The Importance of Goal Setting

Is there something you want to accomplish but you can’t seem to find the motivation? Do you have an interest in doing something, but, besides your own happiness, there doesn’t really seem to be a point? If you find yourself in this situation, maybe you should set a goal.

The goal should be related to what you actually want to accomplish and have some sort of added benefit–maybe even an external benefit if that will be rewarding for you–in addition to your original reason.

Why set a goal? Well, there are several reasons.

First, having a goal motivates us more than not having one. When we have a goal toward which we are working, we are more likely to be energized toward accomplishing the goal and to develop strategies that will lead us to success.

Second, having a set goal toward which we are working may cause us to be more motivated because we will view the goal as an attainable challenge. Additionally, successfully reaching goals helps us to develop a mindset of winning, which can improve our overall self-efficacy, or our belief in our capacity to accomplish difficult tasks.

Third, goal-setting can help provide direction in life. Research shows that those who set goals, even if they do not write down their goals, are significantly more likely to become more successful in life than those who never set goals for themselves.

So, are these facts motivating you to set some goals for yourself? If so, what are some goals you have in mind? Remember, your goals can be small or big. You can set goals for daily, weekly, or monthly plans or even annual tasks that you want to accomplish. Let me know what goal you’ll be setting next for yourself in the comments!

5 Reasons Why You Might Need A Dance Daze Dance Board

As business owners, we love creating high quality products that solve problems for our clients.

At Dance Daze Dance Boards, we work to support the work of recreational and pre-professional dancers. This means that we design our portable dance floors in consideration of what recreational children and adult dancers and pre-professional dancers between the ages of 9 and 18 might need when in terms of practicing, supplemental training, creating influencer content, traveling for different dance opportunities/experiences, and more.

If you are a recreational or pre-professional dancer, keep reading to learn about why you might need a Dance Daze Dance Board in your life.

You participate in virtual dance classes via Zoom, Instagram, TikTok, and more

While some of our clients were already participating in virtual dance classes before 2020, a lot of our DDDB family began dancing at home after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many fantastic programs launched in 2020 that were completely virtual, including those that were only temporarily virtual and those that began as online programs and will remain as online programs so that they can serve a wider audience all over the world.

Personally, I’ve lived in a variety of spaces including college dorm rooms (both in the United States and abroad!), simple apartments and luxury apartments, and homes in both rural and urban areas. So I know that the space we have in our living areas can vary! Some years, we may be able to grand jeté across a huge backyard and in other seasons of life, we may be fearful of scraping our elbows if we attempt a pirouette turn in our living room.

With differences in living spaces in mind, Dance Daze Dance Boards come in a variety of sizes, that we hope will be helpful and meet the needs of dancers practicing at home, whether they have a small space or a large space in which to practice dance.

For those with limited space — perhaps in a small bedroom or in a section of a shared college dorm room — we have our Jet Setter dance board. At just 23 inches in diameter, this board can be used to practice non-locomotor movements, simple jumps, and long and short tap dance combinations as well.

Additionally, our Jet Setter can be easily stored in the trunk or backseat of a car, under a bed, or in a closet. Beginning this year (2022), our Jet Setter dance board comes with an adorable carrying tote so that this board can be easily taken on trips. And, there is even enough room in the bag to add some extra dance clothes, tights, leotards, and a makeup bag too, if you’re heading to a dance convention or dance competition!

You travel for dance competitions and dance conventions

If you’re someone who travels for dancing — whether you attend dance conventions in order to learn from the best dance teachers and to about the latest dance products, if you’re a dance educator who attends arts education seminars in different cities or in different states, or if you’re an adult ballet dancer who goes to summer intensives designed just for adults in different cities across the U.S. and abroad — we believe a Dance Daze Dance Board will fit your life style!

You regularly create dance content, both inside your home and outdoors

Another trend that became huge in 2020 was creating content on platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok!

Whether you’re someone who creates aspirational or educational dance content, likes trying out the latest TikTok dance moves, or enjoys goofing off making content with your friends and family, you can probably use a Dance Daze Dance Board in your videos!

I personally love using my Dance Daze Dance Board when I’m creating educational ballet and tap content, when I’m showing off some original choreography, or when I’m taking a popular trend and “making it ballet” or adding a tap dance twist to it.

I also love having 2-3 boards with me when I’m outside so that I can use one board to hold my iPhone tripod, one board to step on/sit and put on my dance shoes, and one board for posing for photos! Dance Daze Dance Boards are great for dance photography as well. And, your dance photos you take with your Dance Daze Dance Boards are perfect for seasonal or end-of-year time-lapse videos!

You like practicing new combinations outside of the studio

When I was training as a pre-professional dancer (and even now, any time I pop in for an adult class of any kind!), I loved going home and practicing what I’d learned in class.

Now, as a child who was also a competitive tap dancer (before I began my pre-professional classical ballet training), this could be slightly problematic when I thought the best place to tap dance in the house was on the kitchen floor.

With a Dance Daze Dance Board, I’m able to practice a variety of styles of dance in my home without ruining any floors! This is another way our dance boards serve both children and adults who are dancing at home.

You enjoy creating your own choreography at home

One of the main ways I maintained my sanity during 2020 was creating, creating, creating. I spent most of my shower time making up tap dance combinations or thinking about what songs I wanted to use for my weekly “Monday Funday” Instagram Live Ballet Barre class that I taught on Monday evenings for most of that year.

Additionally, I spent about 3 hours per week recording content for an online dance program for children.

As a dance educator, creating choreography and warmup combinations for children and adults, a Dance Daze Dance Board can be perfect. Using a Dance Daze Dance Board can remind us of the small space in which our students may be dancing at home. Additionally, it can remind us of the myriad ways in which we can use our bodies to make BIG movements and shapes, even when we are confined to a small space.

If you have a Dance Daze Dance Board, how has it helped solve problems for you? Let us know in a comment, email us at info@dancedaze.org, or text co-founder Saumirah at 916-378-1952.

How My Dance Background Helps Me As A Business Owner

I had my first dance lesson at the age of 3. I don’t remember much of it, but I do remember two things about it.

First, I remember there were weird stuffed animals in the window area that creeped me out. Second, I remember that I didn’t like it, and I kept going to my mom to ask for more snacks.

So from there, my mom enrolled me in acting, modeling, piano lessons, and gymnastics. And, while gymnastics was a very close second, by the age of 5, and after trying out my first tap dance class, I knew dance would be my thing. (I’ll forever be grateful to Ms. Vanessa, my first tap dance teacher who told my mother that I was a natural and that I should join her competition class after the first time she saw me dance.)

So, how does my background in competitive tap dance and my pre-professional classical ballet training help me as an entrepreneur? I think there are a few ways.

  1. I’m not afraid to fail when it comes to entrepreneurship. (Now, if we’re talking about with my every-day psychoses, fear of failure is a big thing in my life as a Type-A, over-achiever, and possible perfectionist. But if we’re just talking about entrepreneurship, then I’m good. ;) I know that I will always, always have more ideas. I know that I will always be able to make some kind of money from those ideas ( . . . It’s truly amazing what it does for the brain when you think of something, create something, put it on the Internet with a nice bow, and make a few hundred dollars from it. The first time that happens, you know you can make much, much more. Making money straight from your ideas is a game changer, folks.). I also know that I can always get another job if needed. Yes, I have a couple of university degrees under my belt, and I’m working on another, but, in addition to that, I have some crazy good life experience, drive, and I’m not afraid to get things done when I need to pay the bills. With dance, even when you do actually “fail” — have a bad class, mess up a performance, get an injury — there’s usually an opportunity to do better in the next class, try harder at the next performance, and to increase your strength so that you’re less likely to get injured in the same way in the future. Failure may exist, but only as long as we dwell on that feeling instead of focusing on ways to improve.
  2. I know that pain is temporary. Nobody likes pain. In fact, I’ve carried aloe vera, Band-Aids, and Advil in my purse since I was about 14 years old because I hate pain and I refuse to not be prepared for it. But, since I’m a dancer, I know that most physical pain will heal over a short time. In business, when things are uncomfortable, or when I’m learning systems that I don’t want to learn, I know that it’s part of a temporary pain that will soon go away and that my life will likely be better after I push through to get to the next level. (Disclaimer: I know dancing through injuries is a big problem in the dance world, especially in the world of classical ballet. I’m not endorsing that mindset, but I am saying that that mindset can be helpful in terms of being an entrepreneur. Sometimes we feel like it’s the end of the world. Later, we realize that it wasn’t. We just had to keep going. And that’s my truth.)
  3. I’m aware of a certain *magic* that exists for us artists that I’m not sure others are as keenly aware of. Maybe it’s from spending my childhood performing. Maybe it’s because my mother let me me dance around the living room for hours, re-enacting entire movie scenes (and often, as much of the movie as I could remember, which was typically a good amount). Maybe it’s because I’ve worked at summer camps for children, where “creating magical moments” was literally in my job description. But like, I know that magic is real. I know that it’s possible for us to create the life of our dreams. I know that the only real limits that exist are those that we place upon ourselves. (And this is not to discount systemic problems in the world, by any means. This is to say that, whether to my benefit or detriment, I’m a believer in fairy-tales and dreams that become reality.) They say that those who often succeed are those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. I think that’s true of dancers. We know that the possibility of living in a world of wonder is real. So we keep dreaming. And we keep doing.

What about you? What childhood activities or hobbies help you in your current business or career path? Let me know in a comment!

Using Your Dance Daze Dance Board for Photo Shoots

Have you ever had your own photo shoot, where you were the model, photographer, lighting director, and stylist? 

Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah McWoodson does this all the time.

Keep reading for some tips about how to use your Dance Daze Dance Board in your own photo shoot, with just you, your board, and your phone!

#1: Prepare all your materials in advance. When planning a solo photo shoot, Saumirah likes to get out everything she needs so that she can be efficient with her time (and also so that she can simply get the shoot done quickly, because people may be watching!). Saumirah typically gets out the following items for a solo photo shoot:

  1. iPhone
  2. Tripod (Did you know they have tripods made exclusively to hold cell phones? They are only about $20 for a really basic one on Amazon.com.)
  3. Small, folding tables (Saumirah uses 1 or 2 dinner trays because she always has these at home, they’re lightweight, and can be easily taken outside or placed in the backseat of a car.)
  4. Outfits (An easy way to “change” outfits is to wear all black or all white, styled with bold, colorful jewelry and a bright sweater, statement jacket, or hat that can easily make it seem like you’ve changed your entire ensemble, when you’ve only changed a single clothing item.)

#2: Find the best lighting. Saumirah’s favorite place to take photos is outside on her front lawn! She likes to do this anytime between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm. Yes, this happens to be the hottest time of the day, which isn’t pleasant. Some people prefer to NOT take photos directly in the sun and to sometimes use a simple reflector device to create the best lighting. But since Saumirah likes to keep things simple, she typically likes to face the sun so that in captures her natural glow. When facing directly into the sun; however, take note of how it may be reflecting on your face or clothing! (If you are wearing makeup for your solo photo shoot, you may want to keep face powder on hand to aid in blocking out some of the sunlight that may show directly on your face.)

#3: Play with your angles. Since you’ll likely be doing a dance-related photo shoot if you’re on your Dance Daze Dance Board, Saumirah recommends playing with different arm positions, showcasing different positions of the legs (even when that means showing off your foot that isn’t the most arched or your leg that doesn’t have the highest extension!), and even showing off different shoes in close up photos. If you’re doing your solo photo shoot outside, be aware of where your body may be casting shadows on your legs or other body parts. (Saumirah has ended up deleting many photos because she was casting a shadow on her face with the position of her arms.)

#4: Take your time. And user your phone’s timer. It is common for Saumirah to take anywhere from 10 to 20 shots in the same pose to try to get 3 to 5 that she LOVES! Even though it can be time-consuming, after each photo, she typically looks at the picture to analyze what she likes or doesn’t like about it. For example, she will pay attention to whether or not her legs or dance shoes are covered by a shadow; she will take note of whether or not the merchandise (i.e., a DDDB shirt or hoodie) is bunched up in a way that doesn’t showcase it in the best way, etc. Typically, taking about 20 photos, using the 10-second timer on her iPhone, will only take a few minutes.

#5: Have fun! What’s better than being completely in your own world, twirling around on your Dance Daze Dance Board, and taking photos?! Sometimes, absolutely nothing is more fun. So enjoy it, friend!

You Know What They Say: A Failure to Plan . . .

When I was younger, one of my favorite comedy movies was Sugar & Spice. (I have an eclectic taste in movies, so we’re not here to judge this reference.)

If you know me, you know that I tend to really like quotes, cheesy though they may be, and one that I picked up from the above-mentioned movie is: “A failure to plan is a plan for failure.”

I’ve said before, both here and on The Happy Dance Podcast, that I believe it’s really important to always, always have something wonderful toward which to look. Something to look forward to, said more simply.

In my opinion, always having something awesome on the horizon is motivating, inspiring, and gives us a reason for getting out of bed in the morning. I think this is true in life and that it can also be true in business.

You may call it “innovation” or “scaling.” I think it’s the concept of always creating new beginnings and continuing a thing by way of continually generating different ideas. I’ve found that focusing on improvement, or starting new programs, or developing new skills–all within the same business or under the umbrella of the same project–are great ways to keep the spark within a business and to keep making it fun and interesting. It gives us something to look forward to.

The longer that I work as an entrepreneur, the more strongly I believe that idea that “there’s always more where that came from” (which I believe I originally heard from fellow multi-passionate creative entrepreneur and lover-of-dance Marie Forleo). And, since there’s always more where the rest came from, there can always be something on the horizon to excite us, motivate us, and keep us going, even through the tougher or less interesting times in growing a business.

What do you have on the horizon for your business or project? Tell me about it in a comment!

Saumirah