Don’t Let Being a Great Dancer Go to Your Head!

How is your dance training going so far this year?

Well, I have an interesting story to tell you.

A few days ago, I was in a basic ballet class working on my technique. Since I had quite a bit more experience that many of the other dancers in class, I ended up being in the front most of the time.

At one point, we were doing a very simple step across-the-floor. When I finished, one of the other dancers (who was a real beginner) came up to me and said:

“You were using this foot instead of the other one. We were supposed to use this foot.”

I was a little surprised at first, apologized and said I was concentrating on getting my foot into first position as the instructor told us to do. (Actually, I was doing the step correctly and was just trying to be nice.)

I didn’t really think anything of it. But then the instructor came over to us and said,

“Well, Melanie, you dance professionally, don’t you?”

I said, “Yes.”

Then, the instructor told the other dancer that many dancers do steps differently.

Basically, in the nicest way possible, she let the other dancer know that she shouldn’t give corrections, and I knew what I was doing!

At that point, I realized that the instructor was sticking up for me, and she wasn’t going to have any negativity in class.

I have to say…

It was awesome!

Obviously, the other dancer stopped talking and went to the back of class – a little embarrassed.

So the point of this whole story is…

No matter how good you think you are, don’t let it go to your head!

You should not give corrections to another dancer unless you are an instructor, or your dance teacher has suggested you do so.

This also goes for giving directions when you are in rehearsals, doing a performance or at an audition.

Don’t do it!

This is not your job, and it’s unprofessional. It can also be super annoying to a fellow dancer, and you’ll create enemies. Plus, it can show your insecurities.

When you are in a dance class or rehearsal, you should be working on your own movements.

If you are a really good dancer, you will be so focused on your own technique that you won’t have time to critique others!

With this in mind, what dance technique are you going to focus on today?

For more dance tips, click here.


Turn Those Resolutions Into Dance Goals

Learn to be more flexibleBe a more successful dancer this year!

Now that 2014 is in full gear, what does that mean to you as a dancer?

Yes, you know all about resolutions and how most people break them by February each year. With this in mind, why not make goals instead of resolutions?

Here are a few tips to start your year off the right way and accomplish more with your dance career:

1. Define your future.

What do you really want to accomplish as a dancer?

It’s one thing to dream about being on Broadway, dancing in a film or television show or opening your own studio. It’s another thing to write down exactly what you want and actually take action on it. Your dreams may be big, but don’t let that stand in your way.

Figure out each step you need to take to get closer to your dream. Write down goals for this week, this month, this year, and the next five years.

Set timelines and try to finish each step by each deadline. You’ll be amazed at how your dreams will start to materialize!

2. Work hard.

Well, I hate to say it, but even if you think you’re a good dancer, there is always someone better out there. Being a professional dancer is a lot of work.

You need to take dance classes, practice and study your dance technique EVERY DAY. Just dancing around your house or with friends does not count.

Don’t kid yourself. If you really want to be a dancer, you’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of you. But if you reach your goals, it’s completely worth it!

3. Go for it!

With all the work involved in becoming a dancer, or opening your own studio, the process can be overwhelming. Plus, many naysayers will tell you that you can’t do it.

If you really want to have a career in dance, don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. Focus on your goals and stay positive!

Being a dancer is a lot of work, and you’ve got to expect many hours of frustration, physical and mental exhaustion, pain, and negativity from others. It’s a very difficult career, but if you really want to be part of it, all of your hard work will pay off!

Now, go dance and work to be one step closer to your dreams!

For more dance tips, click here.


Reduce Stress with a Simple Word

Well, the year is winding down, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Many people in the U.S. love this holiday because they get time off from work to spend with friends and family, eat lots of good food and get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping.

I love Thanksgiving because of all these reasons, but there’s more to it for me.

Usually, things are crazy at work this time of year, and I spend long hours in front of my computer.

By the time Thanksgiving comes around, I’m usually VERY ready for a break (you can probably relate!). Thanksgiving gives me a time to reflect — and what else? — be thankful.

This may sound hokey, but it really inspires me to move forward with my goals. I note all of the things I’m thankful for in my life, and the stress melts away.

In fact, this works so well that I use this process throughout the year.

Being Thankful Can Help You More Ways Than You Know.

When I start to feel overwhelmed and stressed, I stop and think of ten things I’m thankful for. It helps me focus on what is truly important in my life.

Try it. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your mindset changes.

Suddenly, the frustration in dance class, looming tax payments, big meetings, and more seem less intimidating.

Thanksgiving is a time to thank those in your life who have helped you become the person you are today. It’s also a time to reflect on what’s important in life and all of the things you can be thankful for – and this is a wonderful thing.

So wonderful, in fact, that I think it’s wise to think about Thanksgiving every day. Thank the people around you and be grateful for what you have whenever possible.

This process will help you focus on what’s truly important in your life, help reduce stress, and show others that you appreciate their kindness!

With this in mind, I’d like to thank you for reading this blog.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


10 Quick Tips for Overcoming Dancer Nerves

All dancers get nervous before a big audition, performance or advanced class. To help with this, here are…

10 Quick Tips for Overcoming Your Nerves

  1. Take some deep breathes (You hear this all the time, but it helps.)

  2. Focus on one thing you want to accomplish.

  3. Stretch extensively beforehand so your body is ready to go.

  4. Think positive thoughts so your mind is ready too.

  5. Look at this as a learning experience and just do the best you can.

  6. Stay away from negative people.

  7. Dedicate your performance to someone else.

  8. Have a grateful attitude (You are lucky to have this opportunity!)

  9. Picture yourself doing a great job before you start.

  10. Let it go! This is not the end of the world. It’s dance!

I’ll write more about these tips in the future, but this will give you a “cheat sheet” to review before you leave for your next big audition, performance or dance class!

Knock ’em dead!


Your Dance IS Improving!

Do you ever feel like you are practicing like crazy, but no matter how hard you work, you are not improving?

Well, as a fellow dancer, I can tell you this is normal. While you may not see improvements, others can. We tend to get so close to what we are doing, that we can’t see our technique getting better.

But don’t let this frustrate you. Instead, follow these simple guidelines to stay on track with your dance training.

1. Set class goals.

In addition to your overall, dance-career goals, it’s important to set small goals every time you take a class.

For example, figure out what you want to work on prior to stepping into the dance studio.

Then, focus on that one thing throughout class. It may be keeping your legs straight in a kick, putting your arms in the right place when you turn, holding your head up, etc.

This way, you can improve your dancing, one movement at a time.

2. Take notes.

When you finish a class, try to write down what you learned as soon as possible.

Did your instructor yell at you about something?

Did you see another dancer do something cool?

Did you fix your balance because you moved your body in a certain way?

Take notes, and then review them on a regular basis. It takes some effort, but you’ll be amazed at how much it will help you remember key points and improve your dancing overall.

3. Give yourself a break.

Did you have a terrible class, rehearsal or audition? Don’t worry. We all have good dance days and bad dance days.

Think about what you learned, write it down and then let go of the negativity. After all, you can take a brand new class tomorrow and do a better job.

Stay positive and watch what happens!

You are Improving!

If you take classes regularly and practice on your own, you are improving… even if you feel like you are getting worse!

Dance can be frustrating at times, but don’t let sweat, tears, pain, and negativity get in the way of the learning process.

Continue to work towards your goals. Then, you can truly enjoy the art of dance, improve your technique and become the dancer of your dreams!

For more help, see these dance tips.