fortnightly or monthly social dances. There was a wide range of ages present, and I would say that most dancers in attendance were of a Beginner / Intermediate level. Our teacher of the evening was Mark Wilson who you may remember as a judge from Dancing with the Stars during the 2004 - 2010 seasons.
The format of the evening consisted of every dance being taught before being danced to music with partners, so there was a lot of teaching throughout the evening. What really stuck with me though, was the method of teaching Mark used to help the students remember the steps to so many routines. When teaching a dance, he would “Sing” the steps.
Every dance would have its own sing-song tune and the words of the song were simply the steps or actions. For instance, forward, forward, side, together, back, would be sung to a tune rather than spoken, and changes in notes or tone were used when different directions or actions were used. It was a highly effective method of learning a routine. Even now I still remember the tune he sang to teach Merrilyn!
If you think back to how many songs or rhymes were used to teach us our ABC’s or the number of days in each month of the year, you will realise how much easier it is to retain new information when it is taught through song. The next time you are struggling to learn a new series of steps, try adding a tune; I do it all the time, and for me, it certainly takes the difficulty out of remembering those new steps!