Goal setting in dance teaching

I have written about SMART goal setting before. Here I want to say a bit more about what it is and how we can use it in dance teaching.

The SMART model of goal setting (and achievement) has been around for some time. It is used in many different areas from health education to sport to dance to business and more. Can you see how SMART goal setting  could be useful in your dance teaching practice?

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SMART Goals are:

S pecific

M easurable

A chievable

R ealistic

T imed

SMART goals are designed to help you to identify that what you want to achieve is realistic and determine a deadline to work towards. SMART goals are designed to help you so be positive when answering the questions.

Let’s consider the SMART steps in some more detail. You may want to use these for yourself in your role as a dance teacher or you may want to use it with some of your dance students to help them achieve their goals individually or as a group. However you use it the principles are the same.

What is your goal?

Do you have a goal in mind? It is useful to write down your initial goal. This is what you are aiming for overall. Then answer the questions below related to each part of the acronym.

Specific – what is it that you want to accomplish? Be specific about what it is you are aiming to do. Does your goal involve working with others? When do you want to do this? Why is this a goal?

Measurable – how are you going to measure progress? How will you know when you have successfully met your goal? This is important so that you know when you are making progress and know when you have reached your goal.

Achievable – do you have the required skills in order to achieve your goal? If not, is it possible to obtain them so that you can achieve your goal? What is your motivation for this goal? Is the effort needed worth it to reach your goal?

Realistic – why are you setting this goal at this point in time? Is your goal realistic? Is it achievable? Again another important point – you want to know that you are setting a goal that is realistic – there is little point in setting goals that are impossible to achieve.

Timed – What is the deadline for your goal? Giving yourself a realistic deadline is useful as you will have a time frame to work within to achieve your goal.

SMART goal – some leave their SMART goal as written out above and others prefer to review what has been identified above and from this information write a new goal statement. You can decide what is most useful for you in helping you to achieve your goal.

Using SMART goals with competitive dancers

Using SMART goals can be a useful method for dance teachers to use with their competitive dancers. It also involves the competitive dance students in the goal setting process so they are are part of it and can identify and set their own goals. They may have more than one goal that they are working on.

SMART teaching goals

When planning dance content and technique for the coming weeks, months, term and so on SMART goals can help you to identify progress and goals in your teaching. And isn’t it good to feel that you are making progress? Through making your teaching goals SMART goals you can consider an individual specific goal, perhaps one step. and you can also consider the bigger picture through having SMART longer term goals for a whole class or group of students.

Using SMART goals

I hope this has given you some ideas of how to use SMART goals in your dance teaching or dance practice. Once you start using SMART goals you should be able to think of lots of ways that you can make use of them and benefit from using them too.