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Do You Know How Many Hours Should You Practice?
In this article, you’ll discover what to consider when planning your practice hours, taking your skill level and goals into consideration.
Practice What You Learn
As with any sport, your time spent practicing is as important as the information you receive from your teachers. It’s unreasonable to expect great results if you neglect training with a coach, but you can neither expect to reach the top position in a competition if you don’t practice further on your own.
This, though, is the only generalized statement I can make on the subject; the following advice is personalized.
Recreational or Competitive
First things first: define your approach to dancing.
Do you dance only for the fun of it? Perhaps you like to attend a few classes per week just as a recreational hobby. If that is the case, then the program you find at your local dance school is perfect for you. With a couple of lessons per week, you’ll receive basic notions that will introduce you to different dances at your own pace. You can enjoy time away from your everyday routine.
If you’ve moved further and have begun more regular practice, maybe you’re thinking of participating in competitions in the future… If dancesport is your primary activity, keep reading!
Different Levels, Different Needs
Let’s outline what I mean by the four following competitive stages:
- The beginner is a dancer who—no matter the age group—is at the starting point of their competitive career.
- Intermediate is the stage when you’ve danced in several competitions and have started to receive good results. You practice regularly.
- An advanced dancer dedicates all their time to dancesport, apart from school or work. They’re aiming for very high results.
- Pro dancers have made dancesport their life—it’s as simple as that.
For the beginner dancer, it’s very important to avoid overload. The body and the mind are not yet ready for a huge amount of technical information or physical hours on the dance floor. Keep it simple and work gradually.
At first, you mostly need to develop your coordination and learn the basic principles of each dance. Thus, just a couple of hours of dance per day, 3 or 4 times a week is a good starting point.
Estimation: 6-8 hours per week
The intermediate dancer must surely practice more than a beginner. At this stage, your confidence on the floor makes the biggest impact on your performance. By now, you should have the correct technique, physical endurance, good floor craft, and a relatively good connection with your partner.
You can only achieve these skills through many hours of practice, including stamina training and specific group lessons intended to make your skills more competitive.
Estimation: 8-12 hours per week
For the advanced dancer, there is nothing else but dancing. Of course, you attend school or to work, but otherwise, your focus is on the development of your dance career.
It’s difficult to estimate how much time you should spend practicing if you’re at this stage; it looks different for everyone. Nevertheless, I can say that you should practice every day, with only one day off per week—ideally about 3-4 hours per day.
Your program should include:
- private lessons
- practice sessions
- stamina practice
- group lessons
How you use this time and how effective it will be for you is up to you and your coaches. Ask for suggestions and try to find which kind of practice gives you the best results.
Estimation: 15-24 hours per week
The pro dancer really needs no suggestions. If dancesport is your life, you basically eat, sleep, and breathe dancing. Everything rotates around it; the schedule of your lessons is the schedule of your day. You eat when you have a break and you sleep when you aren’t in the dance studio.
At this point, what matters most is the effectiveness of the training. Choosing the right kind of practice, working out the correct concepts, and establishing the perfect relationship with your partner are much more crucial than the clocked time.
Estimation: ∞ hours per life
Every dancer has different habits and different needs. Take the time to find what works best for you!
WHY DANCESPORT FOR YOUR CHILD? by Papá Chachachá
Several years ago I was invited to write about our experience as parents of a child who has danced Dancesport since he was 5 years old. I wrote this article for the BAILE PASSION magazine in an enthusiastic way, trying to modestly contribute «something» to the world of dance, but from the perspective -unique that I can exercise in this field- of a father overturned with his dancing son.
I would like to explain to you why my son Alex is dancing, and what satisfaction he brings to his mother and me, and to our whole family in general and why we choose this sport and discipline for him.
Alex is our «treasure», probably my last child, the fruit of a special relationship with Irina, my wife and her mother. She, brought to my life love, respect and harmony after a first marriage without harmony. But also, he gave us the most special being I know: my son Alex. He receives all our love and has come at a professional moment in my life that allows me to devote all my attention: I am with him in his training every afternoon and weekends for several years.
First Competition. Alex Gascón: 6 years old
My wife and muse is Russian, and their school and values are family and training, and we also tune into that. Therefore, with Alex we work hard and he rewards us with hope and happiness.
My son is a happy being, despite the intense daily work he does. His after-school classes begin at 3:15 p.m. and now in the world of high competition, trains about 3 hours a day from Monday to Friday and some more on weekends.
From very small we wanted for him a very complete and special training. Now, at 12 years old, he speaks 3 languages perfectly, plays tennis and plays the piano since he was 3 years old, the guitar since he was 6 years old, and other activities that complete his training activity as a person.
Dancesport is «the best activity» bodybuilding «that probably exists»
In the planning of his training, his mother and I wanted to dance for his future range of abilities. Why? For several reasons, all of them rational but also emotional: because it is an activity that develops artistic sensitivity, because it activates the psychomotor development of a person in training, because it is the best bodybuilding activity that probably exists, because it fosters the body posture clinically recommended and because we like dancing a lot. Are not all these possibilities magnificent for your son?
We knew that we wanted Alex to be a dancer, but not necessarily in the professional aspect: that will already be seen. He will choose, but in what discipline? Which one was the most convenient? Which one was the most formative? Which could excite him for being fun and competitive at the same time? In short … which was in our opinion the better for Alex?
Alex Gascón 7 years old
The decision was very thoughtful. We liked the Ballet for its purism and elegance, we like Flamenco for its emotional and passion, but when we discovered Dancesport, the decision was taken immediately.
Alex Gascón 8 years old
Here is the decalogue of reasons already stated by which we consider that the Dancesport is a particularly ideal discipline for the formation of a child.
1. Development of Artistic Sensibility.
A person in formation, a child, must be able to grasp the sensitivity of life so as not to miss the sublime nuances of life when the process of formation ends. That fills your soul and spirit, opens your eyes to the beauty of the world and of life, and makes you an advantaged being able to feel pleasure for all this. But as in everything, a person has to be trained, trained to be able to tune into this subtle universe. Being able to enjoy classical music or jazz, finding beauty in a painting, the enchantment that a sculpture or a sunrise can produce, depends on sensitivity, and artistic sensibility can foster and educate this capacity.
To dance is to interpret music, it is «to travel properly with it». Dancing is transcending. And to dance different music with different souls and roots like the Samba or the Jive, the Rumba or the Pasodoble, the Waltz or the Tango is somehow able to visit those worlds and their history, it is to be able to immerse yourself in those different universes and that enriches you enormously as a person: and all this is achieved by practicing Dancesport.
2. Activation of the child’s psychomotor development.
The senses, the abilities, the body control develops throughout the years of a child’s formation. But they can be stimulated, they can be activated so that better results are achieved and faster than we will allow when we are adults to be more skilled and coordinated.
Piano is an extraordinary discipline for the psychomotor development of a child because with each finger we play a different note, in a time or rhythm independent and different from that of other fingers, but also the right hand is written on the pentagram in G key ( it is a language) and yet normally the left hand is written in the F key (another different language). So that at the same time the brain of the pianist, the child, is reading 2 languages synchronized and sending orders to each hand and each finger different. It is an incredible practice of psychomotor control. But it is confined to the brain, hands and fingers.
Dancesport is another Discipline especially outstanding in the Psychomotor Control of the body and in the development of the same for a child. There is no other sport that requires such demanding self-control. In the Sports Dance they move independently and controlled «body hinges», many of them not used in normal life. Rotation of hips with its elevation while you do bouds, stretch one leg and flex another, but always maintaining the position, the control of the cross-neck, column, shoulder blades-versus-shoulders, arms, forearms. That corporal TOTAL CONTROL required by Dancesport in a child makes it a discipline ESPECIALLY RECOMMENDED and for us in this aspect, the best. With time and practice, Dancer controls ALL their body as in no other sport discipline.
With one of the firts trainers: Oleg Kantonistyi
3. Dancesport is the best activity «Bodybuilding» that probably exists.
Today concepts such as the cult of the body, healthy life, etc. are very fashionable. People worry about our health and image, and we take care to improve it. That is why the activities that offer improvements in our body have been «sophisticated»: Spinning, Aerobics, Aguagym, Body Balance, Body Pump, Bike Extrem, Gap Power, Pilates, Body Combat, Zumba, Power Dumbel, Power Extrem, Prama, etc. .
All are in my opinion «Modern variations with marketing on the same subject» emphasizing the cardio effort on a bike, or on a sophisticated circuit, etc.
In sports practice, there are disciplines that develop more parts of the body than others, not facilitating a balanced and harmonious development of the body. For example, tennis develops one arm, shoulder blade and part of the back more than the other; swimming the abdomen, back shoulders and arms much more than the bottom train making the swimmers some people with exaggerated backs; soccer a very powerful but decompensated lower train with the upper part of the body (arched legs), etc.
«There is no part of the body in Dancesport that develops more than another.»
If we observe the phenotype or result of this activity in the bodies of the Dancesport dancers, we can clearly see that they are all people with very stylized and fibrous bodies. They enjoy elongated and slender bodies, with a back-shoulder position and very upright, correct and striking neck (they seem to have longer necks than usual!). In addition, all joints, when used and moved for dancing, develop muscle tissue «that protect» them in the long term.
There is no part of the body in the Dancesport that develops more than another, causing an imbalance, on the contrary. It is danced from the tip of the feet, to the tips of the fingers of the hands, exerting Stretching or self-help (tension-distension) to the movement itself, which tones dramatically.
By «being used», even the facial muscles are used in the expressions necessary for a performance!
For all this, it provokes a harmonic response from the body’s muscular system, getting to maintain all the muscular groups of the body toned and obtaining a muscular balance between the lower train (feet and legs), the upper body (back, pectorals, shoulders and arms) , sensationally toning the main «body hinge» that is the bridge between both trains that are the abdominal, lumbar and hip area.
Dancesport practiced continuously by a child (person in training) allows your body to grow and develop harmoniously, athletically and slender like no other.
4. Dancesport encourages clinically recommended body posture.
Having a good posture is simple and is very important if you want to keep your body healthy. When you maintain a correct posture, your body aligns itself. This prevents fatigue, back pain, neck and head, which are further aggravated with age.
Good posture means keeping your body well aligned. When a person is standing, a good posture is to keep the spine straight, the shoulders out, the chin up, the chest out and the abdomen inside so that you can draw a straight line through your ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. The posture should be adequate also when one sits or even when sleeping (clinically recommended posture).
In Dancesport practice , the so-called POSITION (cross) is fundamental to follow the canons that mark the correct execution of the discipline. This position, it is emphasized, it is sought, it is trained, to such a point, that after hours and hours of training, it is fixed, it remains as the habitual posture of the dancer in his daily life. In addition to being aesthetically ideal, this is great for the long term because it will prevent us in the future with age, many back problems, etc.
5. Dancesport is a competitive activity, regulated by a Regional, National and International Federation.
Other artistic disciplines do not have this sporty character that Dancesport has (ballet, flamenco, piano, guitar, etc). And they do not have that competitive nature that makes you set goals, forcing yourself to comply with them, improve and be able to measure your level and progress evaluated by a set of judges. This is a characteristic that gives, in my opinion, special attraction and meaning to Dancesport. If you want, you have competitions approximately every 15 days. There are rules to compete. You make goals. You want to improve in your ranking. You train and fight for it. You motivate yourself and there are regional, national and international championships, that is, there is a continuous cascade of positive stimuli that motivate you to train, to improve. Competitive passion joins the artistic character and provokes an exciting discipline.
«To master any discipline you need a continuity of years in your practice»
The child responds immediately to this competitive aspect, but he does not do it alone: parents also get involved and want their children to improve and advance in the Ranking: that is, there is an added incentive.
On the other hand, to master any discipline you need a continuity of years in your practice. It is a common norm that people start an activity but it is often left for lack of stimuli. Dancesport, having different categories, age groups, and regional, national and international competitions, allows you to always have renewed objectives. You can always choose to improve and this helps to maintain your practice over time, allowing you to master it. How many children stay on the road in the practice of other artistic disciplines such as ballet, flamenco, piano, guitar, etc.? The answer is many, most, many times for lack of incentives. With Dancesport and its competitive nature, the incentive is assured.
6. Because it is an activity that develops as a couple.
This aspect has its what! Everyone knows that the male universe differs from the female, despite the current, in defending the equal rights of both sexes, often ends up-mistakenly, in my opinion-in a pretense to disappear or blur the characteristics that differentiate us .
The masculine and the feminine universe are different, however much some currents insist on the opposite: blessed differences!
With one of her previous partners, Laia, with whom she won her first Latin Spanish Championship
The woman, from my point of view, is more complete and complex than the man, accepted the generalization. And in Dancesport, those «two souls» are represented, that of the male and that of the female. The man is the «frame» of the couple dancing, it is the part in black and white. The woman is the color!
Has the expression been right? I have been divinely, right?
I have avoided expressions such as that the woman is the adornment of the couple, for pejorative, although if I had used it, I have not done it, I would not have done it with the intention of undermining the role of the woman in the dance couple, ¡¡ Not at all! However, I have not hesitated to use the term «frame» to define the male role in the couple, because I know that the moods are not lit in this part!
«In Dancesport there is a lot of physical contact between them, and it is done with total normality and naturalness.»
So the man is the «frame» and the woman the «color» in the couple!
What I was going to: why is this good for a child in training? Because there are hundreds of hours that coexist and train with your partner, and serves the child to anticipate contact, knowledge and therefore, the ability to know how to coexist with someone close and close to the other sex.
My son Alex, has been dancing for more than four years with the 3 dance couples he has had, and he has learned a lot to know and understand the feminine world. Otherwise, your first contacts with that other universe would normally have been 14 or more years old. Otherwise, if I played football, my son would be formed by sharing with his 11 teammates an exclusively masculine mentality, far from the feminine world.
With their current partner, Alexandra, they share 180 minutes of class every day and, for example, they change together in the changing room, overcoming the traditional child modesty: they play, they share music, they share Play, they run, they compete, they they sting and fight, and sometimes harmony arises between them!
In Dancesport there is a lot of physical contact between them, and it is done with total normality and naturalness, and that is a boy-girl approach that shows that we can be both friends with nothing else. I think that naturalness is very positive.
Alexandra is a very feminine girl, but with a great character: she can be adorable and sweet and at other times «forceful». I believe that in that, it is a pretty prototypical female, by the contrasts in its emotional character I mean.
I am completely convinced that it will help my son Alex in the future when he has to «deal» with a personal relationship.
7. Because it is good for life.
The human being is a «social being». We relate, and in these events, it is usual to hold celebrations: birthdays, parties, end of the year, etc., are moments in which people celebrate something that ends up leading to dances. And if you have practiced the discipline of Dancesport you will shine in those events in a prominent way and you will become the center of the party. The same does not happen with other activities or disciplines that do not offer this possibility.
With my son Alex, we have already been able to experience the exclamations of admiration when dancing at a party or when we show someone we know a video with their performances.
8. Because it will help you get a partner.
I have seen how at a party with dancing, a couple of dancesport began to dance a chachacha. The reaction of the audience was spectacular. They made room for them to dance, and ended with widespread applause. I have also witnessed a dancer in a dance club dancing individually using the rumba technique and how he left the female audience impacted. From that moment, all of them did not take his eyes off. Without a doubt, if you know how to dance well, you have something special for what you stand out for.
«To dance is to transcend, it is to express yourself with your soul.»
9. Because it will help you to have self-esteem.
It is clear: if it stands out in a group and attracts the attention of the female audience or vice versa, this will help to build self-confidence. And an investment in self-esteem is important to face the moments of insecurity that life brings.
10. Because being an artistic discipline is exciting and will help you to be happy.
Leaving behind the questions of «external nature», dancing, for oneself, is fantastic. Interpreting music with movements is a way of celebrating life, of manifesting your state of mind.
Dancesport is a structured discipline, whose mastery can be acquired with work, but which allows you to express your feelings in a variety of up to 10 different dances that have 10 different roots and therefore 10 souls. To dance is to transcend, it is to express yourself with your soul. This will undoubtedly help you to take your child along the path of satisfaction and happiness.
Does anyone doubt that Dancesport is an exciting activity? Do we not always want the best for our children?
Alex, facing his global training as a person learns piano, tennis, guitar, judo, languages, etc. Of all these activities, the one that gives us more satisfaction to his mother and me is Dancesport.
So teachers and lovers of Dancesport: when you have to explain to some parents the advantages of Dancesport, I leave here the following scheme for you to have it easier.
DECALOGUE OF WHY DANCESPORT IS THE BEST DISCIPLINE FOR A CHILD
1. Develop your Artistic Sensibility.
2. Activate the Psychomotor Development of the child.
3. It is the best activity «Bodybuilding» that probably exists.
4. It will promote the clinically recommended body posture.
5. You will be fascinated to compete, being a Sport ruled by an International Federation.
6. It is an activity that develops as a couple.
7. It will serve you for life.
8. It will help you get a partner.
9. It will make it easier for you to have self-esteem.
10. Because we want the best for our children: it is exciting and will help you to be happy.
Does anyone give more?
Pd.- Now Alex is 3 times Spanish National Latin Champion and 3 times Spanish National Standard subchampion. He is dancing with a great girl from Russia living here with us (parents trainners also) and they are beginning International Carrer with very good results.
Last 2 years Alex Gascón is dancing with Alexandra Zaiko in Junior 1. They won Spanish Latin Championship and several International Open.
Alex & Alexandra Champions International Open Oporto Lat y Std. Spanish Latin Champions.
Champions International Open Cambrils, Salou, Platja D´Aro.
Lessons with the most famous international trainners and dancers: Danilov, Vescovo, Siscu, Karina Rubio, Pietro Braga, Mauro Rossi, Nifontov, Guillem Pascual, Rosa Carné, Aldaev Anton, Armen Tsaturyan, etc.
by PAPÁ CHACHACHÁ (Frank Gascón)
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