Updated: Apr 5
As we all know, dance is much of a mental workout as it is a physical one. Sometimes overcoming those mental challenges can be hard though, especially without the proper guidance.
Recently, I was delighted to interview Arianna Schmits, MA, CMPC former professional dancer and current sport & performance psychology specialist. She shared with me some beneficial techniques to navigate the mental components of ballet training.
We discussed how we had our own mental blocks when it came to either class or performing. Each of us finding coping methods in different ways. Most interestingly, I loved how she pointed out the significance mental blocks can play on physical progress. A lot of times dancers will have these mental blocks that prohibit them from seeing progress but, don't know how to cope through them properly. This is part of the reason I was so excited to interview her.
This advice Arianna gave us was incredibly helpful in regards to paying attention to your "self talk" when you are in the dance classroom or on stage.
"...Often these mental blocks occur because of our view of failure. Pay attention to what happens in your mind and if you are engaging in a lot of negative self talk. Negative self talk in these moments is what can lead to these mental blocks and often originates from fear of failure..."
I know personally, I had mental blocks that created issues with my confidence, performance quality and believability in training. I was lucky to find good help navigating these blocks but, I think one of the hardest things was FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON. A lot of times, our experiences as dancers are so unique that a normal counseling session may feel like it falls short of expectations. Maybe even that the counselor can't come up with a solution because they have never experienced something like this themselves.
So, let's talk a little about Arianna's background and what she does to help dancers defeat these mental blocks and progress toward performance improvements.
Arianna completed her Master's degree in Sport and Performance psychology as well as her Bachelor's in psychology. While she was working on her B.A., she was dancing professionally at the Washington Ballet, Ballet Arizona, and Colorado Ballet.
She is extremely passionate about helping dancers perform at their best and believes that complementing rigorous physical training with Sport Performance Psychology will help performers of all ages achieve that.
As a special to all Veronica K Platform followers, members, and readers Arianna is willing to offer a FREE 15 minute consultation to any dancer as well as 50% off your first session. Just mention that you read this article or saw our live and she will honor it!
You can reach out to Arianna by clicking here and you'll also get to see some of her great free resources as well!
Again, never underestimate the power of a healthy mind and what you might be able to achieve with the proper help.
Everything is connected in the body. Even the mind.