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 🫶