Point your toes! Don't sickle your foot! Lift your elbows!
Corrections are continually being given to you in class. For most of us its very common to hear the same one over and over again, whether it is a personal or general correction. Even as a professional dancer, hearing the same correction constantly can get extremely frustrating.
There are couple of steps you need to take in order to successfully apply a correction.
First, you need to remember the correction. Not just the next day but through out the entire class! If I'm not mistaken, a lot of the corrections you hear over and over again happen multiple times within one technique class.
Second, you need to use your eyes. What I mean by that is look in the mirror see what your teacher is trying to correct. If your instructor acknowledges that you've fixed it remember that feeling in your body.
Third, make sure you listen. The instructor may even give you different analogies of how to apply the correction in your body. There may be a day where the correction finally clicks in your body.
Some of you might be thinking, "I do that and no matter how hard I try, even when I remember the correction and look in the mirror to see if I fixed it, it seems like the correction still won't ever go away." If this is the case, the correction is mostly likely linked to a major habit in your body. Habits are hard to break and it takes perseverance to overcome them! It takes a lot of focus - day in and day out - to get rid of a bad habit.
A prolonged correction could also be linked to your body's natural shape or tendencies - how God created you. For example, I have a little sway back. So, the correction I've always heard is keep your tailbone down. Now it's not a bad thing, but it is something that I've always had to work with - I constantly have to be sure that my spine is as long as possible. If you are dealing with something like this, don't get frustrated with how your body is created! Instead, learn to work with your body. Your instructors are there to help you.
One last thing: don't get caught up on that one continual correction. Listen to other people's personal corrections and the general corrections your teacher gives. Always do your best to keep learning and applying corrections. More often then not, one person's correction yesterday will become yours tomorrow.
This post's author, Brette Benedict, is a Lead Artist with the Ballet 5:8 professional company, and is the Ballet Mistress for Ballet 5:8's Trainee Program.