Dancing is not only about being passionate and loving what you do; it’s also about working hard and putting in the time and energy required to push yourself to be better. Sometimes, we fall flat on our face and decide to stay there. Sometimes, we work harder than we ever have and only improve in the slightest ways. It’s easy to feel discouraged and even easier to discourage ourselves. Time and time again, we tell ourselves that “it’s never going to happen” or that it’s “always going to be a dream”. But, it doesn’t have to be. Instead of only looking at the giant end goal that we’ve set so far ahead of ourselves, let’s break it up into smaller, individual goals that will get us closer to what we want to achieve.
This can be helpful in any type of mission. But, dancers are something special. We have so much to accomplish and tend to feel the senses of accomplishment or defeat much stronger than the average person. Because of this, breaking up an overall goal will help to ease the anxiety and stress that dancers often cause themselves.
But, how do we break our goals up? Here’s how to do it:
1. Set Monthly Goals
Just as the current month ends, sit down and make a small (PRACTICAL) list of goals to accomplish within the next month. This way, you won’t overwhelm yourself with too much at once. Do this for each month.
2. One-Year Plan
Where do you want to be with your goals in a year? Don’t be too specific or you’ll feel unaccomplished by the time you get there. When a full year goes by, stop and look at how much you’ve accomplished already. Then, set out for your next One-Year plan. Your plan should be something that you could only accomplish within that year. For example, after joining your first dance class, you should not make your plan to be starring in the Royal Ballet as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. That’s just not going to happen. Instead, the goal should be to learn and improve as much as possible to exceed into the next level or levels of training. A one-year plan is only good if it’s realistic.
3. 5 Years From Now.
Similar to the one-year plan, a plan for 5 years ahead needs to be something you can actually accomplish in that time frame. Are you trying to land a spot in your studio’s Company? Are you trying to make it into a prestigious company that you’ve been eye-ing? Then, set out to do that. Five years gives you time to perfect your craft and improve your technique to the point that you may be able to study even further!