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Dance Science Behind Our Classes

We at BCMCD take our roles as arts educators seriously and we offer programming that we believe reflects our values. Much of this is reflected in our teaching style, the types of classes we offer, and how our studio classes are formatted. This page shares some educational sources reflecting our methodology as an arts education institution. 

Our Use of the Mirrors 

At BCMCD we use a mirror as a learning tool for technical corrections only. We have one mirror at the back of the room that we use with dancers for visual feedback if the instructor believes it may be useful in that circumstance. Many dance studios have large mirrors at the front of their studios being used as a learning tool. However, research shows that using a mirror for this purpose is not as beneficial as originally believed.

 

New studies show that dancers are able to perform choreography with more confidence without the use of a mirror as a visual tool during the learning process. Dancers must trust themselves when rehearsing without a mirror as there is less visual feedback to rely on.  Much of dance is engaging and focusing on outwards into the space as a way to connect with the environment. Taking away a mirror allows the dancers more freedom to experience this. 

 

Similarly, dancers when learning technique must rely of the feeling associated to correct technique when not dancing in front of a mirror. Too often dancers abuse mirrors in class by using it as visual reassurance or confirmation of their technique. Dancers only using the mirror to address technical concerns outside of performing exercises are better able to transfer the skills they have acquired into performative settings and situations.

 

 Research also shows that dancers that do not use the mirror for all of class also have better mental health related to body image.

 

Here are some articles that shares impacts of mirrors in dance studios:

https://iadms.org/media/3586/iadms-resource-paper-mirrors-in-the-dance-class.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4102331/

 

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