top of page

Tips for "Memory Retention" from Dance Workshops

Effective learning and retention of new information can be challenging, as our memory retention tends to decrease over time. Research shows that we tend to retain only about 50% of what we learn within 24 hours of training, and this retention drops to about 75% within 39 hours. This is particularly challenging in the context of dance training, where individuals need to learn and retain complex choreographies. As someone with experience in directing a dance team for over 15 years, I understand the challenges that dancers face in retaining dance movements after just one session of training. This is why I have been advocating for dance concept workshops at festivals, as they offer a more immersive and effective approach to learning.

Recording videos or taking notes during a dance class can be helpful, but it is not enough to retain the information effectively. To ensure retention and effective learning, dancers need to focus on attaching sense and meaning to the learning experience. By understanding the concepts behind the dance movements they are learning, paying attention to the movement history and principles behind it, and implementing analogies, related examples, stories, and repetitive drills, dancers can enhance their memory retention. Repetition is essential in retaining information, and dance training is no exception. Fundamental moves must be practiced repeatedly to condition the brain and body to retain them effectively.

One example of using these techniques to enhance memory retention is in bachata dancing, specifically with the side-steps move. This stationary move involves focusing on finer details such as bending the knees, maintaining proper posture, relaxing, shifting weight, stepping, pushing, and more. When all the finer points are implemented through repetition, they are not only memorized, but they are also felt, enjoyed, and mastered by the dancer. As a dance teacher for many years, I encourage my students to constantly immerse themselves in training with fundamental moves. It's important to treat dance training like a workout in the gym, where you focus on different muscle groups each day. Similarly, in dance training, different moves require different levels of focus and practice to retain effectively.

The key to retaining dance movements and entire choreographies is to repeatedly practice while paying attention to the concepts behind each dance movement. By implementing effective drills and focusing on the principle behind the move, dancers can improve their memory retention and ultimately perform better. Admittedly, it is challenging to retain new information effectively, especially over time. However, with the right approach to training, dancers can acquire the skills needed to retain dance moves and entire choreographies successfully. See you in class. - Rodchata

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page