I bet you’ve already heard someone telling you to diligently write down your corrections in a notebook after each class you take. I used to do that too, after every single class I took.
As someone obsessed with cute journals, that activity was extremely enjoyable and fun. It helped me refine my memory and since I had to remember what my teacher said I was automatically more focused during my classes.
Keeping a ballet journal is awesome and I strongly encourage you to do so, but there is more to it than a long list of corrections to keep track of. In this article I want to share with you what I write in my ballet journal and how that helps me (and can help you) make the most out of it.
Your goal for the training session
This is probably the most important section in each page of my journal. Writing down my goal helps me envision it and focus on it. I can also better assess my result when I update the page at the end of the day.
To learn more about goals, motivation and goal setting, I recommend you watch this great series: Raise the bar ep. 1
Combinations you loved
Here is an excellent way to improve your memorization skills: write down the combinations. When I first started my pre-professional training, our teacher required us to note down the whole class every time we changed it. While it was a little hard at first, this practice greatly helped me pick up movements quickly and remember them over time. What’s fun now is to go back to those pages and see what I was doing when I was 12!
I also love to note down combinations that particularly helped me find a certain feeling or understand a movement I find challenging. Whenever I need to warm up before a performance or get on my leg, I know which combinations to go back to.
Things that you improved on
As dancers we are often focused on everything we’re not that good at yet. We spend so much time on all the negatives and forget our strengths and improvements. This is why I love to mark down what I improved on as well and feel proud about it.
Things to research and work on
Whether I have a technique question that came up or something I want to work on and need to reflect on, I keep track of it and go do my research. Successful dancers expand their knowledge, right?
Since asking questions during technique class is not always appropriate, you can go and look for answers in the “Ballet technique explained” section.
I hope you enjoyed the article and that you found something interesting in it. Do you have a ballet journal? What do you write in it? Leave us a comment!