Visualization for Success on the Dance Floor

February 3, 2015 by
Filed Under: Blog, Dance Psychology

Visualization is a technique used routinely by athletes as a part of their training and preparation for competitions.   Many athletes use visualization to cultivate a competitive edge, renew mental awareness, and gain a greater sense of wellbeing and confidence. Visualization is commonly accepted as contributing to the success and growth of the nation’s top athletes. While some might not consider dance a sport, dancers are athletes that prepare for training in a way very similar to sports players. Visualization can be just as an effective technique for dancing athletes as it is for sports athletes. Research has shown that visualization improves both physical and psychological reactions. Even though visualization doesn’t directly activate the dancing muscles, the repeated imagery can boost a feeling of experience and build confidence in any dancer. If you’d like to give yourself that extra edge on the dance floor, consider the four steps below to get your dance visualization game on.

Set Your Goal

Decide on a goal that you would like to work towards. Maybe you want to perform your wedding dance routine perfectly or have been working towards nailing your turns in salsa. Need help setting a successful prone goal? See our article on creating SMART goals: Once you decide on a goal, write it down.

Create a Mental Picture

Now that you’ve formulated your dance goal, create a mental picture of your goal exactly as you want it. How would it look or feel? Maybe you want to picture yourself hitting every move in your cha-cha routine. Think about how each move would feel physically in each part of your body. Think about the body mechanics you’ll employ to execute each move. Furthermore, think about how you want it to feel emotionally. Imagine yourself dancing confidently and with ease. Create a clear mental picture in the present tense as if your goal already existed the way you want it to.

Focus Often

Bring your dance goal and mental picture to mind often. Practice setting aside time to focus in quiet meditation as well as casually throughout your day. The more you can integrate your dance picture into your life; the more it will become a reality for you. Make focusing on your dance a part of your daily routine. Focus in a relaxed way. You don’t want to feel like you are striving too hard for it to come true.

Be Positive and Believe!

As you focus on your dance goal, think about it in an encouraging way. Make positive statements to yourself that are strong and believable. “I am a strong swing dancer!” Picture yourself achieving your goal while you create your affirmations. Don’t allow any disbelief to enter your mind and nip negative self-talk in the bud before it can take over. Remember that visualization is like hypnosis in that if you don’t think it will work, it won’t. You have to think positive for visualization to be effective.

And there you have it! In four easy steps you will be that much closer to achieving your dance goals. Ready, set, go!

-Article by dance teacher, Ziva