Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year's Resolutions With a Twist

Last Saturday I started off some of my dance classes by giving my students a writing assignment. It sounds like I'm an English teacher wanna-be, but they only had to write 2 sentences and it was about dance. They made New Year's dance resolutions! The instructions were: pick something (in ballet) that you want to achieve or improve during the rest of this dance year, then write a step that you're going to take to achieve that goal. I want to share some of the resolutions anonymously to maybe spark some ideas for others :)

  • Get both of my splits all the way down, make my leaps flat (Quite a few had to do with splits)
  • Improve my pirouettes
  • Have more foot and ankle flexibility for pointe
  • Going along with foot flexibility: point my toes more (on flat)
  • Get a triple pirouette
  • Improve my general flexibility and technique
  • Practice more outside of class
Some of the steps to achieve these goals:
  • Practice splits everyday
  • Stretch my feet at home
  • Do foot and ankle strengthening exercises
  • Stretch everyday
Some people argue that we don't need goals to live a happy and successful life. I understand that because in order to achieve inner peace, you have to be in the present moment. Making goals is all about the future, and the future does not exist. All that exists is right now.

On the other hand, with dance or any other sport specifically, it helps to do both. With each dance class I step into, I try to be fully present and focused on what I am doing. Putting all of your attention and energy towards your dancing results in dancing from the heart. This is something we all want to share with an audience. That is why we dance.

When it comes to technique, goals are essential to reaching the next level. There is always something new to be learned, so think about one thing that you want to learn and master, and figure out the first step towards doing that. Even if you have learned all of the steps ever invented, there is always something you can improve. No one is perfect, so goals for technique are always going to help you become stronger.

How do you keep a dance resolution and remember it every time you go into class? Just like any other New Year's resolution; think about it and practice it everyday. It may take some will power to get started, but it is actually easier to do something everyday rather than once in a while. When you practice everyday it becomes a habit, and good habits are always beneficial. Something to help keep you on track is constant reminders. Write your resolution down and place it where you will see it every day, or set up a daily reminder on your phone. Training your mind is like training your body, it takes hard work and consistency, but it will definitely pay off.

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