Passion for Dance Podcast - Ep. 132 - Overlearning

Ep. 132 – Overlearning

Episode 132: How to Use Your Habit Brain to Reduce the Chances of Devastating Mistakes


Have you ever trained your dancers for a competition, drilling a dance routine over and over, only to have the dancers make a big mistake onstage that came out of nowhere? It feels so frustrating when you think you’ve done all you can to help your dancers prepare, and then something happens and the routine is just not up to par onstage. The good news is there’s a mental skill you can strengthen to increase your dancers’ chance for success onstage.

In this episode, we’ll discuss motor programs, habit brains, and why overlearning is an important skill for dancers to develop. Listen in as I explain how you can help your dancers use their habit brain to be more successful this competition season!

“When we get past just learning it and go to overlearning it, then that skill goes from the complex thought part of the brain to the habit brain, and when it’s in your habit brain, that’s what’s gonna come out when you're stressed. If you’ve ever watched your dancers nail it in practice but they fall apart in times of stress, it’s possible their brain is overwhelmed during a competition so they resort to the autopilot response of the habit brain, which might be a bad habit you haven't had a chance to correct yet. Whatever habit you have drilled is our habit brain. That resource will be where you go in times of stress. So overlearning is helping you make the correct skills automatic and put them in the habit brain when you need them.”

– Dr Chelsea

Key Highlights –

  • [2m 29s] – My Coaching Competition Nightmare
  • [3m 57s] – Mental Skill: Overlearning
  • [4m 56s] – Motor Programs
  • [6m 53s] – Learning to Drive Metaphor
  • [8m 12s] – Why Overlearning is Important for Dancers
  • [10m 45s] – Performing Skills Out of Habit Onstage

Resources –

Sign up to my Email List: 

Leave a voice note with any questions or comments for the podcast: 

Take the podcast quiz:

The Relevé Dance Coach Membership is there to replenish your personal, mental, and emotional energy and help you create dancers who are mentally tough, resilient, and motivated. Join the Relevé Membership here:

Be sure to visit me on Instagram @dr.chelsea.pierotti for more mental skills advice for dancers

Word of mouth is still the best way the show can grow! If you have a dance friend out there who you think would benefit, please share this episode with them!


Podcast Quiz

Being a dance coach can seem daunting, but it’s easier when you know what to focus on. Take the quiz to pinpoint the areas where you could use a little clarity and leave with a curated podcast list so you know exactly where to focus your valuable time!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *