Have you ever set a goal that didn’t come to fruition? We’ve all been there, and it can be really disheartening—especially when it comes to something we are passionate about like ballroom dance.
As we alluded to in our guide to becoming a better dancer through deliberate practice, goal-setting can be a key part in improving our dancing...how purposeful are we when it comes to planning our goals and practicing in order to achieve them? To start, we recommend differentiating goals—define which are outcome goals and which are process goals.
Outcome goals focus on the ultimate result that you seek to achieve. An outcome goal could be “Place in the final at my next competition”, “Achieve my Bronze Rhythm Student Medal”, or "Receive a Dance Vision Associate Degree in American Smooth. These are a great start, but if there are no action-based steps working towards them, it can be difficult to specifically target the steps needed to achieve them.
That’s why we have process goals. These are action steps that support the process of achieving the ultimate outcome goal. Process goals allow us to take action of what we can control and take us towards our ultimate outcome goal, while providing encouraging milestones along the way. They’re great to spell out with your instructor!
Let’s take the example of completing a Bronze Student Medal with Dance Vision. Here are some ideas of process goals that could support the ultimate goal of getting certified.
- Take 1 lesson per week specifically focusing on Bronze Syllabus figures.
- Spend 20 minutes studying Bronze Syllabus figures 4 days per week.
- Practice dancing figures alone to music before lessons so that you clearly understand your steps.
- Practice dancing your variations in rounds twice a week alone and once a week with your instructor.
Process goals are either completed or not completed—if your process goal was to hit the gym three days a week, and you did, you achieved it. As you are actively working on daily tasks that you can control, the outcomes will appear.
With clear goals and concentrated practice time, you set yourself up for success within your dancing. Need specific tips for making the most out of your practice time? We've got that too. With all of this practice knowledge, we can’t wait to see what you achieve!