Running Practices/Synchronicity

Discussion in 'Help! and How-to's' started by bparikh, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. bparikh

    bparikh Member

    My team is gearing up for the coming school year and starting up practices again, and we are doing some major changing and cleaning in the way that we lead/conduct our practices and so I was hoping to get insight from maybe some former/current captains on how you guys organize and run practices. One thing thats going to factor into this for our team big time is the fact that we lost a lot of our more experienced members, so a lot of our team members this year have either never done bhangra or have only done it for fusion - so one question I have for this is what experience have captains had with this issue? Any suggestions?
  2. Howie Magz

    Howie Magz Well-Known Member

    Take the first semester off and build a set prior to coming back to the school year. Teach the set at the beginning of the school year after tryouts to all your dancers and have formations done and taught by the end of the first semester. If you are a new team and the captains themselves do not have any stage experience themselves it maybe smart to take the whole year to get all of this done before competing. Keep your team motivated by doing on campus performances even if they are free. Kids all get stage fright and the best way to get over it is dancing in front of people. You do not want your first time dancing in front of people at your first competition. PM me if you would like more tips.
    sahab, srazdan, aheer_sunny and 2 others like this.
  3. RShah17

    RShah17 New Member

    Def agree with what Howie has said about taking your time developing a set. One thing that really helps is working on the fundamentals of bhangra right from the beginning. I would warm up with a mix that has a relatively consistent tempo and just teach and run basic moves at the beginning of practice - like single dhamaal, pataka, faslaan, punjab, chaffa etc and try to emulate teams, like khalsa, spd... This works wonders for your team in terms of helping them pick up choreo faster, building stamina and of course incorporating proper form. Another suggestion would be to split up your practices into group sessions with 1 or 2 experienced dancers to help fix small things and nitpick at form and choreo. It's definitely hard to work with a team fresh to bhangra, but make sure they're obsessed with watching videos on youtube (GTV) to see what good performances look like and how important nakhra, energy, and grace are. Good luck!
    bparikh likes this.
  4. ManrajBajwa

    ManrajBajwa Member

    Well in my opinion,since some of you guys have never done bhangra or has only done fusion.The first step is to get everyone to learn most of the steps from and focus on learning the basic steps and keep redoing it until everyone gets it right.Then once you feel that you guys have got the basics then start doing variation which you can be watch in any teams on GTV.Then start doing routines which the variation steps you learnt.Finally create a set.I always get a fresh new squad in my uni almost every semester so I have been doing this system for a while.Honestly if your team would be able to practice like 2 hours every week,within 6 months you should be able to create a set.Good luck!
    bparikh likes this.
  5. sahab

    sahab Active Member


    Key words: patience and vision.

    Patience: No one becomes a master over night. A lot of cleaning and teaching is tedious (especially with a group of new dancers), and if you don't have patience you won't make it. Often, other team members will doubt you, and tell you to move on or shrug off the importance. However, as a leader, you should set your standard and be patient.

    Vision: Set a vision, goal, and objectives for your team. Like any business or group, it is important to set a vision. It sounds very meta, but setting a vision is critical to getting everyone on the same page. A vision can be as grand as "We want to be the best Bhangra team in the world" to something simple as "We want to perform folk Bhangra". When dancers are on the same page mentally, it boosts synchro on stage.

    Random Thoughts:
    -Read leadership books. Not only will it help you with your team, but it will also help you later on in life. My co-captain reads a lot of these.
    -Be organized. Keep a schedule of when practices are. It's a basic thought but often overlooked.
    -Come to practice with a plan. Keep a set of goals or accomplishments that you want to complete in set practice.
    -Plan out practice so there is some time for fun in it.

    Last, @RShah17 said it best. Become obsessed.

    Good luck to you and your team!
  6. pbhardw1

    pbhardw1 New Member

    @bparikh my team is in a very similar situation as yours when it comes to major changes, however, many of our dancers are returning members. I would heavily suggest listening to The Bhangra Podcast that you can find on the forum. People like Howie, Sid, and Umer, along with various other guests, definitely gave my co-captains and I great ideas about how to up our game, structure the year, improve our set, run practices efficiently, how to reach out to competitions, and many more. @RShah17 Made great points about focusing on standardization as well. Be sure to standardize footwork and arm placements with your co-captains early and have a warm up routine where you can easily pick out who looks different from everyone else. Pair inexperienced dancers with a veteran jodi if you can that can give the new dancer constant feedback, and positive reinforcement as they begin to improve. Finally, recording run throughs almost every practice is something my team will start doing this year in an attempt to quickly notice mistakes and change them before people commit certain steps to memory. Plus, you get to see how far you've come at the end of the year. Good luck with everything, you'll kill it!
    Howie Magz, sahrawat, Basim and 3 others like this.
  7. RKS

    RKS New Member

    Agree with everything above.

    Just like to add though, that building your stamina and fitness from the start of the season is equally as important. In an 8 min routine, you wont be able to give the judges form and nakhra if you are struggling to breathe. Advice we took on board from HK and Ram and has really helped us.

    Having a morning session dedicated to stamina training, focusing specially on your core and legs will help with maintaining a square form. This should allow you to spend more time on sync at your actual practices.

    As mentioned above, having newbies paired up with oldies at practice really helps clean up quicker with one-to-one attention. We also normally swap the pairings every hour or so into a clean up session. The newbies then have the responsibility of letting the team know if two oldies are teaching something slightly differently. This has helped us standardise the way the oldies are dancing and pick out the 1 percenters.

    Good luck with it mate!
    smehta313 and bparikh like this.

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