Learning How To Practice: A Four-Part Series

Part 4: Students Who Practice See Results!

Practicing is a creative activity worth mastering.  When it's done right, it's fun and it makes you feel good. This blog series is adapted from musician Tom Heany's book First Learn to Practice.

In Part 1 we introduced “6 Tips To Get You Started Practicing.”

In Part 2 we explored “Concepts And Ideas To Help You Practice.”

In Part 3 we discussed "Tools To Help You Practice."

Today in Part 4 we hear from two students who practice and see results!

Sheila W. (Belly Dance Student): My 50th birthday promise to myself was to try new things and continue growing so I signed up for Belly Dance classes at Josie's school. Josie, Nahara (our teacher) and the other students were welcoming, kind and completely non-judgmental. The classes are fun! Initially each new movement and dance step felt strange and awkward, but I found myself loving the dance and wanting to teach my body to move as gracefully and beautifully as Nahara demonstrated. I have learned that each graceful dance step consists of multiple isolated movements; isolating each movement and practicing it slowly makes all the difference in being able to do that dance step. Nahara introduces the steps and breaks them down for us in class, but to really lock the step into my muscle memory, I realized that I have to isolate the movements and practice them slowly at home. The easiest way to find time to practice at home is to incorporate practice time into something that is already a part of my daily routine. I work out almost every morning and I now spend 5 to 15 minutes of that time practicing isolated belly dance moves. Doing this has made all the difference in my ability to keep improving and has made each successive class much more enjoyable!

Danielle B. (Salsa Student): “Last January, my friends and I decided to sign up for Salsa lessons. I love to dance, but I was hesitant at first because I didn’t think I had the hips or the skill to learn Salsa. Well, after my first class with Josie, I was absolutely hooked! Week after week, Josie taught us the basics and then slowly incorporated more advanced skills as the classes progressed. Now I am in the Advanced Beginner class with Eddie Q. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. I feel so comfortable. After my 10-class card ended I signed up for more! I’ve never listened to more Salsa music in my life! I find myself practicing the shines and routines we learn in class in my room every day. I’ll never forget the day we learned double turns. I initially found this skill very challenging, but was determined to master it. So every day I practiced a few double turns in front of my mirror and it really made a difference in class! Practicing at home makes me look forward to my Salsa classes each week, and every week I see new results. Tuesday nights have a whole new meaning for me! Not only is Salsa a fantastic workout, it’s a fun and easy way to get yourself moving. Salsa has definitely given me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things. And it’s true what they say.... it’s a lifestyle!”