Philosophies for a Successful School Year

Are you feeling the back-to-school excitement in the air? This is the perfect time of year to set new intentions and goals for your ballet training. So in addition to our new alumni’s fantastic advice in the video above, we’ve also cobbled together a few more tips and philosophies to help you have a productive and enjoyable year regardless of what studio or school you attend…

1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint

You may be eager to launch into the year with gusto – showing off all the skills you picked up over the summer, but remember to pace yourself. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re coming back from time off. Incremental, lasting improvements to your strength and technique are far more valuable than focusing on quick tricks, so aim for excellence for the long haul and be patient with yourself.

2. Challenge yourself to try new things and expand your artistry

Take this opportunity to up-level your artistry along with your technique. Keep an open mind when learning a dance style, or variation that doesn’t come naturally to you. Look for ways to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the art form by diving into dance history books and watching clips from different companies or choreographers on YouTube. While it may feel passive, soaking up more knowledge and seeing more dance can have a profound impact on your own abilities as a performer.

3. Comparison is the thief of joy – Stay focused on yourself!

Remember that you have your own unique strengths and challenges just like everyone else, and comparing yourself to your peers isn’t going to help you succeed. Focus on your own training and not only will you have better results, but you’ll be able to maintain a more positive outlook as you improve, and it will make daily ballet classes a lot more fun!

4. Injuries can happen, but how you handle them can be a game changer

While injuries can be scary, it’s important to acknowledge and deal with them, rather than work through them and just hope they go away… They usually don’t and you could end up making things worse. Be sure to take care of your own body and rest when it’s needed. Communicate with your teachers and parents to get the care you need, and try to keep things in perspective. Many professional dancers have gone through serious injuries only to come back stronger, so try your best to learn from any setbacks you may not be expecting.

5. The process is just as valuable as the end result, so try to stay present through it all and enjoy it.

SAB faculty member Suki Schorer often reminds students that “your life is the day to day process of becoming a dancer. Enjoy the process!” In that same vein, savor the everyday moments you have in class just as much as you savor a special performance or achieving a goal, because it’s actually those small moments that add up to a rich and beautiful experience.

Wishing everyone a joyful and productive new school year!

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