How to practice effectively with the Mini-Snack Method

It’s been raining a lot recently, when it should be all pretty and warm and lovely in a late summer kind of way. Rain often makes me feel frazzled–helpless and overwhelmed. There are just so many drops, all falling on me, all cold, all wet. Ugh!

Sometimes dance practice feels the same way.

There is so much much to remember, so many things to improve. When I tried to do it all at once, I just felt harried and overwhelmed. So I stopped. Because I realized there was  something important that I wasn’t practicing: having fun.

Worse, that not-having-fun was bleeding over into my performances. I was working to hard and it showed. Since then, I have changed the way that I practice. If too many things is too much, then what if I do just one thing at a time?

Welcome to the Mini-Snack Method. It’s light, fun, and it has a lot of benefit!

Wait, what’s a Mini Snack?! It’s little bite-size snacks of assorted practice themes. I graze through my practice like a bee in a snacktastic flower garden, alighting as I notice something I want to refine or  explore, or a technical puzzleI want to solve.

It’s light!

With Mini Snacks I focus on just one thing at a time (well, maybe two). Just my posture. Just my arms. Just my gaze. So I can be in a state of enjoyment, but also hone some little element. This way, I never get overwhelmed and I can practice having fun, too. That’s right– 

It’s fun!

Mini Snacks let me dance around enjoying myself while I flip from one focus to another. My focus on joy can stay constant as I only have a little bit of other things to include. When I notice my posture is off, I switch to that, and I dance with my beautiful posture fore for a while. When I notice an arm is lagging, I switch my focus to my beautiful arms for a while. I go in and out of these focal points and little by little everything gets attended to, yet I never have to spend my time squinting at myself or despairing over my ability. 

And, you know what? Mini Snacks have serious benefits.

One of the hot topics in learning science is interleaving. This means practicing many things in short bursts, coming and going from the practice. The benefit comes from the coming and going–in fact, leaving something until you are a little rusty and coming back to it is especially beneficial. It’s the spaces in between that heighten the learning. 

So there you go! A great way to practice a lot of things in a short amount of time while having fun. What more could you want?

How about a practice planner?

It’s a free gift from the folks at the Belly Dance Bundle, and it’s been getting great reviews. Just click here to get it:   https://aliathabit.com/what-to-practice

Thanks for checking it out!

Lots of love,

Alia

 

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