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!

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