Dancers are always working on ways to improve. Whether we are endlessly practicing a new skill, our dance technique or the choreography to our routine.
When something doesn't quite go the way we had planned, it's easy for us to fall into a negative mindset; “I can't do this,” “I'm never going to get it” or "I wish I could be more like that dancer."
Both our words and our thoughts have a huge impact on our confidence.
Confidence and self-care are one of those things we often don't take enough time for (or feel we don't have the time for). But taking care of ourselves, our bodies, health and mental well-being is so important to not only feel better about ourselves, but to also perform better in the long-term and to be able to encourage our dance friends to do the same.
Here are just 5 ways that can help us to work towards a positive mindset; to recognise when we have negative thoughts and how we can turn these into positive ones.
1. FIND GRATITUDE
When we’re struggling in class, rehearsals or life in general, reminding ourselves about all the things we already have can make a huge difference to our mindset.
On a daily basis, writing down what you are grateful for may not feel like it makes a huge impact. But as you make this a more regular part of your routine, you’ll begin to notice changes in yourself, in your perspective and in your overall attitude. This takes time and practice but eventually your mind will begin to move towards gratitude as its default and less toward the negative emotions.
"YOU BECOME WHAT YOU DO MOST OF THE TIME.” – TONY ROBBINS
2. SET GOALS
At Dance Union Studios, we encourage our dancers to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals to work towards higher skills.
The difference between those of us who get what we want and those who stay wishing are our actions. Knowing your direction and working towards something you really want will give your actions a sense of purpose and force you to stay resilient.
Something as simple as writing down your goals and the steps you will take to get there can help you to set those goals on fire and bring them to life!
"GREAT THINGS NEVER CAME FROM COMFORT ZONES." - NEIL STRAUSS
3. LEARN FROM MISTAKES
Every time we make a mistake, we grow from them to become the best dancers we can be. Setting yourself a challenging goal usually means that mistakes will be made along the way – this is okay!
It takes training to do anything better; the more you try, the more you grow!
Your teacher will always be there to support you. After all, the purpose of a dance class is for the teacher to help you dance to the best of your ability.
You are also training with other dancers at your level, so you can learn from each other’s mistakes - and successes, too!
Learn from your teammates’ errors as well as their achievements and don’t be afraid to let them learn from yours.
"BY LIFTING EACH OTHER UP, WE LIFT OURSELVES UP" - LAUREN FLESHMAN
4. CELEBRATE THE SMALL STEPS
Find ways to enjoy every step of the process, no matter how small you may think they are!
It could be anything from packing your dance bag well, to showing up for dance class, to getting a good nights' sleep after dance.
Each success, no matter how ordinary they may seem, can be celebrated because you made a good choice. The same goes for celebrating others' successes.
Compliment someone you look up to, rather than wishing you could be more like them.
Learn from those around you, rather than think that you're not as worthy as them.
Cheer your dance friends on when they get the skill they've been working on for so long.
Give them the gift of a smile - the most simple and uplifting gift of them all!
The more support and motivation you give others, the more it will return in your favour (plus it makes you feel so much better about yourself). It will also condition yourself to see the steps you can take to celebrate, even when the going gets tough!
"LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO CELEBRATE NICE MOMENTS" - JURGEN KLOPP
5. REMEMBER HOW FAR YOU'VE COME
Sometimes when we reach our goals, we immediately start to think of a new goal to set, without taking a moment to celebrate the goal we've just achieved!
If we don't celebrate the wins, this can cause us to slowly and subconsciously take a negative view on our achievements because we start to think about how long we still have to go, rather than look at how far we've come.
Achievements come in all shapes and sizes and they should be celebrated. Acknowledging your achievements, even in a simple way, increase positive emotions such as happiness, self-respect and confidence.
"TAKE PRIDE IN HOW FAR YOU'VE COME. HAVE FAITH IN HOW FAR YOU CAN GO. BUT DON'T FORGET TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY" - MICHAEL JOSEPHSON
At Dance Union Studios, we are committed to creating a passion for dance, as well as building strong, confident, happy dancers.
The best part about being a dancer at Dance Union Studios is that they're part of a supportive and fun dance community. We want our dancers to reach their own goals and we're here every step of the way to help our dancers set these goals and to see them through to the end.
We want our dancers to leave each class with the confidence to take on the world in whatever way they need to; whether this is conquering the big competitions or simply turning up to class with a smile on their face every day.