The start of the new school year is exciting, sure. Fresh notebooks, pretty pens, finding out if that guy you’ve had your eye on all summer is going to be in your second period math class…
But the start of the dance year is the real highlight as summer comes to a close.
It can get overwhelming, though—you want to excel in school and at dance, of course, but suddenly you’re swimming in homework (plus extra credit!) and AP classes and extra solo rehearsals.
If you’re a goal-oriented dancer—and we bet you are!—it can be easy to go into the new dance year declaring all kinds of big goals. That is a wonderful thing. But remember to balance the aspirational with the practical so you don’t burn out or set yourself up for a stressful year to come. Here are four dance year resolutions to consider making this year.
1. Pick a move—and vow to stick it. Whether it’s a triple pirouette (on both sides, even!), a side aerial, or a perfect plié, identify a move you’d love to master and promise to put in the extra time to make it happen this year. If you’ve been landing clean doubles for the past few years, go for the triple! If your grand jete is flawless, why not go for a switch center leap? Just don’t commit to going from a solid single pirouette to wanting to stick 32 fouettes. You’ll get there, one spot at a time!
2. Make a health-related goal that fits into your lifestyle. It may not be realistic to say you’re going to go fully vegan this year, after being a hardcore meat eater for the past 16 years. But small changes are the ones that add up to big benefits. Maybe try going for Meatless Mondays, or decide to only drink soda on the weekends. Other smart health-related goals to consider: drinking more water, adding an extra vegetable to your dinner plate every night, flossing your teeth every night, or foam rolling at least three times per week.
3. Make a “me time” promise. Sure, dance can be considered “me time,” but get more specific with it. What is something you want to do, not necessarily something you think you should do? Figure it out, then do that! “Me time” could mean setting aside 15 minutes at night to write in your journal or on your blog, it could mean reading a book or magazine, or it could mean watching an episode (or 12) of “Pretty Little Liars” every Sunday morning. It’s so important to make time to take care of yourself. Make yourself a priority!
4. Don’t make it all about winning. If you’re a competition dancer, it’s common to say your goal for this year is to win a title or convention scholarship. That’s great and we’re all for it! But make sure your goals aren’t just about winning. Think about other competition and convention highlights that would be exciting or challenging. Commit to standing somewhere in the convention room you don’t normally dance (think front row if you normally hide in the back, or see what it’s like on the side if you’re normally a front-and-center dancer) or taking a new-to-you class with a choreographer you’ve never tried. There’s no such thing as failing at a competition or convention, so go for something big.
Push your boundaries and reap the big benefits! Here’s to a great year!