Improving focus

Today’s Q&A post includes an excerpt from Train Your Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Well Being. Enjoy!

I just found your web site and blog and it is really interesting.

I have an almost 7 years old ballerina at home, and I have some concerns.
She’s very lean, but she’s not so flexible and I don’t want her to get hurt while trying to improve her flexibility.

Another concern of mine is if she’s I’m the right age range to be at the RAD primary level. Unfortunately I don’t have the syllabus dvd available for her to practice at home (she goes to ballet and jazz classes twice a week). I’m asking this, because even though the teacher has told me that she has improved a lot in the 3 years of ballet class, I see that she has trouble following her older classmates, and gets distracted and looses motivation because she’s always at the back of the class.

My daughter loves ballet and dance I general, and I would love to see her blossom in what she loves, any tips for me so I can help her?

Best regards and congratulations on your wonderful work

Diana

Hi Diana,
You are asking some good questions, Diana! First, I want to say that her sometimes lack of focus and motivation is absolutely normal for an almost 7 year old. Has she tried any other type of movement classes besides ballet? It’s possible that trying a gymnastic class or creative movement, etc. might help her come into her body in a different way which then will help her ballet. How does she do in her jazz class?

There are some studios that don’t start their student in a ballet class until 7 or 8. I know students who didn’t start in ballet until 9 or 10 years old – and became beautiful ballerinas!

My personal bias might be coming out here which is dance classes for the youngest of our students should have a goal of making a student more comfortable in his or her body as well as improving their physical health and abilities.

Every young student will go through periods of being less flexible. That’s because whenever they go through a growth spurt their bones grow faster than muscles and that can be a very awkward stage.

My initial thoughts on how to help her blossom into a confident, beautiful woman would be to teach her to focus on what she wants. When you talk to her why does she like ballet class? Does she dream of dancing on stage? Does she like how dancing makes her feel? Does she feel good when she’s dancing? That’s so important!

Wanting to help our young children gain confidence in their abilities is why I wrote the Train your Brain book for the 8 – 12 year old. It has exercises in it to help the young child learn how to follow their own guidance and become confident – following the same guidelines that I have for my own life.

I’m going to do something that I haven’t done before and that is share one of the chapters with you. Each chapter follows a child’s challenge – and while the book is not just for dance students – I will share the chapter that talks about Chelsea, a young dancer.

Train Your Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Well Being
Chapter 3

If you saw Chelsea playing with her brothers or talking in class, you’d think she was always happy and carefree. But, if you saw Chelsea walk into her ballet class, you’d see a whole new girl.

For some reason, Chelsea got nervous when dance class rolled around. She didn’t know why and didn’t want to quit because she loved dancing…and had been doing it since she was three. But for the last few months she’d become so nervous-everyone was improving it seemed, except for her. Chelsea’s body started feeling stiff and her feet felt like lead. She was clumsy and her dancing wasn’t smooth at all. Even stretching was hard for her…she felt as if her muscles were too short for her body.

Chelsea wasn’t sure what to do but she knew that she didn’t want to keep going to class if it was going to be like this. Was it time to quit doing something she loved?

This may sound confusing but it’s really easy. Before I tell you how to do, let me share a little brain secret. Your brain if full of little paths, like roads, that are formed whenever you do something or think something. So, let’s say you eat 10 hot dogs and then you throw up. Well, you created a path. So then, the next time you eat a hot dog, your brain will return to the path that goes with hot dogs. Along that path is also throwing up. So, now, when you think hot dogs you also think throwing up. And when you think throwing up, you think hot dogs. And each time you think those thoughts, the path becomes stronger…kind of like putting new cement on the road so it’s stronger.

The cool thing about these paths is that we can purposely create paths that help us. That is what Create a Feeling is all about. We’re going to connect a simple action (like making a fist or curling your toes) with positive, confident thoughts. That way, you’ve created a path. And you know that positive, confident thoughts create positive, confident feelings. So, when you need those positive, confident feelings, you’ll be able to do a simple action that is connected to those good thoughts and BAM, positive, confident feelings come along.

Let’s Rewind and Replay Chelsea’s dance problem and see if Create a Feeling can help her out…

If you saw Chelsea playing with her brothers or talking in class, you’d think she was always happy and carefree. But, if you saw Chelsea walk into her ballet class, you’d see a whole new girl.

For some reason, Chelsea got nervous when dance class rolled around. She didn’t know why and didn’t want to quit because she loved dancing…and had been doing it since she was three. But for the last few months she’d become so nervous in class that she could barely move.

Chelsea wasn’t sure what to do but she knew that she didn’t want to keep going to class if it was going to be like this. She needed to find a way to start enjoying dance class again.

She decided to get her brain to help her find a way to get her confidence and joy back. She decided to create a path. First, she came up with a small action. She decided she would take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. At the same time she thought of her past dance recitals. She remembered how comfortable her body felt dancing, how loud the clapping was when she bowed, how her legs moved to the music.

She practiced taking a deep breath in and slowly exhaling while thinking these positive thoughts a few times everyday.

By the time dance class rolled around, Chelsea was ready. When she felt her body start to freeze up at the dance studio doors, Chelsea took a deep breath. Automatically, her body relaxed and the confident, positive feelings of past recitals flooded her body. Chelsea smiled; she’d created a path that would help her look forward to dancing again!

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The doors will close on the Inner Dance of Success 3 – month coaching program to create a healthier you…. through changing your body/brain connection to diet and exercise.

Email me at Deborah@thebodyseries.com if you’d like more information. I only sent information to the people who took the survey and left their email address for me to contact them – but if you want to learn more about it – and didn’t fill out the survey– act fast and email me – because the program will close on midnight, Monday, February 1st. That’s tomorrow!!

Warmest regards,
Deborah Vogel

1 reply

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  1. Сергей says:

    Спасибо,

    Хотя новость уже читал…

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