In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I can't stop looking at myself in the mirror during class! My teachers are always calling me out for "mirror face." How can I break the habit?
"Mirror face" can be such a difficult habit to break. But there are a few tricks that might make the process easier.
As silly as this sounds, when you're taking class, pretend you're onstage. There's no mirror when you're performing, and bringing that mind-set to class will help you stop relying on your reflection. Picture yourself in a beautiful costume and headpiece; envision an audience watching you.
Remember, too, that looking in the mirror isn't the only way to determine if your lines are good. When you hit a strong technical position, focus on the feel of what your muscles are doing. The more you can become aware of how steps should feel, rather than look, the less reliant you'll be on the mirror for self-correction.
And whenever you can, dance facing away from the mirror—that's the simplest way to break the "mirror face" habit. It definitely feels weird at first, but eventually you'll learn to trust yourself without consulting your mirror doppelganger.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.