Practice (and continue to work on the fundamentals)
Practicing outside of class, even if it is only for 10 minutes, improves your time in class. Why? First, practice reinforces what you learn in class. It trains your muscles and your brain. Second, you will notice more in the next class. As we are our own toughest critique, as we are practicing, we will get frustrated. This frustration will help us be more alter in class the next time. We will want to notice what we had a challenge with and we will pick up more because of that struggle.
Pay Attention to ALL Corrections Given in Class
When the teacher is giving corrections in class pay attention. If it is a broad statement, it is probably because the teacher is seeing the same mistake being done by several students. Even if the feedback is given to one student, take in the comments. As yourself, do I do that? How can I take that feedback to improve my dance?
Be Open to Feedback
Know that when a teacher gives corrections, she is doing this to help you improve. She wants the best for you. She is either noticing something that could lead to injury or is trying to communicate a specific movement that isn't being done in the way that is needed. You could be doing a movement that is, in and of itself correct, but isn't what is needed - either for a choreography or as part of building block for the next move.
Take Classes from a Variety of Teachers
Different teachers have different teaching styles and ways of communicating. You might be stuck on one movement with your current teacher and go to a different teacher and the way she teaches it, it just clicks for you. The way one teacher counts the music might help you hear different things within the music. Also, knowledge of different styles will enhance your performance with your chosen base style. Exploration and experiencing new things adds layers to your own style of expression.
Sapphire has been bellydancing for roughly 15 years. She has studied under various teachers worldwide. Sapphire is a founding member of Moonlight Bellydance and is the author of Unveiling the Mystery of Choreography.