How to Use the Mirror In Dance Class

RSI Auditions

While almost every dance studio has one, facing your own reflected image is practically a given, and some even consider the dance mirror a necessary tool in dance training. Here are a few tips on how to use the studio mirrors to your advantage and how to avoid common reflection-gazing pitfalls:

  • Watch yourself in the mirror occasionally to adjust your shape, line, alignment or spacing. Sometimes it helps to decide on one dance element you want to work on during class and use the mirror only to correct that one thing.
  • Watch classmates only to learn from them and apply what they do well to your own dancing.
  • Use the mirror to get an overall picture of what the choreography looks like, or to learn a phrase of movement more quickly.

Constantly gazing at your own reflection causes you to rely on visual cues more than your proprioceptors, the sensors that provide awareness of where your body or its parts are in space. This can negatively affect your dance training. If you find you are having difficulty balancing or dancing without a mirror, these are signals to spend less time looking in the mirror in dance class:

  • Shift your focus toward points relevant to the choreography or in the direction you are moving just as you would on stage.
  • Intentionally stand in a part of the room that limits your use of the mirror.
  • Take class in a studio that covers or does not have wall-mounted mirrors.