I’ve been teaching students for over 25 years and I've found that every student always needs to have a goal. Without them, things go stale and enthusiasm and progress tend to dwindle. Why? Because we all need to be challenged, it keeps life interesting and keeps us interested in what we’re doing. Dancing is an art form, there really is no end to the learning experience… Da Vinci never stopped striving for perfection.
It never ceases to amaze me how much more I can learn about dancing. Just as I think I’ve got a handle on some particular aspect, someone comes along and shares information with me that totally blows my mind and sets a spark alight that gives me the drive for continual personal development, both as a teacher and a dancer. Students need this as well.
Here are some tips that will ensure you maintain that motivation and excitement about your dance progress.
1. Always set new goals
Short-term goals can be preparing for something special for that next match competition or adding new dances to your program. Medium-term goals could be preparing for your next exam, performing a solo or participating in a Showcase. Long-term goals could involve attending a national or international DOR, or preparing for a final exam.
2. Exchange lessons!
Your teacher is there for you, to teach you and guide you towards your goals, but that doesn’t mean they know everything you might need. Exchange lessons can help give you a different perspective on certain techniques or concepts. Try some styling lessons, or enrol in a small number of lessons with another instructor on a dance you don’t currently learn.
3. Coaching sessions and dance camps
Through your Area Chairperson, your studios have the means of providing you with some of the best professionals in our organisation, if not, the best in the dance industry. These coaches and travelling consultants can really boost your learning through one-on-one coaching sessions, designed to give you and your teacher things to work on for months to come. Dance camps are another way of getting that specialised instruction in a group situation, all the while having your teacher there as your partner.
And most importantly...
Remember that learning never stops in any area of life and dancing is no different. So always push yourself, ask questions, take risks, step out of your comfort zone and you will reap the benefits on the dance floor!