Do you ever struggle with dance and just think “Man, maybe I’m just terrible at dancing.” ?
Dancers with this fixed mindset end up practicing or trying less. As a result, they do not improve as quickly or as much as they wanted. They might even stop dancing all together because of these feelings of defeat.
These thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies. We see ourselves as being unable to grow, which makes us stop growing.
How can we break out of this way of thinking?
Carol Dweck is the leading expert of mindset research. She describes two types of mindsets: “fixed” and “growth” mindsets.
Obviously, it’s advantageous to practice growth mindset. But not all of us are naturally growth-minded.
Read on to see if your dance growth is suffering from a fixed mindset, and how to adopt a more growth-minded attitude so you can reach your full potential as a dancer.
Are You A Fixed-Minded Dancer?
1. You avoid challenges
An example of this is avoiding advanced classes because you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of others.
You fear that others will judge you so you stick to easier classes where you can shine.
However, staying in your comfort zone doesn’t allow you to learn and grow.
2. You give up easily.
An example of giving up is quitting a class midway because you believe that you won’t be ready to perform in groups later.
After struggling with a hard combo you decide to stop and make excuses – the choreographer is teaching too fast, you can’t see, you’re tired from a long day…
By giving up, you never get to your full potential even within that class.
3. You see your effort as useless.
If you ever catch yourself thinking “This is pointless, it’s a waste of time..” you are giving up before what you’re doing has enough time to make a difference.
Whether it’s drilling a combo or choreographing a piece, your efforts will show – but only if you do so consistently, for a while.
Development happens over hours, months, years of sweat and frustration. Yet it’s hard to keep going when the rewards are not readily felt.
4. You ignore useful feedback.
Whether a choreographer is offering you feedback or a director gives you more direction, you take this with tooooo many grains of salt.
Instead of reflecting on notes that could help you, you either get angry, defensive, or just insecure.
Either way, you don’t use it as a guide to improve on your weaknesses. And they never get addressed.
5. You feel threatened by the success of others.
When another team places at a show, another dancer wins a cypher, another choreographer’s video blows up, you think, “But why, their moves weren’t that great compared to mine…”
But by putting down the success of others, you’re placing yourself in a competition between someone who really isn’t competing with you. You’re only competing against the dancer you were yesterday.
Not to mention, your negativity will not go unnoticed. And the community around you will find it difficult to support you.
These are ways of thinking that, even in the most subtle ways, are detrimental to your dancing. Luckily, you can work on changing that mindset to be more positive and open to improvement.
How You Can Become A Better Dancer
1. Embrace challenges
You take classes above your current level.
You understand the importance of challenging yourself.
You volunteer to perform in groups even if you’re nervous.
You showcase your piece to your team.
You sign up to enter a freestyle battle.
Whatever it is, you come out of the experience a better dancer than you were before it.
2. Persist in the face of setbacks
Despite small setbacks, you will try again the next day because you know defeat is temporary.
For example, you might be struggling with learning an audition piece for a team.
Instead of giving up, you decide to keep trying your best.
Even if you do not get into the team this season, you try again next season after more class taking and intensive practices.
See Related Article: How To Cope With Not Making Your Dream Dance Team
3. See effort as part of the path to mastery
With a growth mindset, you take every measure to improve yourself as a dancer.
During the summer you take intensive classes. You hit the gym to increase your power and flexibility. You take classes on STEEZY Studio to polish your execution and learn from a variety of different choreographers.
You understand that the more effort you put into your craft, the better the results.
See Related Article: 12-Week Dance Training Intensive On STEEZY Studio
4. Learn from criticism
You are humble enough to accept feedback from others.
There is a limit to how much self-reflection can help. Teammates, choreographers, and directors can help you gauge what to work on, and offer guidance as to how.
You listen and absorb the information so that you can use this to improve in the future.
See Related Article: Taking Dance Class: Things Choreographers Love And Hate From Their Dance Students
5. Find inspiration and lessons in the success of others
You’re proud of your friends, classmates, and teammates for their accomplishments.
Whether it’s killing a piece, getting blocked well, or just showing general improvement, you celebrate with them.
Instead of being fearful and jealous of their growth, you cheer them on and let them inspire you to work even harder.
See Related Article: 4 Simple Things Choreographers Can Do To Stay Inspired
Through the growth mindset you keep reaching higher levels of achievement – because you can, and you believe that you can.
Growth mindset gives you a greater sense of control; your actions determine your growth.
So continue developing your growth mindset by following this guide.
Keep learning, keep pushing and you will overcome setbacks and reach higher levels of success.
Grow, grow, grow! Training with STEEZY Studio is the perfect way to keep growing as a dancer. Sign up for free to start growing.
Any additional tips on embodying a growth mindset? Comment below and share with us!
This article is a submission from Simon Huang – the original post can be found on his website, heyitsnomis.com. It’s a great resource for dancers in the East Coast!