5 habits of successful competition dancers.

Does your dancer know these 5 habits of successful competition dancers?

As crazy dance mommas, we do everything we possibly can to make sure our dancers are prepared for competition day. Take them to practice, organize hair, make-up, costume, pack snacks, pack more snacks, we do it all.  BUT is there something we are missing, something that could have far more impact than even the most impressive snack container?  Turns out, maybe there is. After interviewing ten title-winning young competition dancers, there are a few habits that they all have in common.  These are the 5 habits of successful competition dancers.

1. They know how to set and achieve their goals

All the dancers I spoke to have a really good grasp of goal setting for dancers.  This goes far beyond just writing down a list of goals, these kids all understood how to break down goals, how to make them measurable, attainable and how to make deadlines for achieving the goal.  Their teachers have all taken them through guided goal setting for dancers and the results speak for themselves.

2. They have good side-stage routines

The moments just before a dancer steps on stage can make or break a performance. All the dancers I spoke to talked at length about their side-stage routines, how they overcome nerves, how they block our distractions and the little rituals they use to keep themselves calm and focussed ready to bring their A-game every time they step on stage

3.They understand how to align their intentions with their actions

 This is a really difficult and sometimes unpleasant thing for young dancers to grasp. Basically, it involves dancers understanding that what they say they want and the things they do to get there, don’t always add up.  For example, they may say they want to improve their flexibility but when they step back and look at how they are actually using their time, they find that a good chunk of it is spent on social media, looking at flexibility tricks rather than working on it.  

4.They understand failure

This may seem obvious but it really isn’t. All of the top achieving dancers I spoke to understood what failure really means, that it is just a stepping stone on the way to success.  The way that dancers process failure can have an enormous impact on their progress.  When they start to fear failure it can make them less likely to want to strive beyond their comfort zone.  Once this happens, dancers are immediately limited, and getting the results they deserve becomes less and less likely.

5. They understand the power of reflection

9/10 dancers, I spoke to have been trained in how to reflect on their dance competition experience and the tenth has a parent who is a performance psychologist.  Reflection is the way that dancers can process and learn from their competition experience.  It is an incredibly powerful tool but unless dancers are properly trained in how to use it, competition weekends just get swept under the rug as a new week and a new schedule takes over.  BUT, if you want different results you have to do something different!  You have to look at right and build and that and look at what went wrong and work to improve it.  Dismissing bad competition results as bad luck or as a result of a bad judge may make dancers feel better in the moment but do little to change the results next time.

How can I help?

The Success Mindset Journal for dancers was developed to give all dancers access to the kind of mindset training that title-winning dancers are receiving.  Even if your dancer is not being taught these skills in the studio and even if you yourself aren’t a performance psychologist, it doesn’t mean that your dancer can’t benefit from these powerful techniques.  The Journal is a complete mindset reset and gives competitive young dancers the tools they need to get the results they want. Find out more here.



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