The “observer effect” in quantum physics refers to the fact that observing a phenomenon changes that phenomenon.

Likewise, observing your own dancing changes your dancing.

If you haven’t read the article “The Mystery of Expertise” then I recommend you check it out. There’s a section about Japanese poultry workers learning to tell apart male and female chicks, and likewise a section about British World War II plane spotters being trained to tell German bombers from British planes at a distance. In both cases, the “how”, the visual cues, were so subtle that the only effective technique for learning to make these distinctions was to make the attempt, and receive a “right-or-wrong” from the supervising instructor. And yet, effective it was.

Sometimes in your dance training, you know your movements are a little off, but you can’t quite explain how. It’s easy to feel lost if you aren’t harnessing your conscious mind to make a specific, definite tweak to your technique. And yet, so much of dance is held below our consciousness.  I’m not advocating throwing out the feedback of your peers, or ceasing to seek out qualified instructors with an eye for detail. But it is always worth your time to simply observe your own dancing, whether in a mirror or by filming your practice in short increments. Without a goal, simply turn your attention to your practice. Without striving for a particular outcome, continue to repeat the technique you’re learning. Mindfully. And have faith that below the level of your consciousness, your dance is sprouting and growing.