So we’re in a brand new year. It’s impossible to know what the year has in store, but we can and should plan our best approach so that we can make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

Many people make resolutions when the year ticks over a new number, but that’s not really necessary. However, some kind of planning is a great idea. It keeps you focused, positive and energized as you look forward. So what are some of the things you can plan as a dancer?

A lot will depend on your level of dance experience and your involvement in the dance community. Are you a competitor? You’ll have different goals than a social dancer. Are you at a high level of competition? You’ll have different goals again. Want to become a better dancer simply to achieve other objectives such as your social relationships or fitness level? That’s great too! Each of those circumstances will lead to slightly different goals.

First Step: The Big Picture

The very first step is to decide on the big picture goal you have for the year. Picture yourself approaching the end of the year. What would you like to say you’ve accomplished? That becomes your primary goal. All the other goals fall underneath that in decreasing priority.

As you plan your big picture goal, make sure it’s one that will be hard to achieve but still possible. That makes you stretch yourself to new levels of accomplishment. If your goal is too easy, you’ll be bored or will reach it too soon and have nothing else to work towards. Set a very specific, measurable definition. It won’t help to set a vague goal like “become a better dancer.” Instead, you might set a goal of becoming the BC champion in Adult Latin. Or reaching a specific level in the national championships.

If you’re looking for a competition partner, you can be specific about the qualities you want in your new partner. It will help you focus and make it more likely that you’ll reach that goal.

Perhaps there’s a dance you’ve been struggling with. You could set a goal to be placed at a certain level in that specific dance.

Goals for social dancers

If you’re a social dancer, goals can also be important. Perhaps you are struggling with putting groups of steps together. You might set a goal that you’ll be able to dance the Waltz around the floor for an entire dance without getting stuck trying to pick the next step pattern.

Maybe you’re having challenges leading a particular step. You can set a goal to consistently have a variety of partners follow you in that step without missing the lead.

Many dancers struggle with musicality. You can set a goal to be on time for an entire dance or an entire group of dances. That’s one of the most important elements of being a ballroom dancer!

Ladies who routinely find themselves slightly ahead of their partner could set a goal to wait for the lead in every dance, so that by the end of the year you are always connected.

If you’re struggling with ping-pong connection, you can set a goal to be connected at all times. Or you could set a goal to rise and lower together with your partner so you no longer have a washboard effect when you dance.

There are many goals even for social dancers.

Breaking it down

Once you’ve set your big picture goal, you need to break it down into multiple smaller goals so that it doesn’t become one massive objective. No matter how big the goal, it can be easily achieved when you chop it into small parts that can be individually accomplished. Not only will you arrive at the end with less effort, but you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing how you are winning all the way through your journey.

Author George Pytlik

Before turning pro, George achieved impressive results as an amateur competitor, holding the Senior (30+) Latin championship in BC, Canada for 7 consecutive years with his wife Wendy. The couple twice achieved a top-3 Canadian ranking in Senior Latin as well as a 3rd place Canadian ranking in 30+ Ten Dance. Today, George and Wendy are professional teachers with a vision of growing a strong dance community in Delta near Vancouver, BC.

More posts by George Pytlik

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