Competition season can be challenging and stressful, so finding ways to motivate your dance team to keep working their hardest will help everyone stay on track for the big day. It also helps fight off the emotional, physical, and mental stress of long practices, school, and exhaustion. Whether you are a dance captain, parent, or instructor, you can take on a leadership role for your dance team. By focusing on the following tips, you can help motivate and encourage your team as the competition date nears.
Spread Positivity to Dancers
Telling your dance team that they’re doing a great job and pointing out a strength in each dancer will help motivate your dancers to keep dancing their best. It’s easy to talk down and criticize, and often times, dancers will do this to themselves. They may think things like, “I’m not as good of a dancer as her,” or “I can’t get this move right,” but you can help them change their mindset. Parents and dance teachers need to remember to focus on the positive improvements of the dancers, so they can recognize their progress.
Focus on Goal Setting and Follow Up
A great way to help dancers focus on growing and improving is by making the process tangible. You can do this by setting goals for the class and checking in with each dancer after a certain amount of time has passed. Leading by example will help them understand the goal-setting process, so they can apply it to their own lives. Set your own goals and share them with your students or kids to demonstrate the process and the challenges you’ve overcome. By checking in on each student, you help them track their progress and gain confidence from their success.
Review and Practice Together
Choreography can be challenging, especially new or complicated moves. Practice is the only way to make these moves seem effortless, so practice with your dancers to help them spot their problem areas and improve them. Practice will also boost their confidence and make them more excited and willing to continue dancing.
Let Yourself Laugh
Leading a dance team is tough work but it’s important to know the right times to be serious and when to relax. The aspects that you should take seriously include planning practices and routines for your dancers, implementing advice from board members, and striving to give your dancers enough attention. For the times when things don’t go as planned, don’t get overwhelmed and frustrated—laugh it off. It’s not the end of the world if things go off track, just make light of it, and be prepared with a second plan.
Collaborate with Your Teammates
Another way to help your dance team develop and stay motivated is by building a connection with them. You must learn how to collaborate and bond with each dancer to develop trust and comfort, which will reduce their nervousness and anxiety to make way for success and growth. It can be challenging to reach students who are very shy and reserved, but with patience and persistence you can boost those relationships. Some opportunities to build rapport with them include during downtimes at practice, team dinners, or special events outside the studio.
Learn from Your Dancers
Leadership is an important position, but you won’t get very far if you ignore the ideas and suggestions of your students. There’s a lot you can learn from them, and the more you establish yourself as part of the team, the stronger your bond with them will be. Leaders who assume they know everything and are closed-minded to new suggestions will hinder all change and growth within the team.
Cheer for Your Team after Practice
Cheering or clapping at the end of practice will help you and your dancers celebrate all they’ve accomplished that day. It wraps up the day on a positive note, so all dancers walk away looking at their progress and not focusing on their mistakes or challenges. Setting a positive tone before and after class will help improve their desire to keep on trying. Be sure to make the cheering times fun and creative, by asking students to clap their loudest or share one positive thing about their day.
Praise, Don’t Punish
After a practice, reinforce the things your team did well. Then, focus on the areas that need improvement. Don’t focus on nit-picking the imperfections of each dancer or else you discourage them. Never single out a dancer for their mistake in front of the class either. Instead, call out the times when they did well. If you need to correct or instruct, frame it around something they did well to soften the correction and encourage them to do better next time.
How Performing Dance Arts Can Help You
Dance is more than moving to the music—it can be a competitive sport that works every muscle in the body, even the face! But dancers, like all athletes, can get burnt out and exhausted after training and practicing during competition season. Staying motivated and encouraged is important to keep them working their best and remaining positive.
Performing Dance Arts offers trained instructors with years of industry experience and skill, and who care greatly about the progress and happiness of our students. Our outstanding dance studios inspire creativity and our instructors will motivate your child to dance with passion, creativity, and excitement.
Our programs cater to children of all ages and skill levels, so contact us today to enroll your child or learn more. We will provide you with all the information you need to know about how and what we teach, and what your child will need to do and bring to prepare for their first class. If you want a firsthand idea of what our dance studios are like, simply pay us a visit!