Sunday, October 16, 2011


I just found a dance journal I kept when I was a baby dancer. It was fun, it was therapeutic, it was addicting. There were entries about my classes, as well as photos, drawings, ticket stubs and quotes from famous dancers. I also kept a log of my gigs- with base pay and tips earned, as well as notes about the type of event it was, audience reactions, and I actually rated my own performances!

Keeping a diary was a habit I’d had since I was a pre-teen, but this dance journal was different…I didn’t know it at the time, but it helped me grow as a dancer by literally mapping out my desires. By writing down goal- and then seeing them get accomplished, I could chart my own progress and see what I had accomplished and what I needed to work on.

Many artists keep journals to help nurture themselves creatively.

Do you have a dance journal?

In your dance journal, unlike a regular diary, you will not be focusing your love life or financial worries but rather, artistic inspiration.

* Jot down ideas and positive thoughts about your dancing practice; make lists of songs you would like to tackle for choreographed or improvisational performances, sketch out ideas for costumes you’d like to make.

* Motivate yourself with photos of famous dancers, beautiful costumes, inspirational quotes or other dance-related things that have encouraged you.

* Take some time to copy down the hurried notes you took at workshops. This will not only help to make them stick in your head, but then you will also have them (in readable form!) for future reference.

* Write down what you remember of your dreams, and let yourself daydream on the pages.

* Keep a log of the classes and workshops you take, and compose a few words about each experience.

*As a creative exercise, watch live or video performances of your favorite dancers and then write down your impressions. What is it about this dancer’s style that you love? How did the piece make you feel? What time period is it from? How did he or she utilize the performance space? What steps can you identify?

* Make lists of all the things you want to accomplish with your dancing, and goals you would like to reach, and then check them off as you fulfill them.


Princess Farhana at BDUC by Carl Sermon

Baby Princess at The Middle East Connection, circa 1992, Glendale,CA. Photographer unknown

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