Being a dancer requires a significant amount of discipline and motivation. In dance, improvement and growth happen over YEARS! Even professional dancers warm up at the ballet barre performing many of the same exercises they did as beginners. Being “perfect” is impossible. There is ALWAYS something to improve on. Goal setting can help dancers to celebrate their victories (no matter how small!) and redefine setbacks. It allows dancers to take an active role in their training and growth.
Our faculty at Mellado Dance Elite is extremely dedicated to our dancers’ success. We provide ALL of our dancers with access to quality information and a warm, welcoming environment for learning. Over the years, we have noticed that a dancer’s intrinsic motivation is key to their growth. How driven are they? Are they attending dance class because THEY love it? The dancers that are invested in their time at the studio are going to improve at a much faster pace.
Starting a practice of goal setting at a young age can nurture a dancer’s intrinsic motivation. This is especially important for our dancers that want to continue dancing beyond their years at Mellado Dance Elite. In the professional world, they may not always receive regular feedback or be in a supportive environment like our studio. The motivation to keep taking class and working hard will have to come from within!
We have broken down several strategies to start goal setting with your dancer. Another perk of goal setting is that is doesn’t just translate to dance- it is a valuable skill that can be applied to any area of their life. Win, win!
- Start small. Setting and reaching a small goal can be a HUGE motivator. Goal setting takes practice. Set a small goal and get a win under your belt. Some ideas:
-Practice for 10 minutes a day for a week.
-Start a practice of journaling after dance class for 5 minutes on the drive home.
-Master a pivot turn.
- Follow your child’s lead. This is about them. Ask questions that help them to plan- but let them take charge. Some questions to get the ball rolling:
– What are they trying to learn or accomplish?
– Why is that important to them?
– How are they going to reach that goal?
– What do they need from you?
- Model goal setting. Involve your child in YOUR goal setting. Let them see how you break a big goal down into smaller steps. Are there any projects your family could work on together?
- Celebrate their effort not just the outcome. Even more important than reaching their goals is the discipline they learn through the process of working towards them. Remind them of how proud you are when you see them sticking to their plan and putting in the work!
- Talk about who else can help. Their dance teachers at Mellado Dance Elite and their peers in class can be valuable resource. Could they perform a certain step for a friend or teacher and ask for feedback? Could they arrange a standing time to get together with a classmate and review choreography? Dancers can learn so much from watching each other! Involving others builds in accountability.
- Set a timeline. When will you check in on their progress? How long do they think it will take to reach their goal? Goal setting is a work in progress. Build in time to make changes, tweak the plan, and once goals have been reached… determine NEW ones!
Ready to help your dancer set some goals? Keep your first goal simple and the time frame short. Reaching that first goal feels GOOD! They will be anxious to set another and before long it will be a lifelong habit.
Remember, we are here to help! We value all of our dancers as individuals and are available to provide guidance and support in addition to dance training. Watching our dancers improve and grow year after year is the highlight of what we do.