Monthly Archives: April 2015

Giving and Receiving Feedback With Your Practice Partner (including Yourself!)

Giving and Receiving Feedback With Your Practice Partner (including Yourself!)
by David Phillips and Stephen Shortnacy, April 6, 2015

Ideal feedback—the hot stove. Immediate, Unambiguous, Consistent, No value judgement.

Master skills to drive your own learning.
Get feedback—Defending, Attacking, Withdrawing versus mining for the gold.
Give feedback—Blaming, Complaining, Theorizing versus giving the real good.
Both giving and receiving feedback take practice to do well.

Yes, make feedback:

  • immediate
  • observation
  • clear
  • simple
  • focused on the solution
  • test immediately
  • test from the same place!
  • reflect on later

NO, don’t make feedback:
late
judgement
vague
overwhelming
focused on the error
postponed
continue as you were
evaluated and discussed

Receiving: Defending, Attacking, Withdrawing versus mining for the gold.
Giving: Blaming, Complaining, Theorizing versus giving the real good.

GAME: Calibration.
True observations, false observations, judgements.

GAME: Skill development: seizing your axis with every step.
Make feedback fast and frequent. Reset for each trial. Apply feedback immediately.

TIME OUT: I’m feeling (overwhelmed, confused, tired, irritable, distracted, hungry). Let’s put a hold on feedback for now. Or, Let’s wait for the teacher.

SOURCES

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg

http://www.amazon.com/Nonviolent-Communication-Language-Marshall-Rosenberg/dp/1892005034/

http://www.worldcat.org/title/nonviolent-communication-a-language-of-life/oclc/173517553/

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

http://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Feedback-Science-Receiving-Well/dp/0143127136/

http://www.worldcat.org/title/thanks-for-the-feedback-the-science-and-art-of-receiving-feedback-well/oclc/866583549/

Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better by Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway, Katie Yezzi

http://www.amazon.com/Practice-Perfect-Rules-Getting-Better-ebook/dp/B007ZQ34V4/

http://www.worldcat.org/title/practice-perfect-42-rules-for-getting-better-at-getting-better/oclc/795852231/

What does your phantom practice partner look like?

What does your phantom practice partner look like?

Taller, shorter? How big around? Do they step big or small?

I wasted so much time and so many opportunities early in my dance career because I suffered from the notion that I needed a partner to practice my couples dancing.

There are (at least) two types of solo practice: technique and “partner”.

In technique practice you don’t concern yourself with a partner. You are working purely on posture, quality of stepping, pivoting, use of body spirals, alignment, lines, balance, specific moves (boleos to front and back, enrosques, (what do you call those tiny crossing steps to front and back?), and …).

In “partner” practice solo you are practicing dancing, without music if you are working strictly on quality of movement, with music if working on musicality, creativity, and quality of movement. In this work you “visualize” and “feel” an imaginary—but as real as your senses can make it—partner. It should be so real that an onlooking person of imagination and empathy can also visualize the imaginary partner in your embrace. You will treat this partner just as you would a real one, with the difference that you can idealize their dancing qualities.

That idealizing does not, however, mean that you can disregard what your dancing does to them. Paradoxically, you may find yourself even more aware of your movement as you expand your awareness of how your partner needs to move. For example, did you just lead that step around you, into you, or away from you? Which did you really want?

Make your phantom partner real, to you, and to onlookers. Your phantom partner is wonderful. They are always ready to work when you are, and they can keep up with you and go as long as you can. Treat them well.