Health and ExerciseTechnique and Skill

Ballroom Dancer New Year Resolutions

Have you made dancing-related New Year’s Resolutions?  What are they?

I’m not a big fan of setting “New Year Resolutions” annually because I believe goals are something that we all should be constantly setting, evaluating, focusing on, working towards.

But I also realize that most likely few people actually think of resolutions surrounding their ballroom dancing.  So here are a few ideas to get  you started:

First:  resolve to set goals!

This seems redundant, setting a goal to set a goal.  But if you want to improve – in any area – setting specific goals helps you do so.  Think about some things you would like to accomplish this year.

Make SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based).

  • Specific – great goals are well-defined and focused.  Focus creates a powerful force (which I can attest to personally!)
  • Measurable – a goal without a measurable outcome is like a sports competition without a scoreboard.  How will you know when you’ve achieved the goal?
  • Attainable – dream big and aim for the stars but keep one foot firmly based in reality.  You need to set a goal that is big enough to excite you, but not so big that no one could possibly achieve it!
  • Relevant – achievable goals are based on current conditions and realities.  If your goal is to win the top spot in the world’s biggest professional ballroom competition, but you’ve never even taken a lesson, it’s probably not relevant.  Neither is the goal to win a competition if you have no desire of ever competing.
  • Time-based – goals and objectives just don’t get done when there’s no time frame tied to the goal-setting process.  Give yourself a deadline.

Some specific goals you can consider:

Ballroom dance goal #1:  Dance Better.

Dancing better isn’t just about dancing more (see #3), or taking more lessons (see #2), it’s about making a conscious decision to have better technique.  Focusing on what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.  Watching yourself in the mirror.  Practicing more so that you have more opportunity to do these things.  Focus on one technique or small area in which you want to improve, such as point your toe, straightening your leg, keeping your frame, and work on that one area until it improves.

Ballroom dance goal #2:  Take Lessons.

If you’re not taking lessons, it might be a good time to start.  If you are taking lessons, should you take more?  Or should you take them more seriously?  If you only take group lessons, should you add some private coaching sessions to get some one-on-one attention?  If you’re only taking private lessons, should you consider some group lessons so you can dance with a variety of people?  I’ve always heard people say that beginner dancers want to take intermediate courses; intermediate dancers want to take advanced courses; and advanced dancers want to take private lessons to focus on the beginner basics steps of the dance.  You can always learn!

Ballroom dance goal #3:  Dance More.

As with anything, practice might not make you “perfect”, but it definitely makes you better!  Dance more, and dance with more partners.  Spending a lot of time on the dance floor, especially when there are other couples dancing and you have to learn to maneuver, is beneficial.  And like anything physical, part of becoming better and smoother is muscle memory, which can only develop through increased practice.

Ballroom dance goal #4:  Learn or Add Something New.

In any type of learning situation, our brains reach a plateau that we must break through.  Often the best way to do so is to change things up a bit so that our brain isn’t being exposed to the same stimuli.  Maybe you’ve practiced, but never gone social dancing.  Maybe it’s time to enter an amateur competition.  Or maybe it’s time for a public performance.  Maybe it’s time to branch out into some different styles of dance.  Something different might renew your passion and energy for dancing.

 

 

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