As educators, there is a fine process we go through with our students on their dance journey.
After all, learning to dance is absolutely a lot of fun, but, challenging at the same time. That is why we refer students to check out the “ Dancer’s Curve of Learning” chart.
Research has discovered, there are 4 key stages to learning a new skill, such as, ballroom dancing for example. As a helpful tool, the Curve of Learning helps us keep in mind whatever we are experiencing is completely normal, and a part of the growing process. Obstacles we confront during our practice time, is usually a sign we are expanding our knowledge, and moving onto the next stage of learning.
From our own experience dancing with thousands of students, we know first hand that when the going gets tough, it’s important to keep a growth-mindset mentality.
The choice to keep pushing forward, determines whether or not students will reach their dance goals, or any other goal outside of dance for that matter.
One good example of a great mentality to embody is none other than the great, Thomas Edison.
“As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
Basically, what we’re saying is when the challenge arises, don’t give up, and think like Thomas Edison. Remember the stages to the Curve of Learning.
Whether you are on Stage 1 or Stage 4, we encourage you to keep raising that bar for yourself, and set new dance/personal goals as often as possible!
Stage 1: Initial Stage
In the initial stage, students are introduced to the step or skill, and are still learning while absorbing new information.
Stage 2: Awkward Stage
In the Awkward Stage, dancers have increased awareness but experience frequent difficulty using their new skills.
Stage 3: Conscious Use
Transitioning into Conscious Use, students are able to dance more efficiently, with less difficulty. Still requiring thought steps, the skill is beginning to show!
Stage 4: Natural Use
Finally, students can dance with ease while being spontaneous, comfortable, and creative using their skill. This level is achieved only after a period of practice and dedication.