Ok, lets be real here. When I designed The Dancer Diary it was originally a tool for my own students. There was no thought of expanding outside my own dance school, I just knew the benefit of writing things down and I wanted to give my students something nice to write those "things" down in!
The Dancer Diary is suitable for all school age dancers and it doesn't matter what stage of your journey you are at because if used consistently, YOU WILL see the difference. So will your teachers, who I promise you will be THRILLED that you are finally finding a way to store all that vital detail that they are giving you each and every lesson!
Quotes & Affirmations:
When you open the diary (vowing to use your best handwriting for at least the first 3 entries) take a moment to say to yourself the quote or any affirmations that you find within it along the way. I recommend saying them to yourself a couple of times whenever you open it to make sure you let it sink in. Every dancer knows, repetition is KEY! You won't feel bombarded with things to fill out because the diary has been designed not to overwhelm you and to be sustainable, which it wouldn't be if you had to fill out giant sections each day.
Set Your Goals:
Once you have filled in your personal details on the "About Me" page, it's time to reflect about some things you have achieved (no matter how big or small) and set some goals and intentions for the year. Writing these things down and revisiting them over the year will help to keep you on track and remind you of what you want to achieve.
Notes & Corrections:
Obviously, the main reason for purchasing this diary is to give you somewhere to write down your notes and corrections from class to help you reach some smashing results. The space is small for a reason! Write down 3 KEY ELEMENTS from the class that you can take away with you to think about for next lesson. What you don't need to do is write down every single thing you did within the hour. Remember, the key here is to not get OVERWHELMED with information. But, what 3 things really stood out as important to you? Write them in as soon as you possibly can. I HIGHLY recommend keeping your diary in your dance bag at all times so you can whip it out and write things down as they come to you. If you have a private lesson scheduled, take it in with you. Now of course you have lots of things going on in your life and you probably don't have lots of free time. Time management is very important for young dancers, in fact, that is a whole other blog post right there! But what I suggest is you revisit your notes at least twice. The first time to actually do some practice and work on the suggestions or corrections you have received. The second time would be just before your next class as a refresher, so it's at the forefront of your mind and ready to be put in to practice. You will be stronger for it, more mentally prepared and impressively motivated for your next set of corrections!
Show, Exams & Checklists:
These sections give you some responsibility for your training and your schedule. You will feel incredibly calm and motivated if you are the one with a check list for your dance exam who arrives on time with absolutely EVERYTHING that you need. You don't want to be that dancer begging everyone for a hair net because you forgot yours, or the one who got the wrong arrival time and now has no spare time for a warm up and is literally shoving shoes on as the examiner rings the bell from hell...
Equally at a show or competition if you take part in them, writing down checklists and filling out the costume pages will make you the organised King or Queen that is the envy of all your chaotic friends. While they are crying over a lost jazz shoe, you are casually sitting in second on the floor running through your notes before you go on. Epic.
End of Term Reflections:
I am a real believer in reflecting in a positive way at certain intervals throughout the year. The Dancer Diary offers space for this at the end of every 6 weeks and at the end of the diary year. (Remember it is undated so you can start at any time!) Take 10 minutes on these and be honest with yourself. There is no point in saying your commitment was good this year if you missed classes every other week and dropped a few from your timetable. You can also think about what your goals are for the next year as they will be very individual. Not every dancer wants to make a career in the industry, but dance offers so much more than it may appear in the form of fitness, discipline, team work, respect, confidence, self motivation and much, much more. Think about what dance means to you and how you can use it to be the best version of you. Then, when you have finished for the year, keep the diary safe. Those old notes will come to good use again in the future. Revisit them from time to time - Remember that even the most advanced and highly skilled dancers will still be working on the basics.
Until next time
- Laura xxx