How to Progress as a Dancer
January 18th, 2017 by Roy Patterson
Dance is about progress. Progressing from one move to the next, achieving a new technique, dancing a new piece. The best dancers feel the flow of their personal progress and put in the hours to make sure that progress takes them to new heights.
And the key to that progress is setting great goals! Goals serve as your checkpoints for success. Ask yourself:
“Where am I now? In my dancing? In my fitness? In my personal life?”
The hardest part about setting goals is defining the smaller steps that will lead up to your big achievements.
So what will one of those big achievements look like? Is it:
- A particular move or technique you want to master
- Becoming friends with everyone in your dance class
- Becoming an assistant teacher at your dance studio
Once you’ve picked your goal, put it somewhere that you’ll see it over and over again. Maybe you write it down on a sticky note and put it on your desk, near your bed, or in your locker. Maybe you set an alarm on your phone to vibrate at a certain time every day to remind you about your goal. Maybe you talk to a friend who has the same goal and you work on it together!
The point here is to not let yourself forget about your goal, and to push yourself to achieve it. It’s easy to say “I want to make a change and improve!” but it can be hard to follow up with that statement when you’re worrying about a million other things.
So, instead of trying for one big life-changing improvement, find smaller steps you can take along the way!
If you’re trying to improve a technique, add a stretch to your warm-up routine and practice it every day.
If you’re trying to meet everyone in your class, start by just saying hi or asking about their day at your next class.
If your studio has an assistant teacher program, ask your teacher for a list of things he or she might want to see before you help with a class, and try to nail one thing a week until you get there!
In the long run, you’ll see that these small steps start to add up, and the key is to always stick with it and not give up! Practice makes perfect, and perseverance is the key to your personal progress.
Insight Into Action!
What is one dance goal you’ve set with your teacher? How are you staying accountable to achieving your goal this year?