In any industry, feedback is important because it gives you the information to evaluate whether you are meeting your objectives. A system without feedback is doomed for failure.
If you think about it, even our bodies have a feedback system. When we eat unhealthy food, the feedback we get is unwanted weight gain, acne, lethargy and a general sense of unhappiness. We can ignore all the warning signs and continue leading our unhealthy lifestyle or we can decide to take action and change. Either way, we will get feedback. If we choose to ignore it, there will definitely be unwanted effects.
Relating this to dance is very easy. If you accept the feedback we get from your teachers, peers or even yourself and make changes to your routines, you will see the positive effects. Your movements will be more fluid and natural because your body respond to the movements more naturally. In a choreographed dance with many people, you can clearly see the effect of applied feedback in the seamless movement of the group.
However, if you do not receive feedback, it is impossible for you to improve. You cannot fix something that is not already cracked. That is why feedback is important. There is also the scenario where you receive feedback but choose to ignore it. This too is counterproductive because it does not allow for improvement.
In order to improve your dancing, you should identify various ways through which you can obtain feedback. Here are a few ways you can get feedback in dance:
Forms of feedback
- Recording – This technological age has brought with it a revolution of the norm. Before smartphones and cheap recording and playback devices, a student would only see their dance moves through a mirror or if they were lucky enough to make it to films. Nowadays, all you need is a smartphone to record your dance moves and identify areas of improvement.
- Mirrors on the walls – Have you ever seen a dance studio without mirrors/ Probably not. Mirrors are a perfect way to get immediate feedback while you dance. In dance, one of the most important aspects, other than quick feet is perfect form. You can adjust your form on the dance floor if you see from your image that you do not have it right yet. Good form is very important not only for a good routine but also to prevent potential injury.
- Peer to peer feedback – One of the best sources of feedback is from your peers because you are all striving to be better dancers. Pair up and perform sections of the routine to each other and adjust your moves accordingly.
- Performances – You have been working on a routine for months and finally, the day of your performance has arrived. During your performance, you will be able to read the mood of the audience and this can be really good feedback because it is unrehearsed and raw. Sometimes, you can also ask the audience to rate the show on a piece of paper and offer any suggested improvements.
- Trainer-student feedback – Many students strive to be as good as or even better dancers than their teachers. Getting feedback from your teacher, after he has watched you perform is really important because you get to know what areas you excel in and which moves need to be improved. If your teacher does not readily offer feedback, find some time and ask him to evaluate you.
What we choose to do with feedback is up to us.