What a great dancer looks like and how they perform will depend on several factors. You may have dreams of being the next Anna Pavlova, you might well have some limitations but you’re most prominent goal is likely to improve your dancing.
For some, development and growth as a dancer happen quickly, for others more slowly. Here are the mindsets and habits that you need to cultivate if you want to become a better dancer.
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Change
It can be comforting to stay within your bubble and do the same things over and over again. You may work tirelessly on a particular move or stick to a particular style of dance because you are good at them.
But that can be detrimental in some ways. Introducing variety and not being afraid to try new dance challenges keeps you more creative and focused and develops your skill in different ways.
2. Watch Dance Shows
If you’re an author, you should read books. If you’re an actor, you should watch dramas. If you want to be the best dancer, you need to sit in the audience once in a while and see what your exceptional peers are doing. As you’re dancing skills develop, viewing performances from the stalls can help you develop a critical eye and learn new things.
3. Learn from Others
While it can seem like it sometimes, dancing is not a solitary pursuit. We are often defined by the people around us and networking with fellow artists – getting to know them and learning from them – can be really helpful as you develop your dancing career.
That shouldn’t just include dancers but choreographers and directors too. There’s always something new to learn and your community is the biggest asset you have for becoming a better dancer.
4. Look After Your Health
Most dancers know it’s important to be focused on healthy eating and realise having the wrong diet can impact their ability. But it’s also important to look after your health in other ways. Injuries are not uncommon in the dance world and accessing the right healthcare is critical, especially if you dance professionally. Outside of normal medical services, for dancers, this might also include regular visits to a physiotherapist or a local podiatrist.
5. Rest and Recovery
Dancing is stressful on the body and if you do too much you can cause a serious injury. Rest and recovery are important as they are in athletics and other sporting pursuits. Rest not only gives you the chance to recharge your batteries but can help damaged muscles and ligaments recover.
Rest is also vital for mental health and having some me time or spending the day with your family or friends is equally important. It gives you the chance to step away and relax rather than constantly think about dance routines and movements. It means you go back to the studio with renewed energy and awareness.
6. Good Equipment
Finally, whether dance shoes or resistance bands or warmup wear, it’s important to invest in good quality equipment. It’s not going to turn you into the world’s best dancer, but it will make life more comfortable if you invest in the best equipment, you can. Regularly review your kit and replace items if they are getting worn out.