The Benefits of Journaling – Yes, For Dancers!

Since I was about, oh I don’t know, 14, I’ve kept a journal. My notebooks full of poems were passed around my schoolmates for years (always hidden from our teachers). I still have them, battered, the pages hanging on for dear life to the spiral wire that keeps them from becoming completely lost in boxes that once held my high-lacing boots. But I digress.

A few years ago, as I began taking workshops from the likes of Zoe Jakes and Onca O’Leary, it made perfect sense to start keeping a belly dance journal. I’d like to share why, and encourage you to start your own. 🙂

First, get a notebook – a pretty one. You’ll be looking at it a lot. 😉 I bought one from Target that has three sections, and I love it. In the first section I write notes for upcoming gigs. The second section: class notes from workshops, teachers, festivals, etc. These notes are priceless, and I go through them often for inspiration and to remember the wisdom that has been graciously shared with me. In the third section I keep a list of the my goals for the year (curious? Okay, I’ll share – one of my goals is to write a fire poi choreography; it’s ready, now I just need to book a gig to use it!). I also keep ideas for future performances, collaborations, etc. in this section.

So, here are some examples of things that you can keep in your journal to stay organized, be inspired, and make the most of your dance education (click here to share them on Twitter!):

  • Musical rhythms (a list, your notes, helpful CDs, favorite musicians)
  • Combinations and choreographies. Not that you’re going to use these just as they were taught, but always refer to them for inspiration on your own work.
  • List of goals and a written intention. It’s important to know what you expect from yourself, and to know why you’re doing whatever you’re doing…and it’s a great check to make sure you’re not into something for the wrong reasons.
  • Quotes. These can also be invaluable. Write down quotes from famous people, or from your Mom.
  • Costume ideas – this can include anything for your hair, your ankles, or simple color combinations.

So, that should help you get started. Post a comment here and let me know how it goes, or if you have more ideas to share about keeping a dance journal. 🙂

Happy writing!

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4 thoughts on “The Benefits of Journaling – Yes, For Dancers!

  1. I love finding a journaling kindred spirit. Your ideas are wonderful Cherie. I especially like the notion of writing down your intentions. It’s a healthy exercise that keeps you true and honest to yourself and those around you – and yes, helps ensure you are directionally correct.

    1. Hi Michelle! Thank you for this. It’s easy to get sidetracked, or even lost, along the way. By being aware of my intentions, I’ve learned more about who I am and what I’m comfortable and not comfortable doing when it comes to performances. 😉 Can I ask what you like to write about for your journal?
      Thanks again for posting!
      Sincerely,
      Cherie

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