Practice Makes Perfect – Repetition in Dance

All dancers know that when your teacher says, “one more time” that it will in fact NOT be one more time but at least 50 more;).

Of course your teacher is not trying to be difficult; they are following the science – muscle memory to improve motor skill – to help you grow as a dancer.

One of the most important things that research in motor learning has revealed is an understanding of repetition. Once the movement is being executed correctly and efficiently, repetition will “ingrain” the skill into the body.

The only real negative aspect of this effect is that if dancers practice incorrectly whether due to alignment or poor movement patterns, these too will become deeply ingrained, and retraining can be difficult, frustrating, and time consuming. So it is important to set up proper patterning in the first place; foundation if you will. The foundation movements tend to be not the “exciting” ones and young/new dancers tend to get bored while repeating them but if they can understand the process, the success rate for high skill development is greater.

While there are many theories about the amount of repetition needed before movement patterns become habit , a dancer’s natural ability, focus and concentration, and kinesthetic awareness can affect this greatly.

One way to make sure of solid foundation training is to research the studio’s syllabus. It should be grounded in technique as well artistic expression. The program should offer certified examinations and movements taught should be standard on an international level.


Reference: Resource Paper: Motor Learning and Teaching Dance; International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS)


 Elan Dance Arts (EDA) offers dancers a new level of dance training through programs that are not offered anywhere else in the city.

Starting from ages 2.5 to adults whether it’s for certified examinations or simply for health, fun and recreation, we’re the studio for you!

EDA is the only ADAPT certified studio in the SouthWestern Ontario area, specializing in educating students using the distinguished syllabus created by Brian Foley, one of Canada’s most renowned dance teachers, directors and choreographers. ADAPT offers yearly examinations in the dance disciplines of Tap and Jazz. The syllabus teaches a strong solid technical foundation, along with artistic expression preparing students to enter the dance profession.

At EDA we strongly believe that Dance as an art form is one of the most beautiful and exciting experiences one can have in life. We are highly devoted and dedicated to the process of the development and popularization of dance activities among people of all ages.

We are also fully committed to providing our students with the highest level of education.