Taking class, any class, is a cherished event for all dancers. But with all things in life, having a larger purpose in mind during the process can help enrich the experience even more. Because I have so many personal goals that change with every class and every mood, my curiosity inspired me to probe into the minds of other dancers. I went around asking fellow class-takers what their goal for the day’s class was. Here are their answers:
“I have a problem with retention, so I always try to do the piece in my head from start to finish.” – Jaime
“To be myself, without being too concerned about others and what they’re thinking or doing.” – Josh
“I want to learn new things and grow by being open minded to different styles and ways of moving.” – Kelvin
“I want to be able to pick up the choreography, but infuse my own style into the piece.” – Christine
“I would try to get the choreo down, listen to the music.. Just knowing my own body, and from that, try to expand my limits. Because only I know where I can reach and what I can do, so I hold myself accountable to try to go beyond that in each class. – Chris
“I want to be able to perform- class should be more than just a class, a set of instructions. I want to dance like I’m on stage.” – Anthony
“My main goal for when I take class is to be open and not closed off. Because I’ve been so accustomed to dancing like myself, I have to understand different styles and tendencies of the specific choreographer. And when I find something I struggle with, it’s a great discovery because now I know what to practice. I want to adapt, and constantly be a student. And when I walk out of the class, I want to feel really good (even if I sucked) because I was able to learn something!” – Eric
“My goal is to learn a different style and learn about different dancers’ experiences.” – Chris
“My goal is to.. be uncomfortable with my body. Because when you’re uncomfortable, that means you’re growing. ” – Shimmy
“My goal is to really connect with the pieces and feel like it’s my own experience ” – Darian
“I’ve never really taken class from choreographers from San Diego, so really just to get through the class.” – Eriel (at Snowglobe Cookies Workshop)
“I have a tendency of slouching, so my challenge would be to dance with my chest out and chin up. I also want to be able to dance with confidence and perform.” -Robin
“Just to perform more, because class isn’t about being clean, it’s about venturing out. Especially if the piece is really technical, if you’re too focused on the cleanliness, you will lose sight of why you’re even taking class in the first place. It’s about your personal venture within the class.” -Alex
“I’m trying to get back into dancing because I’ve been taking a break for a while, so for today’s class I just want to not feel rusty.” -Jerry
“My goal for today is to loosen up my chest and to be more.. feel-y rather than controlled.” -Julian
“To go full out, always.. Even when the choreographer tells us to ‘mark’ it!” – Aaron
(Thank you to all these awesome dancers for letting me “interview” them!)
And MY personal goal, as of late: I have a horrible habit of requesting constructive criticism, then distorting or interpreting those comments negatively. I want to try my best to not be as self-deprecating, ESPECIALLY when I’m the one that asked for the notes, lawl. I must avoid discouraging myself and instead be thankful for the clarity and direction I was provided to foster my growth. (Basically, “Suck it up, Jessie.“)
Also, I tend to dismiss a class within the first few 8 counts if it’s “not my style.” And not that I really even HAVE a strict style, but as soon as I feel uncomfortable or lost, I’ll say “Welp, I’m not really good at this anyway.. to the back corner I go.” Which is ironic, because then I’d just be allowing my weaknesses to stay weaknesses rather than learning how to improve on them. And notice, most of the tidbits offered by these dancers had the word “learn” in it.
It’s easy to forget the literal meaning of a “class”- a meeting of a group of students for instruction, to learn something. Keep in mind that, no matter where you are in your dance-path, you are always a student!
So whatever they may be, set your own 4.0 A+++ Honor Roll dance goals and TACKLE THAT ISH. Okay? Go get ’em, tiger!! *\^o^/* (cheerleader-me holding pompoms 4u)
What are some goal YOU set for yourself in class? Comment below?
Got any suggestions for our next “interview” segment? Let us know!