Guest Blogger Rosina Andrews advises on setting smart goals for the new school year.
It’s time for ‘Back to school’ which only means one thing, back to dancing too! Time to set some new goals for the next school and dancing year. I always remember going back to school and being told to fill out the goal table in the back of our planners, but I can’t remember writing anything about my dance goals. Instead they were always right there in the front of my mind, I found it much easier to motivate myself to practise my stretching than I did improve my handwriting. (It’s still utterly terrible, I blame it on the fact my brain moves faster than my hand!)
For dance parents and young dancers alike, I think it is important to remember that dance is a little different to anything your child will be doing at school and it is invaluable to help your dancer reach their own personal goals. I don’t own a dance school, but my mother does and we’ve found in the last few years the comparing and contrasting of peer groups within classes has massively increased. Where at school the answer to a maths equation is one answer, right or wrong, in dance the answer doesn’t fall into just one category. Dance is creative and doesn’t follow rules, patterns or limits. What your dancer can do will be completely different to the dancer standing next to them; the examiner you had last year will like different things to the one that you have this year; the competition results this weekend will be completely different to next weekend. That’s what makes dance so awesome, or dare I say it absolute hell for the insecure elite dance level teenager and their desperate for success supportive yet emotionally attached parents. (That’s not a bad thing that’s what parents are for!) Therefore, I believe it is so important to nurture young dancers and personally help them find their path within dance. Setting realistic goals and having a dance teacher or mentor alongside to help re-inspire them when things go a little pear-shaped is completely priceless to any young dancer’s career. Sometimes we forget that when so many opportunities get thrown our way, the path gets a little foggy.
Now, I’m a little outspoken on my Facebook page. I’m rather passionate about changing how dance is perceived and taught in this country having lived in the USA. It seems that most of the rants I post get a crazy amount of likes and shares which makes me think it’s not only me that feels that way! (Be sure to give my Facebook page a like RosinaAndrewsDancerChoreographerTeacher I don’t really like to follow trends, I very much like to be ‘outside of the box’ and I worry that trends are taking over the dance industry faster than Autumn is currently setting in! Some of these dance trends are fabulous, but others I think are perhaps throwing our dancers off course from their goals. So, for my back to school blog post for the awesome dancexclusive, I wanted to share some ways that I think dancers can smash their goals, without being knocked off course by trends and ultimately learn how to #DanceSmarter.
I have a selection of products on the market that can help dancers move forward with their training but this blog post isn’t about me, if it however leads you to my website…. rosinaandrews.co.uk then that’s awesome!
Three steps to smashing your dance goals;
- Don’t expect things to happen overnight!
I am impatient but I have learnt that you cannot actually change the speed in which certain things happen. If you’re trying to get more flexible then you’re going to need at least three months of focused stretching to see the difference. If it’s a six pack you want (which doesn’t actually mean you have a strong core, but more about that another time) it will be about eight weeks until you see the difference. It’s so important to set a time frame for your goals and commit to them.
(If you are wanting to become more flexible and you feel a little lost, my husband Samuel Downing offers bespoke Safe Stretch plans for dancers. Head to my website rosinaandrews.co.uk/samuel-downing
IGNORE THE TREND: Don’t be knocked off course by comparing yourself to social media posts or Youtube clips…remember Maddie Ziegler didn’t wake up looking that awesome and Sophia Lucia didn’t just do 55 pirouettes one day! (In fact if you’re interested in learning about how Sophia Lucia managed to break the world record attempt there’s an exclusive interview in my book Pirouette Surgery®
- Break down what you actually need to do
A lot of dancers come to me with the goal ‘I want to win gold for my solo’ and I then ask them how and then they just sort of look at me! So I say; do you need to improve your performance skills, your extensions, your leaps, your turns, your flexibility, your confidence, work on nerves or stage fright, remember the routine, practise in the costume….the list goes on! It’s important to choose goals that you can develop bit by bit to then hit that ‘super goal’. Break down the path to accomplish your goals with small steps. This makes anything achievable.
IGNORE THE TREND: It seems like the only things you can post online are those that are perfect. Break the mould and post the works in progress, then as you see your steps take shape and make an improvement you can go back and see the difference. Document your progress, your friends and family will be even more proud of you as they see you improve!
- Be YOU!
It seems that every dancer has to do everything and surely that would be the case if every dancer had exactly the same goals and dreams but I’m pretty sure they don’t. In order to become exactly what you want to be you have to focus on what you’re passionate about. Yes, sometimes we have to do things that we don’t like but there are so many options now for young dancers it’s absolutely possible to focus your extra time on things that you’re really obsessive about.
IGNORE THE TREND: Parents’ purse strings will like this one too! You don’t have to do every single workshop, masterclass, convention or competition just because your friend is. Why spend £100 doing a hip hop workshop, if deep down you really don’t like hip hop and wish that day you had spent it in your garden perfecting that acrobatics move that you have in your solo. It’s about finding what’s best for your development, that as a teenager is trial and error, definitely, but once you’ve found something that you can’t live without, invest your time in your specific passion. It will 100% make you more successful in the long run!
|Rosina’s publication Pirouette Surgery® has been greatly received worldwide and Leap Surgery is due to be launched December 2017. These are now under the umbrella of the Rosina Andrews Method which incorporates Rosina’s ‘5 formulas’ to develop your teaching. She is an advocate of moving forward with the times as well as making sure correct importance is placed on technique, movement patterns and skill development with biomechanical principals.|
Rosina would like to think she is making technique cool again, but her students may not think she is that cool! Rosina holds teachers’ seminars to share her ideas as well as continuing to tour the country with Sam and their Dancer Development Day Masterclasses, regular classes and holiday intensives. She will be presenting her methods at some of the world’s largest dance conventions and collaborating with some huge social media influences in 2018, highlighting how social media can be used as a positive.
Rosina will be launching a young dancers’ mentoring scheme in the following year as she is passionate about the state of mental health within teenagers and graduate dancers as well as a bursary scheme to help those dancers less fortunate. There is one more thing too, but we can’t put it in print yet! All information can be found on Rosina’s website www.rosinaandrews.co.uk and on social media; Facebook: Rosina Andrews Dancer Choreographer Teacher and also on Twitter/Instagram: @rosiniballerini.