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In Step With DC
How to Make the Studio Mirror Your Ally
Written by Erin Sforza on April 16, 2019

The mirror in our studio serves many different functions. It allows our students to see themselves as they dance, it allows our teachers to see all of their students and the entirety of the piece they are choreographing, and it can be a really great tool to help our students progress. Sometimes though, the mirror can be a hindrance as well, especially if it becomes something that you only see flaws in.

Your teachers and our staff want you to have a positive experience in the studio, and we want you as a dancer to see positivity and potential in our studio mirrors. Here are some things our mirrors are not for:

  • Comparison – You should always focus on your own progress as a dancer. No two dancers (even if they are identical twins) will have the same strengths as they learn and develop. Even the great Mikhail Baryshnikov said “I don’t try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.”
  • Judgement – Dance is an art form that takes years to progress in. Everything comes in increments and at your body’s own pace. You won’t be doing yourself any favors if you focus on what you can’t do right now. The best focus is on what you can do that you could not before, and if you can’t quite get a certain movement remind yourself
  • A Performance Crutch – We all know that nervous feeling when the teacher covers up the mirror, but in reality the best part of class is when you don’t have immediate visual feedback. Not having the mirror in front of you allows you to be reminded of what proper positioning and alignment feels like, as well as giving you the opportunity to connect with your music emotionally to really give you a complete performance.

What are our mirrors for then?

  • Group placement – meaning where your placement should be in reference to your entire group. The mirrors can do wonders for helping the whole group to move together and be more in sync as a whole.
  • Positioning and alignment – the mirror will give you the ability to see what proper alignment looks like for your particular body. Make sure to check in and take stock of what it feels like as often as you can as well.
  • Assisting in corrections – the mirror helps you to see the difference in placement or alignment that you teacher is trying to convey, and as long as you take that as a positive (this what you are working toward, not what you lack) it can be a really helpful tool.

The mirrors in the studio can be one of your most helpful allies in your development as a dancer as long as you remember they are there to help you reach your goals, and not to remind you of how far you think you have to go!

Erin Sforza

Erin is the Public Relations Coordinator for Dance Connection. She studied dance from childhood through college and continues to be an active member of the Long Island theatre community. Erin received a BA in both Musical Theatre Performance and History from the University of Tampa, and has utilized aspects of both degrees working in the hospitality industry, as an Event Coordinator for the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, and as the PR/Marketing Coordinator and Group Sales Coordinator for the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale. In addition to being a part of the Dance Connection staff, she is a Travel Consultant affiliated with MouseEarVacations.com and CruisingCo.com.