Monday, September 29, 2008

The Dance Diary

I have mention the "Dance Diary" before in my posts and network on Ning. I'd like to take the time to explain in more detail. My students may refer to this post when getting their diary started and other dancers and teachers may be inspired to start one as well.

What is a Dance Diary?

Plain and simple, a Dance Diary is a notebook of your experiences as a dancer. I think it is a great tool for students, teachers and professionals. Here is a breakdown of how you can use one to help you grow in your field of dance.


  • Write what you have learned after each class you take(new steps or choreography)
  • Write what you need to improve on and practice
  • Write things you feel you have accomplished or mastered
  • Write down your teachers goals for you as and individual and as a class
  • Write how you felt that day during class


  • Write what you teach in each class so there is progression week to week
  • Write individual and class progress so you remember what each student needs work on
  • Write choreography and line placement for each new piece
  • Write the goals you have for your class
  • Write ideas for music and choreography
  • Critique yourself as a teacher, take notes on methods that work or don't work
  • Write how you felt teaching that day during class


  • Write down each audition experience
  • Write down what you did in rehearsal that day
  • Write down goals you have for yourself
  • Write down goals your director has for you
  • Write down your rehearsal and performance schedule
  • Write down how you feel when performing or in rehearsal

How to Start a Dance Diary

Get yourself a notebook that inspires you, maybe your favorite color or an attractive design. Date your first page and get started, its that easy. Above are example how each affiliation with dance can use their diary. Use these examples as a guide. I recommend you make it personal, after all it is a diary and it is all about YOUR growth as a dancer.

Taking the Diary a Step Further

I started off as a student with a small notebook in my dance bag. After seeing the benefits and using my diary more ofter, I purchased a larger notebook. Now that I am a professional, teacher, and student, I need much more than a notebook to stay organized. So if you are like me and you would like to take the Diary a step further, go for a binder. That's what I use now, and I even have tabs and folders to keep it nice and neat.

Encouraging My Students

Some of my students didn't take to the diary when I first explained it to them. The gave me that look, "Geez Miss Leslea, now we have homework in dance class." I suggested that you remind your students that this is optional so they do not look at it as homework. It is really for the individuals growth as a dancer and they should WANT to do it. I also remind them that I use one because I am blessed to have many of my students wanting to follow in my footsteps. To make things a little more interesting, I offered all students that submit an entry to me from their diary to be featured in the Uptown blog. Again optional, if they have an entry they are proud to share that is not personal. The main goal is to students started. Get them using a diary so they can see the benefits for themselves.

Get Going Already!

The hardest part will be getting started. After your first entry you will see the benefits. You will feel organized, accomplished and focused. Putting your passion, goals, and desires on paper is really useful. I believe you will have more motivation and drive. I believe dreams become reality with focus and positive intentions. Maybe your Dance Diary can be your first step in manifesting your goals with dance.

I hope all find this post useful. I welcome questions and suggestions. Remember that above is just a guide, examples of how I used my diary in my dance career. Please get creative with it. As always, much love and luck to you Dancers!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

There is Always Room for Improvement

The season is officially under way. Our first week back was very excited. My mom and I are constantly trying to improve the business, and this year is no exception. As some of u may know, this is our 17th season and I would like to share with you the ideas we came up with to improve our Studio with in just the first week back.

Previous improvements paying off...

We have been blessed with a larger registration this year. I'd like to think that it had something to do with the improvements we made over our summer break. For example; the website, our social network, other forms of advertisement on the Internet, and phone communication with potential clientele. We kept a much better log of inquires and kept in touch with information about the studio. In the past we strayed from constant phone calls with the fear soon to be costumers would see us as just another telemarketer trying to sell them something. We were pleasantly surprised that people appreciated the reminders and updates. I am please to announce that 90% of those potentials registered with us and we are very happy to welcome them this year.

Future improvements to be made...

As far as future improvement we have decided to put our attire/shoe requirement online and in a hand out. We never categorized this as a subject of confusion, so this information was given out verbally during registration. Unlike other studios we do not have a dress code, we just ask that the shoes be uniform (color and style). We noticed more then usual parents being confused and several came in with the wrong shoes. So, similar to what we do during recital time, everything will be written out clearly and available in a handout or online. We feel this is a minor detail to adjust on our end which will help parents be organized and less confused next season.

What changes will be seen in the weeks to come...

As mentioned in previous posts I will be introducing and encouraging the use of the dance diary to my students. To keep interest up I will also offer a monthly contest to those who feel they want to share a diary entry. The winner will be featured in the Blog. I'm also in the process of coming up with more ways the students can be featured in posts. For example; student of the month, or perfect attendance records. Definitely something creative that will keep the students interests up in class, and at the same time bring attention and readers to the Blog.

Also, a cosmetic change will be unveiled within the next few months. We would like to surprise our students with this so I can not give out to many details. I think we will all be proud of this change and can not wait for it to happen.

Stay tuned readers. I'm excited to share more with you in the weeks to come. Happy Dancing!

Miss Leslea