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In Step With DC
Raising the Barre – Setting Goals for the Dance Year
Written by Erin Sforza on September 27, 2019

Happy September everyone! I hope that this dance year has had a great start and that everyone is ready for all of the fun on its way. We’re going to take a minute right now to talk about how we make the most out of our dance year and the biggest part of that is setting goals.

Your teachers will be working toward helping you grow as a dancer throughout the year, but setting goals for yourself will not only give you something to work toward throughout the year, but will give both you and your teachers a working plan with guideposts to keep track of your progress. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few guidelines.

  • Decide on what you would like to achieve by the end of the year. This can be one big overall goal (more flexibility, more ankle strength, etc.) or it could be several smaller ones (perfecting a step in each class that has challenged you, prepping to audition for Recital Company, etc.). Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars when thinking about what you would like to achieve!
  • Now that you have a “wish list” of goals, you can set up a time to talk to your teachers about what goals are attainable by the end of the year (or in your chosen time frame) and which goals may need to be extended into the summer or following year.
  • Once you decide on which goals are reasonably attainable, you can break them down into smaller steps. These steps will bring you closer to your overall goal with each achievement.
  • Make sure to celebrate each step that you take over the course of the year that gets you closer to your goal. You will be working hard and that deserves some acknowledgement! You could treat yourself to some extra relaxation time, or to some fun with friends, just make sure to reward yourself for your dedication.
  • Check in during the year. Pick a point in your plan where you re-evaluate both your progress and whether your original goal is still realistic and achievable. Sometimes you will surprise yourself and be ahead of your timeline, and sometimes you will need to extend your timeline. Remember that setbacks like injuries can happen, and at that point the goal is to work back to being 100% healthy BEFORE continuing to pursue your goals.
  • At the end of the year, no matter where you land in your plans, make sure to take some time to acknowledge all of your hard work and your achievements, especially when you find yourself out there on stage during recital. You earned every second of joy that comes from a recital performance and every second of applause you receive!

If you are looking for some direction for goal setting this dance year, make sure to get in touch with your teachers. They are always willing to help you grow and advance your dance education!

Erin Sforza

Erin is the Public Relations Coordinator for Dance Connection. She studied dance from childhood through college and continues to be an active member of the Long Island theatre community. Erin received a BA in both Musical Theatre Performance and History from the University of Tampa, and has utilized aspects of both degrees working in the hospitality industry, as an Event Coordinator for the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, and as the PR/Marketing Coordinator and Group Sales Coordinator for the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale. In addition to being a part of the Dance Connection staff, she is a Travel Consultant affiliated with MouseEarVacations.com and CruisingCo.com.