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The Mindset of a Successful Dancer

Every day, I see students walk into the dance studio, ready to start or continue with their lessons. Sadly, most of them won’t make it past the beginner level, despite their passionate dreams of becoming something amazing. Why? Because somewhere along the journey, their mind let them down.

You see, we all have a certain routine that we fall into in our day-to-day lives, which resists change of any kind. We call this our comfort zone. Some people have very powerful comfort zones. They will feel uncomfortable, panic-y, or emotional when they attempt to leave the zone to try something new – like dancing, for instance.

Others however, have learned how to prepare their mind for the dancing journey. They seem to be willing to try anything, shrug off any mistake, in their quest towards their dreams. So, how can you adopt the mindset of a successful dancer?

Mental Housecleaning

I recently read an article about why some people stay poor while others get rich; the poor people have certain beliefs about money (ex. ‘money is the root of all evil’), that make them uncomfortable with having too much. Most of these people aren’t even aware they have these beliefs, because they haven’t tried to look for them.

Likewise, nearly every student I’ve taught has blurted out ‘I must be your worst student!’ at some point. If you feel you could never be a great dancer, you’ll be uncomfortable whenever you are told you are doing well – in other words, more success will actually drive you away!

I’ve written previously on countering these limiting beliefs, but the key is replacing the negative thought with an empowering one, then repeating it yourself regularly until your body accepts it as truth. For example, you might say, ‘I am capable of great dancing’, or ‘nobody, not even me, knows just how far I can go.’

A Dream that Drives You

Most of us started dancing with a vague idea at best of what we wanted to accomplish. Even those that DO know can have their idea evolve over time without them knowing. This causes you to loose track of why you’re dancing in the first place, especially if you hit a roadblock in your progress.

Spend some time seriously thinking about what you want to do, have, or be through your dance lessons. Make sure your dance dream fills you with excitement and anticipation – it’s the surest sign you’ve found your secret motivation. Now write it down and reconnect with it every day.

This dream now becomes the constant that drives you forward when others would give up. It motivates you through the missteps, and keeps you looking ahead instead of resting on your laurels when you succeed.

We’re homing in on the goal of developing the mindset of the dancers we love. Next week, we’ll complete the journey with three more mental tools. See you then!


About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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