Mental Skills for Dancers (and all kids!)
We were lucky enough in October to invite the inspiring Lauren Ritchie (https://withlauren.ca) to come in and begin discussions about mental skills for dancers with our teachers, parents and dancers aged 10 and up. We wanted this initial workshop to be just the beginning of helping our BSSD dance family to enhance their knowledge of how Mental Skills training can build strong dancers and even more importantly strong and resilient kids. We want to carry on this conversation by sharing information from Lauren and also from local education professionals with a strong background in this area. To that end, we are starting a new series of blog posts all about Mental Skills and what the heck all of it means.
Mental Skills all start with the concept of Neuroplasticity.
Did you know the brain is not fully developed until one reaches their mid-twenties? Even then, your brain will continue to grow and strengthen throughout your entire life. Neuroscientists have learned that the brain is like a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it. Every time you try new things or practice a skill your brain is hard at work wiring and rewiring neural connections. You can picture these connections like roads that connect stimuli and thoughts together within your brain. These neural connections can turn into superhighways and become more robust with regular practice, positive thinking, effort, and intention. On the other hand, the less you practice a skill, the weaker that neural pathway will be, potentially downgrading to a gravel sideroad and becoming very unreliable. Through your experiences, your brain will continually change, adapt, and grow well into adulthood, and all of this growth is within your control!