We’ve all been there: you’re halfway through your class after an exhausting day, distractions are all around, and you just can’t seem to hold your focus on anything! Attention fatigue is a universal struggle in any learning environment, and doubly so for one as frequently intense and exhausting as Ballroom Dance can be. That’s why we’ve compiled a shortlist of easy-to-use tips from our students and instructors to help you stay engaged, focused, and maximize your learning!
1. Box Breathing
This classic breath control method works great as a quick remedy to a burst of dizziness or vertigo, but it can also do wonders for an unfocused mind. The method is simple: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, release for 4 seconds, then wait a final 4 before your next breath. While we don’t recommend doing this mid-step, it can be a great standby to help you relax, find your center, and keep your attention on your instructor’s instruction while they are speaking!
2. Eat! (Or at Least Grab a Quick Snack!)
Even the most attentive and dedicated students will struggle to focus without proper nutrition! If you find yourself going into a lesson hungry, STOP! Take a few minutes if at all possible to go and grab a snack! Even if it requires cutting a private lesson a little shorter, it will be worth it to have a more focused and productive learning experience. If possible, keep a box of energy bars or another non-perishable snack in a bag or car that you take to the studio for easy access to a healthy option!
3. Ask Questions
Many people find it difficult to stay engaged in a learning environment where they are only intaking information. If you find as your lesson or class carries on that your focus fades quickly, try focusing on an aspect of the current step or lesson topic that you aren’t familiar or comfortable with yet, and think of a question or clarification you might have! When appropriate, politely asking a relevant question to your instructor can help keep you focused and socially engaged in the lesson, and help improve your ability to remember important elements of the lesson later.
4. Use Stretching Time To Meditate and Center Yourself
Take the time while you stretch and warm up to do some basic mind-clearing and meditation! If you already have a meditation strategy or method that you like, awesome! If not, here (FIND HYPERLINK) are a few resources to help you get started and find an easy option that will fit you! A short period of mindfulness during your stretching and warmup time can be extremely effective in removing stressors from your thoughts and clearing out the mental space to be attentive and present for your dance education.
We hope these tips can help you get the most out of your lessons and classes at Fred Astaire Dance Studios! If you aren’t taking lessons currently, now is the perfect time to start! Find your local Fred Astaire studio and start your dance journey today.