Confeissions in Practice

Bless me followers for I have sinned my last confeission was 1 month ago. I’ve been mulling over what to blog about. With the Oireachtas approaching I’ve had more than enough material to choose from. The trouble is I’d probably upset some body who will think I’m talking about them. Well – I most likely am but not in a bad way. I just happened to use you or your child as fotter for my blog. Wasn’t it Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct who said, “ I’m a writer. I use people for what I write.”? Put on your big girl spankies and deal with it!  For this latest installment I’ve decided to play it safe and offer up a confeission about training for the blessed event. There will be more enough opportunity to upset someone later.

 For the November 2011 issue of Irish Dance Magazine I was assigned to write about the Top 10 practice CDs for the “Jukebox” page. When I started thinking about the assignment I was reminded there was a study done some years ago about the number of hours a person needed to practice to become an expert at something. While I couldn’t find that exact study I did find one conducted in 1985 by Dr. Benjamin Bloom who studied the childhoods of 120 elite performers to determine why they were successful. What he found had little to do with talent and natural ability but everything to do with the intensity at which they practiced. It got me looking back to my days as a competive dancer and how I much I practiced. For me in depended on if I was learning a new routine or tweeking an old one. I remember putting in 3 –4 hours a day on the dance. Is that enough? Is that not enough? Does it depend on the dancer and the age? Since I never competed as an Irish dancer and I was a teenage when I started to compete I’m not sure how to answer the question for the younger dancer. I tend to agree with studies that support practicing often and practicing hard. However, I’d also like to add in practicing correctly.

 When I was involved in Community Theater I had director who advised the cast to start taking rehearsals seriously from day one. “How you rehearse is what’s going to show up on stage,” he’d say. “Don’t think you can slack off during the next six weeks and expect to turn it on opening night.”

 I find myself saying this to my daughter as she’s dancing around the house. I realize she’s having fun at this point but consistency is also the key to good practice. As they say – Practice makes perfect!

 WOW! When did this Blog get preachy? I guess with “Confeissions” as part of the title it could get a little preachy from time to time. Join me next time for a confeission on training for the “Big O”. Be sure to check out the November issue of Irish Dance Magazine and the “Jukebox” page if you need to tweak your practice music collection and my latest assignment on school bus trips. I guess since I helped co-ordinate the bus trip for our school this summer I think I’m an expert now! ‘Til next time – Slainte!




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