Practice, Practice, Practice
Let’s begin with the question “Am I really serious about my dance goals?” If yes, than I need to practice regularly – preferably daily – right? Yet as many of us know, easier said than done – especially when we have busy lives, other commitments, and make our living outside the dance world.
So how do I motivate myself to practice? I’m learning to apply several “tricks” – some of which I picked up from my professional life and others that I’m learning as I go.
Motivational tricks right now:
- Remind myself of my numerous dance goals. This trick works for me because I can get bored easily. Since I have several different goals, on any given day, I can either practice a showcase routine, focus on technique for a particular dance or work on using my whole body for greater expressiveness.
- When I’m home (I travel extensively for business), schedule mini-practices throughout my workday – sort of bouncing back and forth between work and practicing.
- Sometimes schedule a larger block of time for practice, with built in mini-rewards like playing a video game.
- Watch dance videos – especially ones that focus on a particular technique I may be struggling with
- Since I have, like most of us, favorite dances, I might watch videos of professional dancers for inspiration – especially useful when I’m working on technique.
- When I do travel (and this is probably the biggest challenge to practicing), work in mini-practices that focus on technique I can do in a hotel room. For example, I might work on arm movements.
- Begin by doing some other physical activity to get me moving first – I’m finding that doing a little yoga or ballet barre technique gets me into the right headspace to practice.
And finally, just writing about dance – like this post – gets me excited and motivated.