Spotting in dance is extremely important. It helps dancers not get dizzy, aligns their spines and looks professional and mature. Spotting clicks for some dancers, but for others it can be really hard. Some of the most common problems with spotting (especially with younger dancers) are typically:
- Eye balls looking up or down
- Head leading the pirouette
- Switching their head from left to right.
- Raised shoulders
Yikes! Once you teach the basics of spotting, there are a few simple exercises to help the dancers that aren’t quite getting it. Here are a few tips for teaching spotting:
Sticky Post-it Notes
Use post-it notes to help girls with spotting. Simply place them on the mirror or wall and have your dancers work on their pirouettes. Spotting a very specific object can sometimes help.
Practice Quarter and Half Pirouettes
If your dancer’s spotting is getting confused during their single pirouette, take a step back. Practice quarter turns and have them keep their eyes on the mirror. This will perfect the first head movements of a spot.
Eye to Eye
If your dancer’s eyes are looking up or down, try having a little challenge with them. Get eye level with them and have a “staring contest” while they turn. Forcing their eyes to connect with something can really help!
Going extremely slow can also be an underestimated tool. Don’t be afraid to spend time on this. Having them spot slowly 5 times won’t do much for their coordination. The more you encourage them to practice in the mirror, the better they will get. Start every class with 10 slow spots to the left and 10 slow spots to the right.
Sometimes the best way to encourage a young dancer is with competition. Have an around-the-world contest to see who can spot the quickest and cleanest. Move on the single and double pirouettes once everyone has mastered this.
If you have any good tips for teaching spotting, please comment below and let us know.