(That Have Nothing to Do with Technique)
Improving is something dancers can be obsessed with. You want to see consistent change towards a more technically and artistically proficient end. It can truly overwhelm you if you don’t see all the small changes you achieve along the way.
What if I told you this frustration and overwhelm is connected to your focus. You’re much too fixated on the dancing and not open enough to creating a life that supports your highest level of achievement.
If you want to quickly improve your dancing, here are 4 (non-dance) ways to do it.
1. Shift Your Mindset
Ask yourself the honest question: What energy am I bringing into the studio? If you’re working through a class, do you ask yourself what went well in each combination? Most dancers are just looking for what’s wrong or needs to be fixed. This is an exhausting approach!
Train yourself to find what went well in each combination and at the end of each class. Strengthen your belief that your goals are achievable and then back those goals up with work and action. This will help you develop a growth mindset.
Now, let’s also acknowledge that it’s not 100% about your energy. If the overall studio energy is negative or your teacher is abusive or toxic, that too will play into your mindset and ability to move forward as a dancer.
Is it time to find a new place to train? What are the options? Give yourself a chance to succeed by making sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are supportive and committed to helping you achieve your goals. If a full studio change isn’t possible, maybe you can add some private lessons to your schedule to help you stay motivated and inspired.
2. Fuel with Intention
The way you fuel your body will impact how you feel, dance, and recover. This has to do with your relationship to food and your actual food choices. Working with dancers for the last 7 years, it’s become abundantly clear to me that dancers must prioritize and improve their food relationship before making sports nutrition–focused food adjustments.
After you feel happy, balanced, and easy in your food relationship, you can begin to fuel with intention. Start by considering your current macronutrient balance.
- Are you incorporating protein, carbs, and fat throughout the day?
- Are you prioritizing whole-food sources of those macros?
- Are you allowing for balance with foods that are less nutrient dense? (This doesn’t make them bad, it just means they’re providing your body with energy but fewer nutrients.)
If you know you’re incorporating a good mix of macros each day and you’re not avoiding any, look at nutrients dancers are at risk of deficiency in. You need to pay special attention to iron and calcium.
Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can be stored in the body, so you don’t need daily consumption, but pay close attention to your vitamin D levels. Water-soluble vitamin C and B vitamins need to be consumed daily. Proactively have your vitamin levels checked as they can have a significant impact on energy, mood, and how you show up in the studio.
3. Strive Towards Balance
Your mind should not be on dancing and nothing but dancing all the time. Cultivate outside interests so you can have diverse experiences and make connections with non-dancers.
Seek clarity as to what balance actually means to you. It is different for each and every one of us. For some dancers, the nonstop schedule helps you manage stress or anxiety. However, some of you may be going nonstop because you like the rigid structure it creates for eating. If you only have thirty minutes for lunch, there’s no way you could overeat, right?
Self-reflecting and trusting in yourself is essential if you want to improve more quickly in dance.
4. Find Support
Too many dancers think they need to tough it out through struggles in dance. You might think, I just have to work harder or push harder in class. That will help me improve. This can be completely counterproductive, and sometimes it’s only with an outside perspective that you can really see and embrace that reality.
I hear so many reasons why dancers resist seeking out the support they need. I offer free twenty-minute coaching calls, and dancers have told me they don’t have time! If you aren’t able to make twenty minutes for yourself, then odds are you need a coach more than most.
Quickly improving your dancing by shifting the focus is going to allow you to move forward in dance with more ease. Dancers who work with me achieve increased confidence, land their first paid job, and transform their relationship to food and their bodies. That’s possible for you too.
If you want a way to start prioritizing your needs, discovering what balance can look like in your life, and improving your dancing quickly, join me for a free challenge. This Finding Balance Challenge will give you supported guidance to set yourself up with a life that brings you more joy and fulfillment so you can be more focused and quickly improve your dancing.
Sign up here: https://www.thewholedancer.com/challenge