After last week’s blog post, 3 Ways to Encourage Mindfulness in Dance Class, we figured, the more mindful, the merrier!

Here are 3 MORE ways you can infuse your class with a dose of mindfulness:

Tense + Release Exercise – Have your students lie flat on their backs and close their eyes. Encourage them to notice their breath, bringing awareness to their present senses. Working up from the toes to the face muscles, guide your dancers through gently tightening different muscle groups for 5 seconds at a time and then slowly releasing after. Your dancers should feel more relaxed, centered, and prepared to take on whatever you have planned for class!
Belly Breathing– Among many benefits, breath-work has been proven to assist in regulating the nervous system, decreasing stress, and resetting one’s mental state. Our favorite way to incorporate it into class is by imagining our bellies as balloons. Have your dancers stand or sit in a comfortable position and close their eyes. Encourage them to sit tall and elongate their spine. Then have them imagine their bellies as a big balloons they’re slowly filling up with air. When their balloon is full, have them hold it for a moment, then slowly release and let the air all the way out.
Five Senses Safari– This is a fun one, especially for your younger classes! It activates the imagination and encourages awareness. When you feel like your class needs a reset, take them on a 1 minute safari. Set your timer and ask them connect with each of their senses. If you’re going to go on safari, you need to keep your awareness and stay present in the moment. As they silently walk around the room with you, set a calming scene for them to explore, being specific about the imaginary environment’s details. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? Do you smell anything? Can you feel anything? What snack did you pack for safari and how good does it taste? Because before you know it, the timer will be up and it’ll be time to head back to class with all the mindful tools we picked up from our adventure.

Pro-tipWe recommend setting extra time for yourself to transition out of your scene and get dancers back to class mode.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. To help encourage more advocation for mental health support within the dance community, give this article a save, repost, or share to any of your favorite platforms. Follow us on Instagram @reachforthebarresla for more dance tips, tricks, and tutu cute content 🫶


Have you ever had a class where you felt you were doing more behavior management than dancing? Have you noticed shorter attention spans, hyperactive, impulsive behavior, or negative self-talk among your students? If so, it might be time to introduce the power of mindfulness to your dancers.


What is mindfulness? It is “the nonjudgmental focus of one’s attention on the experience that occurs in the present moment.” (Bernier, Thienot, Codron, & Fournier, 2009). As more research emerges on the effects of teaching mindfulness to children, evidence suggests that students who practice it show an increase in focus, decrease in stress, improved self-regulation, enhanced social-emotional development, and an overall boost to their mental health as well as their class performance.
Here are 3 ways you can infuse your class with a dose of mindfulness:


  • MEDITATION– Start class by having students sit in a comfortable position or lying down on the floor. You can encourage them to place one hand on their heart and another on their stomach. Feel free to turn off the lights. Have them close their eyes and think of a place that brings them joy. Nudge them to notice their breath and feelings in their present moment of stillness. From this place of peace, ask them to silently set an intention for their class- including how they would like to feel by the end of it. Slowly bring them back to class by turning the lights back on and increasing the volume of your music. If you feel inclined to do so, before continuing with class, you may choose to have your dancers share their intentions with one another or even share your own. This practice allows your class to start from a place of peace with each student feel more grounded within themselves and committed to upholding their intention


  • AFFIRMATIONSThis is a powerful tool to generate self-awareness, confidence, and compassion within your dancers. Use these through out your classes as needed. This could look like a structured list of affirmations your dancers repeat before and at the end of every class, or you can simply offer them to your dancers when you feel they need an extra boost-  especially when they’re struggling to feel confident in themselves and their abilities. Here’s a few of our favorites:
    I can do anything I put my mind to.
    I am more than enough.
    I am proud of how far I’ve come.
    I am determined, capable, and patient.
    Every body moves in its own beautiful, unique way.

    Feel free to come up with your own affirmations as you know your dancers best. Or  better yet- have your dancers come up with their own affirmations.


  • GRATITUDE– Practicing gratitude has been proven to support a healthy mindset and increase levels of happiness. By incorporating it into your classes, your dancers will learn the power of perspective. Over time, they will probably be grateful you for showing them this simple, yet effective life-hack. Either at the beginning or end of class, have your dancers sit in a circle and pose the question, “ What’s one thing you are grateful for when you dance?” Let them meditate for a minute and when the time comes encourage them to share their answers. Through a lens of self-reflection and appreciation, dancers will be able to transform their past dance experiences from ones that were rooted in comparison and self-deprecation to one of growth and self-love.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. To help encourage more advocation for mental health support within the dance community, give this article a save, repost, or share to any of your favorite platforms. Follow us on Instagram @reachforthebarresla for more dance tips, tricks, and tutu cute content 🫶

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and while dance may be one of the most effective ways to improve one’s mental health overall, there are aspects to a dancer’s experience that may challenge the balance between the mind and the body. Especially in more traditional dance settings, things like the mirror, food, and even peers can inhibit a dancer’s ability to maintain a healthy mindset. When this happens, comparison is chosen over compassion. Image is chosen over wellness. Perfectionism is chosen over personal care.
But, there are ways to shield dancers from these harmful notions. Whether you’re a dance teacher, a caregiver, or family member, in this article we aim to equip you with important tools to use in class or at home to support your dancers’ mental health through out their lives.
  1. Open the line of communication Talking about mental health is one way to  alleviate the stigma associated with it, as well as ease any tentativeness discussing topics like depression, anxiety, and body image. For example, up until recently, the concept of mental health was not readily accepted as a suitable topic of discussion in society. Now in our present day, it has become clear that silence perpetuates the problem. Not sure how to break the silence with your dancer? Share a way you practice self-care in your daily routine or what you do when you’re feeling down.
  2.  Advocate for healthy choices Dance is great for your physical health! However, when the emphasis is on one’s figure rather than wellbeing, the message that sends to dancers can be both mentally and physically damaging with long lasting effects. As teachers, caregivers, and parents, however, you can choose to send a different message. If you’re a teacher, being inclusive of all body types and abilities in class can radically shift your students’ definition of the word, “dancer.” At home, the conversation can be extended to the importance of eating healthy foods in order to make dancing stronger and more powerful. What’s our favorite way to advocate for a healthy choices? Leading by example. Your dancers are bound to notice and be inspired to follow suit.
  3. Promote positive self-talk- When you’re in a bad mood, have you ever noticed yourself talking down to yourself with phrases like, “Ugh, you can never do anything right” or “Why are you like this?!”- either internally or out-loud? Chances are you probably wouldn’t talk to your dancer that way, and you probably wouldn’t want them talking to themselves that way either! A change in the script can make a huge difference to self-esteem and can be helpful in nurturing compassion for ourselves (and each other) when we go through challenging times in life.. Instead of letting your dancer succumb to negative self talk, offer different phrases to try like, “I’m still learning” or “I’m growing through what I go through”. Through positive reframing like this, dancers learn the power of perspective and its ability to not only enrich their growth on the dance floor, but also, their mental health through out their lives.

    Try these at home and in class to help support your dancer’s mental health today!

Some of the BEST memories are made on a dance floor together! As we celebrate Bring Your Person to Class (BYPTC) at the studio this week, it got us reflecting on how special it is to share dance with loved ones- something our Mini & Me classes get to do every week! In this article, we aim to explore the ways dancing together, whether its in BYPTC week or a weekly Mini & Me class, benefit both the adult and the child.

Below, we share 5 benefits both you and your mini me will gain from taking class together:

  1. Bonding + Quality Time – Carving out special dance time together helps facilitate and support the adult + child connection. When you commit to following through on taking class together, you enforce the promise you made to share in something intentionally special for you two, increasing trust, strengthening your bond, and promoting consistency, which is essential to motor and mental development.
  2. Developing Mental and Motor Skills– Speaking of motor and mental development- dance class is an optimal approach to achieving and supporting healthy bodies. Studies show that both adults and children benefit from dance classes, and some benefits include increased brain function, memory retention, and strengthening muscles, among many others. Scroll through to see our post entitled, “5 Ways Children Benefit from Dance Classes for more!
  3. Socializing– Dancing together is a wonderful way to connect to the community and make new friends. Through sharing the experience of class together, your dancer will explore creating friendships for the first time, while you are able to connect with other adults on all things childcare, dance, and more! For many, the connections and friendships built in class can be lasting, positive relationships that extend beyond dance and widen the net of support for families, caregivers, and students.
  4. Expression– Dancing holds the power to unlock and release emotions in a healthy, mindful, and creative way. For both adults and children, who each deal with their own daily stressors and challenges, the act of coming together on the dance floor can empower both parties to explore their expression in a conducive way. The effects of this expression can have an overall positive impact on one’s own sense of happiness as well as the relationships and friendships within one’s own circle.
  5. Develop Independence– You’ve heard the expression: “Monkey see, monkey do”? The same is true for dancing together! While initially you may wonder how dancing with someone could result in increased independence, we’ve found that with the assistance of their adult in class, dancers are excited to watch, learn, and model moves and class expectations exhibited by their adult. Ultimately, this will encourage them to make similar choices in class on their own. Over time and with consistency, dancers will see a boost in their confidence and autonomy on the dance floor, allowing adults to be able to sit back more and let loose in their own way.

    Whether you come for BYPTC week or to one of our weekly Mini & Me classes, we’re thrilled to provide the opportunity for families to connect through dance here at Reach For The Barres! Hope to see you AND your dancer in the studio soon!