Becoming a ‘better’ dancer

What does it mean to become a ‘better’ dancer? 

The answer is different for every dancer. 

To you, ‘better’ might mean landing your triple pirouette. Perhaps you aspire to win an award at this year’s YAGP compet. What about scoring that company contract or performing at the David H. Koch Theater?  Maybe you dream of being admitted to a top college program like Juilliard, Boston Conservatory, or Oklahoma City University.  

Or your concept of becoming ‘better’ may be less finite. Do you want to become more in tune with your body, the music, and the space around you? Can you work to embrace challenge, grow stronger, and apply constructive feedback? What will make you feel more secure and confident in your dancing? How might you find deeper meaning in your movement – your art form?

In each of these cases, becoming a ‘better’ dancer’ requires a lot of work—and in many different areas. As cheesy as it sounds, think of your dancing self as a flower bud. A plant needs soil, sunlight, and water to grow and flourish. Likewise, a dancer needs continuous technical training, insight and inspiration, and a healthy support system in order to develop as an artist.  

And let’s get one thing straight…Dance is unlike any other physical activity. There is no PR (personal record), perfect ‘10,’ or gold medal. There is no ‘finish line.’ Because dance is a physical performing art, there is always ‘better’—and you can view it as either a blessing or a curse. Let’s strive for the former! Think of it this way…Knowing you’ll never actually achieve perfection (because it doesn’t exist) is both exciting and liberating. 

What a gift to get to keep honing your craft, learning, and growing on your artistic journey. 

The joy is in the practice.

But just because the ‘end’ is seemingly out of reach doesn’t mean there aren’t tangible steps to get you closer to your dancing goals. This month we’re sharing our top four keys to becoming a ‘better’ dancer. And—**spoiler alert—most of this journey happens outside the studio. Yep, you read that right. Technique, stamina, flexibility, and performance quality are incredibly important—don’t get us wrong! But they’re only part of the puzzle. 

Eager to learn more? Check back every Monday as we share a new ‘key’ to help you become a better dancer. 

Photo: Kaeli Ware by Rachel Neville

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