Dance is one of the few professions in which professionals are still expected to take class regularly, if not daily – and if you ask me, it’s an amazing opportunity. The ability to continue learning and growing with feedback from an experienced mentor is immensely valuable. But taking class for so many years comes with its own difficulties. After 10, 15, even 20 years of taking dance classes, how is a dancer supposed to keep class interesting, stay invested, and most importantly continue growing? My answer: dance class journaling.
At this point, I’m sure you’re all aware of my love for journaling. There are a TON of reasons why journaling is an amazing tool for artistic growth, and all of those reasons still hold true for growing through dance classes. But journaling SPECIFICALLY for your dance classes will be EVEN MORE helpful to your growth as an artist and a dancer. Since dance classes offer different opportunities to learn than creating on your own, your dance class journaling should focus on different ways to grow than your regular journaling.
For me, the key to dance class journaling is VARIETY. Instead of trying to tackle every question you have every class, pick one question and really dig in. Answer a different question for your next class, and so on. Here are some sample questions specifically for dance class journaling to get your journaling juices flowing:
- What words stood out to you in class & what did they mean to you? How did those words inspire your movement?
- What is one thing you’d like to steal from another dancer in class? One thing you’d like to avoid doing? (And how can you avoid it?)
- What are your goals & what will you do/have you done to work toward them?
- Free write about what you learned, saw, and felt in class.
- What corrections did you receive? How will you carry them forward in your dancing?
- What opportunities for artistry/creativity did you find and how did you use them?
- How did you most effectively & efficiently learn the material? I.e. watching once then following along, following along then watching for detail, etc.
These are a few questions to get you started, and there are many more topics worth journaling about in your dance class! As you come up with your own questions, remember that the goal is to get the most out of your dance class, so try to ask questions specific to the class.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: keep it up! Tackling one question at a time will keep your dance class journaling sustainable so you can get the most out of EVERY dance class.