Mar 17, 2010

Setting Goals

For a dancer, setting goals can be the best way to help you reach your full potential. With a goal, we have something to look forward to and strive to reach. I know how much it has helped me in my career and now I'll pass a few secrets onto you all!
Here are things you'll need to remember about setting goals for yourself:

  1. Always be realistic. You can't expect to perfect your quadruple pirouette by the end of the week because it physically cannot happen! (Unless you're extremely close) When setting a goal look at the short-term and long term. (Short-term being one week to two months and long-term being three months and up) In the short-term, think of things like: Stretch for twenty minuets each night, land three clean triples by the end of the week, be more aware of the position my fingers are in etc. etc. When thinking in long-term, set goals like: Have an arabesque around 100 degrees, do triples on command, improve turnout, keep my arms straighter or have pointed feet when walking.
  2. Set a date. Give yourself a time limit on how long you have to accomplish that goal. When deciding how long your limit will be, refer to rule #1.
  3. Have a good mental image. Picture what you want to look like when your "goal clock" has run out and DO THAT! The more you make yourself look or dance like your "accomplished self" the more you will actually look like that person.
  4. Stay positive! Never give up on your goals, it doesn't help anything. Even the moments when you're more frustrated than ever, do NOT cave in! There have been plenty of moments where I've thought, "Oh it's fine, I don't need to worry about it." Not true! In ballet every little detail matters. Rule #3 should help tremendously with this particular rule. Whenever you feel like disregarding your goal, just think of how great you'll feel after you've improved.
And if you don't reach your goal in time, that's fine! Give yourself a little extra time and keep going. Remember, everyone works at a different pace, you may not accomplish your goal at the same time as the next person.

Setting goals has helped me accomplish so much. I improved my turnout, learned to walk more like a ballerina than an elephant, added some elegance to my arm movements and am incredibly close to having triples on command. And not to be mistaken, it all took a LOT of work!
I don't live by this saying but occasionally it applies: It's not worth gaining if you don't have to fight for it. (Or something along those lines!)

No comments:

Post a Comment