itting a plateau in your dance training can be frustrating (regardless of how short or long you’ve danced!). The good news is that a dance plateau is typically temporary and that you can break through this slump. So take your dancing to the next level by making these six simple but super-powerful adjustments to the way you practice dance:
1. Kick Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone
It may seem obvious, but if you want to excel, you’ve got to stop focusing on what you already do well. Take on a new dance style, work with a new teacher or place yourself in situations where you might not be the best in class. Struggling through challenges is how you’ll grow.
2. Give Mistakes a Big, Warm Hug
When you run toward challenges, you also have to accept that sometimes you’re going to fail … and fail hard. To stop making mistakes, work beyond your limits and fail a lot. You’ll eventually figure out how to fix what’s giving you trouble.
3. Rub Elbows With Straight-Shooters
During a dance plateau, you need teachers and mentors who don’t sugarcoat with white lies but give honest feedback. Accepting constructive criticism from people who will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear, isn’t easy but it helps you focus on what still needs work.
4. Practice With Purpose
Dancers who put in the hours are always more successful than those who don’t, but just repeating skills over and over isn’t enough. Instead, set goals for yourself each time you set foot in the dance studio, focusing hard on specific things you’ll work on that day.
5. Say Hello Again to Those Beginner Moves
Yes, pushing yourself beyond your limits can break through a plateau but, whether your goal is a higher leg extension, a better arabesque or pirouette perfection, important skills are improved when you break them down into elements and practice the basics. Try taking a beginner or lower level dance class with your goals in mind.
6. Keep Your Focus Farsighted
It’s easy to get trapped on a plateau when your focus is on comparing yourself to dancers next to you or focusing on that “stuck” feeling. Choose to think about the big picture. Look back at the things that were once hard that you’ve already overcome and looked far enough forward to realize that this plateau is just a bump in a long road. Good dancing is fueled by the right attitude!