It’s a new year, meaning it’s time to set a new ballet goal. Here’s how to make the best ballet new year’s resolution to improve your dancing and how to keep it going throughout the year.
Pick the right resolution.
Many resolutions fail because they are not the correct resolution for you. This may be because you did not set a realistic plan on how to attain it or because it’s too vague. “Get better at ballet” is not a resolution – of course everyone wants to get better at ballet! What is a specific aspect of your dancing that you want to improve? Is it pirouettes, turn out, or even you just want to achieve a split on your left leg? Your resolution should be a specific goal, with a time interval that is achievable and relevant to you. If you are already struggling with a single pirouette, setting a goal of a triple pirouette is probably not right for you. Neither is setting a goal that all your friends are doing or that is too easy. An example of a good new year’s resolution is achieving a double pirouette in time for your exam in 3 months. Now, let’s figure out the proper plan to reach that goal.
Create your plan.
Start small and work up to your goal. With our previous example of a double pirouette, a good first step towards your goal is holding your retire passe balance on demi pointe for 1-2 seconds longer. Remember, a longer balance means a stronger pirouette position for more turns. Extending yourself too far to reach your goal is a recipe for frustration and failure. You want to create an environment where you can progress slowly and achieve small victories towards your goal. After achieving your little victories, don’t be afraid to give yourself a reward. Positive reinforcement works wonders for your confidence. However, don’t forget to expect setbacks and allow yourself to face those obstacles.
How to deal with setbacks.
Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. You’re in here for the long haul. Don’t get frustrated if it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere. Focus on the little victories and how much you have already accomplished towards your goal instead of zoning in on how much more you have to go. If you keep on hitting that roadblock, then it’s time to change up the plan. Be flexible, if your plan isn’t working, then try another way! If you keep on falling out of your pirouettes after 1.5 turns, then take some time to reassess. Maybe now that your balance is stronger, you have neglected your spot. Don’t give up!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It is definitely a good idea to let your ballet teacher know of your goal. They can help hold you accountable to your plan and offer advice when you get stuck. If you’re still hitting your roadblock, approach your teacher for advice. It is guaranteed that they may see something off in your technique that you are not finding during your own practice! More than anything, your teacher is there to help you improve and seeing you take initiative will only motivate your teacher to help you achieve your goal even more!
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