Sway, spin, dip, stretch…
There are so many qualities to admire about great dancers: how they carry themselves, how they express themselves, and how effortlessly they move. It requires great discipline and terrific habits to achieve any level of greatness – read below for some quintessential traits exhibited by all talented dancers…
1. Stay consistent
Consistency is the key to achieving anything – you must create a regular schedule for yourself and not abandon it at the first obstacle. Sometimes we get overzealous and create a schedule for ourselves that is unrealistic; at this point, we are doomed to fail. Remember, if you are consistent the results will come.
2. Maintain a positive outlook
Do you believe in the power of positivity? There are so many articles and books on the subject. If you haven’t bought into it yet, what are you waiting for? Did you know that the average person has about 50,000 to 70,000 individual thoughts per day and 80% of them are negative? That means that you have nearly 70,000 opportunities to think positive things. Positive thoughts generate positive results which feed positive life experiences.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously
The world works in funny ways. We can’t force things to happen. You can do the work but you have to let the chips fall where they may. The journey of life is the epic – the destination only gives a short-lived sense of satisfaction. Enjoy the journey every step of the way. Yes, it’s inevitable you will make mistakes, but it’s all bout how you learn from them. You will collide into your partner, forget your routine, not make the cut, reach a plateau, experience costume malfunctions, trip and fall. Depending on your personal experiences, the list never ends. It is so important to laugh at yourself as you go through any awkward stage. Interestingly enough, those silly setbacks will be a memorable part of your journey and success.
4. Doesn’t lose sight of the big picture
This is a mantra that all great dancers subconsciously practice. Consistent, positive dancers that don’t take themselves too seriously are able to focus on the big goals and tasks at hand. By doing this, no one obstacle trips you up, and you move forward without letting the little things escalate into big things. One of my favorite books, The 4 Agreements, reminds us “don’t take things personally.” Although this can be difficult in practice, great dancers are able to do this by keeping the big picture in mind and remembering that we are all a work in progress.
5. Put in regular with a teacher or coach
All of the great dancers I know have or had someone actively coaching them. Greatness requires a teacher, coach, or mentor- typically, it’s all 3. You need someone to train you, but you also need someone to encourage and reinforce that can you can do it. Embrace the people in your life that push you to do the things you fear the most. This support may not even come from your actual coach; it could come from a good friend or colleague. Needless to say, you must surround yourself with those who possess knowledge and wisdom in dance. At the end of the day, great dancers have great coaches.
6. Practice, practice, practice
All successful dancers spend a lot of time practicing. They are not afraid of the late nights or early mornings that build the foundation of hard work. “Practice makes permanent” is one of my favorite sayings. Repetition is vital – you must practice the same way you will dance out on the competition floor.
7. Have a plan of action
A dream written down with a date, becomes a goal broken down into steps, which morphs into a plan backed by action, finally turning your dreams into a reality.
Follow these tips and you will realize your dreams.
Live, love, dance, and enjoy!
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