Progress, Not Perfection – Something Every Dancer Should Practice

Photo via The Daily Mel

Photo via The Daily Mel

By Jadée Nikita

Dancer’s are instinctively stubborn by nature.  Not necessarily in a bad way.  But we are stubborn when it comes to being perfect.  Maybe it’s because of the competitive nature of our art – and I get it, who wants to be the girl in the back row, simply waving a rose while the Prima gets to shine?  So we strive for that coveted front-and-center role by staying late day-in-and-day-out, paying for extra classes we can’t afford, pushing through injuries, and extending our bodies beyond normal human capabilities.  We focus so much on trying to be perfect and getting to that final destination in the spotlight, that we sometimes forget about the journey along the way.

Persistence is much more important than perfection.

Therefore, instead of going to class and worrying about picking up the choreography perfectly, you should think about the mini goals that are going to get you to where you wanna be in your career.  I call it “progress in the bigger picture.”  For example, you want to learn how to do a triple pirouette flawlessly.  Instead of putting pressure on yourself to nail that triple the first time you try, practice quarter turns.  When you have that down try a few half turns.  Then a full rotation (which is much harder to control than doing multiple pirouettes), then a double, and so on until you reach your goal.  Not only are you practicing proper technique, you are setting yourself up for certain success by training your brain to keep pushing through adversity until you get what you want.

So if you practice consistently, without doubt and stress about perfection, you will find yourself dancing in the spotlight soon enough.  Never give up on your dreams, and know that success is possible if you first believe in yourself.

ballet barre

Photo via All Posters

Cover photo via At the Barre with Miss Erin
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