As part of our academic studies at Upper School we are required to keep a training log for the BTEC Dance qualification. This is to track our progress, to be aware of our goals and to ensure that we are doing our personal best to achieve full potential.
We were told that there is no ‘right or wrong’ on how to make use of our training log. We each bought a large project book and were allowed to choose how to divide it into the elements which contribute to the education we undergo as dancers. I have established five principal sections; training, nutrition, psychology, choreography and performance.
Training: Here I set weekly targets and record all the most valuable corrections I receive – not only during ballet class, but also during contemporary, character and pas de deux classes too. For example, I comment on how or why I did something well, and I make notes when I feel I could have done better and why. The analysis of both types of event is important.
Nutrition: We were asked to keep a food diary throughout the second week of term and to analyse whether we needed to quickly correct our intakes before our intense training kicks in. I now plan my evening meals for the week ahead, to better understand which foods give me the best energy and wellbeing.
Psychology: This is where I will reflect on personal strategies such as dealing with pressure, getting enough rest and having a positive mind set. It will enable me retain focus and to set clear goals.
Choreography: Another important area of our training to develop creativity and artistry. It plays an important role in our BTEC Dance studies so I will be recording observations from our weekly sessions.
Performance: In this section I would like to evaluate how my forthcoming performances and assessments go as well as to record what inspires me from watching other dancers perform.
In addition to our personal entries, we are encouraged to do research and to include useful articles and information from other sources. Our teachers will regularly check through our training logs and will give us feedback. At the end of the two-year course our final results will summarise how detailed our training logs are, how we achieved in individual units and in the various tasks we were set.
As you can imagine, this is an extremely beneficial project for aspiring young dancers. It improves organisation and makes us appreciate every single day of our training.