There is no magic pill to remember routines instantly as consistently practicing is the only way to truly force your muscles to remember your actions.
However, there are ways to speed up the process that will help you progress in a shorter amount of time.
1. Break it up into chunks.
Ever tried to scarf a large chocolate bar down your mouth? You break it down to chew in sections first in order to be able to manage eating it, right? Similarly, do not dance the entire routine at first. Break it down into manageable sections of 1-2 bars of music each time, and deliberately go over one particular section 5 to 10 times in a row. By breaking your routine into manageable chunks, it gives your brain and muscles better concentration in smaller sections.
2.. Ditch the music. Use your lips to count instead.
In the beginning of any new routine, you will most likely be unable to dance to music at normal speed. Instead, count every step out. By doing so, you will know exactly where your feet are placed on specific sections of the routine and you will understand the timing of each step.
3. Look at yourself in the mirror.
The mirror is key to checking whether you are standing upright or are flapping your arms in the wrong direction. Focus on sorting yourself first and do not pick your partner’s steps as what the other person is doing may be different to yours.
4. Use slow music to keep to time.
Once you have gotten a grasp of your routine, use slow music to keep to time. Why slow? Because at the stage where you have barely gotten the routine, using slow tempo music will help you remember the steps sooner. Slow music will also give you more time than normal tempo music to add dance technique you have been taught. Again, should you have problems memorizing the full length, refer back to point 1!
5. Learn the names and actions of the basic steps by heart.
All dance routines are based on the basic steps and their variations. By stringing basics together you will have the framework of your routine. By being more specific with your steps, it will be much easier to remember your routine sections. For instance, compare memorizing “side close side, left foot front and side and front and side” to simply “side chasse, Cuban break”.
As with all action oriented skills, there is no substitute to taking the time out to practice. But by taking these methods into account, speeding up your memorization process being much more efficient in learning new routines is possible.
Have you got a different method of memorizing your routines? Tell us in the comments below! Share this with your friends who may benefit from learning new steps/routines at a faster rate.
Image Source: Yohann Legrand