Dancing with the Stars is quite the ballroom dance phenomenon – this year the show celebrates its 24th season and 400th episode! #Dancelikethestars is a popular phrase and hashtag that has entered the modern dance lexicon. This has both a positive and negative effect. Thanks to the show, new dancers come into the studio to learn expecting the Hollywood experience – lights, camera, makeup, and TV edits. Dancing like the stars is possible, but let’s talk about what it takes.
The celebrities are famous because they made a name for themselves in show business. This means they understand Hollywood…namely how to shine on camera, do interviews, and persevere in the face of bad publicity. A good majority of the contestants know how to dance, act, and perform. The others, especially the ones that make the finals, are top athletes in their field like Emmett Smith and this year’s winner, top running back, Rashad Jennings. They are already athletically-inclined and that translates to dancing incredibly well. As you see on the show, even the “not-so-coordinated” celebrities can learn to dance. So, what part of #DWTS can we learn from?
For starters, repetition is the key to mastery. In order for the stars to be in performance shape, they are coached and rehearse 6 plus hours per day, for one or two memorized routines. This does not include leading and following. In a given week, that equates to a 40-hour work week, or standard full-time job hours, but more physically demanding and exhausting. If we could increase our own repetition rate to a couple hours per day, 7 days a week, you would start to see some exponential growth in your dancing.
Also, the celebrities themselves are already comfortable with practicing, focusing, accepting, and incorporating criticism. An “I can do it” attitude always supersedes talent. I have seen many talented students lacking confidence struggle to make progress. Putting yourself down and being afraid to make mistakes can slow down your progress immensely. The stars that have made it in their industry learned how to control their thoughts, ignoring negative outside influences. If anything, they transform negativity energy to fuel them to achieve their goals.
You also must be open to and accepting of criticism. I am not talking about criticism as a negative thing – I am talking about being coachable. This is what makes these stars famous. They must be willing to take instruction from coaches, agents, mentors, stylists, personal trainers, nutritionists, etc. Stars as a whole learn how to be coachable by learning from experts in their given fields. Sometimes that even comes down to a hefty dose of tough love and being able to listen to what your teacher is telling you. It sometimes feels like blind faith, but this is very important for success in dance and life in general. At the end of the day, you can’t do what you don’t know. So step out of your comfort zone with some professional guidance, and you will be a step closer to dancing like the stars do!
Live, Love, Dance and Enjoy
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