Time Management – Do You Also Struggle to Find Time of Dance?

One of the greatest problems I have had in the past days with belly dance and other dance classes I still do, is really to find the time. I guess you might call it dancers’ time management problems!

It seems like we now live in a globe where we are always rushing and where there is so often something else that needs prioritizing over dance. Do you have the same problem? If so, in this article, here are 10 Tips for finding time to enjoy dance.

1. Commit to a Dance Workshop or Holiday

One of the best decisions I ever made was to decide to begin going on the belly dance trips.

Now, this is not time management on a daily basis, but this deciding to commit to booking these trips for September of each year, has given me some definite dance time and already some great experiences and memories.

I think sometimes, to search the time for doing something you love, you have to commit and tie yourself in, to do it.

2. Learning When and How to Say No!

It is extremely hard to say no to those we love sometimes. To our family.

This is, of course, very good in many respects because we are kind, strong and just great people right! 🙂

The only problem is that we often end up sacrificing some of our own precious me time for others when sometimes we need that self-time.

I love to dance be it at dance classes, workshops, dance fitness in the local sports center and going on dance breaks.

When someone makes demands on your time and when the task is really not that significant, learn to say NO! And start using more time to dance!

3. Not Being Afraid To Learn Dance at Home Sometimes

I absolutely love the social side of dancing and I am sure you do too.

So, the idea of practising dance at home alone I appreciate will not excite all of you.

Using belly dance DVDs and YouTube videos (you have to choose the right ones of course) can be helpful for perfecting belly dance movements, such as hip circles and shimmies, and, in this way, you will improve.

This, I search, is in addition to doing classes and workshops and something you can do if you know you only have a really limited amount of time to do some dance.

Dancing for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is actually fun once you get into the habit. It is a habit like many things and, the more you dance at home, the more likely I think you are to extend this activity to also getting out and more involved dancing with others.

4. Setting SMART Goals So That You Understand Where Dance Fits in among Your Priorities

How can you prioritize things in your life unless you are clear on what your real goals are? How can you search time for the things you really should be doing and prioritizing for your spare time?

This is where the concept of SMART Goals can be so valuable, not only in business but also in your personal life.

Finding time to do something is just as much about focus and motivation as it is about freeing time.

So, how do you focus on wanting to do something and how do you free up time for it, if you do not have a clear idea of what you want to do in the first place?

This is why setting goals for your dance practice is vital. But these cannot be just any goals, they need to be SMART goals, which stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

A generic goal might be: ‘I want to learn some new travelling steps to use for belly dance’. Let’s see how we can make it SMART.

Specific means that you have to give yourself as much information as possible about exactly what you want to do. For example, instead of just saying that you want to learn some new travelling steps for belly dance, find out exactly which type of travelling steps you want to eager.

Watch other dancers, identify the steps that you like, make a list and be as specific as possible. For instance, you can say that you want to do grapevines layered with hip shimmies and arabesque with a hip accent.

Also, to what level do you want to learn the steps? Let’s say you want to master them, so you want to be able to perform them without hesitation and with fluidity.

If your goal is specific, you will be able to visualize it better and motivate yourself to want to achieve it and, therefore, try harder to find time for it.

Measurable means that the goal needs to be quantifiable. You might think, how can I quantify something to do with dance? Well, it is possible! With the example of the travelling steps, you could say that you want to learn 2 new travelling steps to add to your repertoire.

If something is measurable, you will know when you have achieved your goal. If you learn 2 new travelling stages, you have achieved your goal.

Achievable means that it is realistic, something that you can achieve. For example, if you set yourself the goal of wanting to learn 20 new travelling steps in a short time and to perfection, but you lead a very busy life, this is not an achievable goal.

You will not find the time to learn all of them properly, you will feel overwhelmed and you will give up. Instead, if you set yourself the goal of mastering 2 travelling steps, you will be much more likely to achieve your goal and you will feel great as a result. Then, you can set a new goal to learn two more stages and so on.

Relevant means that the goal is applicable to you at a specific time in your life.

For example, if you are a starter, it is unlikely that you will be able to master a travelling step layered with a hip movement (i.e. doing the steps while at the same time moving your hips) in the short term. Layering is something that you will learn to do the more you practice.

So, the goal of mastering a layered travelling step is not relevant for a beginner but it is relevant for an perfect dancer. A beginner is more likely to succeed if s/he first learns the hip movement and the step separately and then, in the future, combines the two.

Time-bound means that a goal has to have a time target. If the goal does not have a time target, how do you know when you will achieve it?

So, you might decide that you want to learn your two travelling steps within two months from now. If you do not set yourself a time limit, you are more likely to postpone achieving your goal forever (thus never allocating the time that it takes to achieve it).

So, now, your generic goal ‘I want to learn some new travelling steps to use for belly dance’ has become the SMART goal:

‘I want to master 2 travelling steps: grapevines layered with hip shimmies and arabesque with a hip accent (I am an intermediate level dancer, so I am starting to learn layered steps). I want to do so within two months from now.’

Once you have this goal clear in your mind (actually writing it down is even better so it becomes even more real), you can start visualising it and allocating the resources you need to achieve it!

5. Understand the Connection Between Time Management & Motivation as a Dancer

The connection might not be immediately obvious, between motivation and time management and how it relates to being a dancer, but let me explain.

You need to make a conscious decision that you will find the time you have to practice and get involved in dance more or again. You need to believe you will.

Classic time management methods such as managing your personal email or social media better, such that you only check them once a day, is a great way to free up more time.

But you need to have a clear plan if you want to really feel the need to make these changes.

You need, in other words, to really have a dance intention. A dance plan!

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