5 Ways Dance Daze Dance Boards Can Support Your Goals for the New Year

If you follow me (Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah McWoodson) online, you may have heard me say before that I’m not the biggest fan of setting new year resolutions for myself. I am more the kind of person to focus on one or a few words for the year (i.e., in the past, one of my words was “community”), and I feel that this really helps to guide my focus on what experiences I create for myself, what I say “yes” to, and what I say “no” to.

So far, I haven’t yet picked my words or specific intentions for the year, but I am focusing on the ideas of moving, creating, and getting out into nature more. Additionally, I’m playing with ideas around shared community — designing and participating in fantastic experiences with others, so that my focus on community will not just be for myself, but so that I’d also be focusing on creating and enjoying with others who are part of that community. (If that makes any sense!)

In any case, perhaps you, too, have some goals around movement, dance, and creating. If so, I wanted to give some suggestions for how Dance Daze Dance Boards might support you in being successful with your intentions for the new year!

365 Days of Movement

In 2021 and definitely in 2020, I saw many people who used social media to share a 365-day dance journey or movement journey. These sort of projects ranged from ballet combinations in home studios to simply twirling around in nature for a few seconds, but the intent was the same: moving, in some way, every single day.

Whether you’re wearing your pointe shoes for 10 minutes per day, participating in a YouTube dance class, or making beats with your tap shoes, your Dance Daze Dance Board can support your goal of moving every day.

Practicing At Home

Life looks a lot different from when I was a child (as it should!), but something I remember about my childhood is that my dance teachers would often recommend that we practice combinations, stretch, or even visualize performing at home.

If you’re reading this post, you’re likely someone who took up dancing at home more frequently during 2020, as did I, but maybe that’s worn off for you as things begin to open up despite the ongoing struggles of Covid-19.

If you have a goal of practicing your dance technique at home so that you’re more prepared and feel more confident when you have time in the studio or during your virtual dance classes, your Dance Daze Dance Board can be there to help you practice when you’re not in class.

Self Care

If you’re the kind of person who loves a long hot bath, giving yourself a facial, painting your. nails or going for a pedicure, or reading a book while listening to light piano music, that’s all great for self care. But if you’re someone who needs something a little different than what is often thought of as “self care,” you might be able to use your Dance Daze Dance Board as part of your “me time” routine this year.

With your Dance Daze Dance Board, not only can you create a special place for dancing in your home, but you can also feel comfortable with establishing a regular routine. This regular self care routine which includes your Dance Daze Dance Board will give you time to focus on movement and how your body feels when moving, create choreography, and free your mind from the stressors of every day life and responsibility.

Exercise At Home

Dance is an art form, but it is obviously an art form that requires a lot of physical strength and endurance! In addition to a variety of dance classes, I have personally seen many dance fitness classes, that are available via Zoom or on YouTube, pop up over the past 2 years.

If you’re looking for an alternative way of getting in some exercising at home, consider incorporating dancing and your Dance Daze Dance Board into your home workout routine!

Develop A Creative Practice

“What’s a creative practice?” you may ask. According to Google, a creative practice is the intentional practice of learning, mastering, and using the artistic, intellectual, and technical skills to develop creative rituals and habits.

Your creative practice might focus on dance, on movement in general, on making/creating (e.g., choreography or percussive music through clapping and/or tap dancing). You might focus on regularly challenging yourself to make something new or to explain an idea nonverbally. There are many different ways to delve into a creative practice, but I believe that if any of the above will be part of yours, a Dance Daze Dance Board will support you in your creative goals.

I hope your new year is off to a great start, friend!

Making Time + Being Present

I’ve been around long enough to know that “enough time” will never exist. It won’t exist in the course of a day, a week, and–if we’re doing it right–a lifetime.

For those of us “ambitious” souls (the word is in quotes because for my fellow dreamers and do-ers, you know there’s absolutely no other way we could be . . . . we’re not aspiring to be this way or this good, we simply are . . . . *smile*), there will always be another scent to smell, food to taste, sight to see, other world to experience, or other adventure to be had. We will always be hungry for all of life and all of its offerings.

But how can we go on this way if it always feels like we’re playing catch up and working with the bare minimum of the hours that have been allotted to us?

I believe that our ability to continue on and a sense of fulfillment in the actions we have taken may come from being present in each moment, so that each moment is given its full attention and can satisfy the needs of our soul in that time.

For example, a few minutes ago, I was creating new content for Dance Daze, Inc. Then, I got distracted (and was fully immersed) in making a few super quick updates to dancedaze.org and making notes in my iPhone for items I need to return to at a later date. Now, I’m sitting here, allowing my brain some space to think before heading out into the rain to walk my dogs and run off to the next thing.

The point, though, isn’t how much I feel compelled to do or about how much I’m accomplishing before 8:00 am. (But it must be said: Kudos to me. I’m am ROCKING the productivity so far this morning.) This point is that in each of these activities, I’ve allowed myself to be completely and entirely engaged.

Often, I become overwhelmed because I will sit down to write, and then I’ll think, “Oh, but this was my night to catch up on that Hulu show.” So then I’ll turn on Hulu and begin watching the show, only to pause it 10 minutes later because I’ve decided to return to the writing that should really take priority. Then, I’ll remember that I have a pile of dishes in the sink to wash, and I’ll hop up to get to those dishes. When I’m acting in this way, I’m not being fully present in anything.

I will say, for someone like me, being present in every single moment can be extremely difficult. Because I do live with a constant knowing of what else needs to be done. Sometimes, it’s almost painful to force myself to “relax” and “do nothing.”

But I’m working on it. Because I do believe that we can do it all, but not at the same time. I also believe that balance is impossible to reach, but that allowing (or forcing?) ourselves to be fully present in each task on which we are working (even if that is binge-watching a Netflix or Hulu original on a Saturday evening) will allow us a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that even if we aren’t always making the “right” choice, we are always choosing. And in choosing we are taking ownership of our life and happiness. And in that, I believe we will find a sense of satisfaction and peace.

Longer letter later, friends!

Saumirah