Journaling, Your Tween and Your Dancer
Courtesy of: Jackrabbit Dance
Journaling can be very helpful to tweens in several ways, including (1) helping them to develop skills,(2) documenting and remembering milestones, (3) resolving problems, and (4) working through anxiety.
This does not have to be presented as a reason for doing it, but journaling can be extremely beneficial in helping tweens further develop reading and writing skills by exposing and encouraging their story telling “voice”.
Documenting and recording life’s events is very important and doing it as a tween can be very valuable in helping the tween begin to understand the changes in their bodies, their attitudes and their desires that they are experiencing. When they are older, these pages may provide some level of enjoyment. After all, eventually all of that tween confusion will finally makes sense.
Dealing with problems is difficult whether you are an adult, a child or a tween. Journaling helps encourage a thoughtful, decision making process.
Articulating stressful thoughts through writing can help your tween/teen define the issue and work to the core of the problem. The action of writing these thoughts down may actually even help your tween to release frustration that can turn into anger if they continue to internalize their emotions.
In addition to these four components, there is something else that journaling can help with: developing creativity. This is an area that is especially exciting for dancers!
If your tween is really engaged in journaling, it should be quite exciting and inspiring. One reason for this is that journaling is completely individual. There are no “directions” to follow to do it “correctly”. It should be different for everyone. Through writing, drawing and mixed media, the journal can take on a scrapbook look and should be a reflection of its author.
Journaling should be a unique form of expression, different from scholastic- based assignments. The important part of journaling is translating feelings and imagery that is inside onto the tangible medium of the paper. For tween dancers, journaling helps ideas bring ideas, goals, and inspirations to life, creating an incredibly valuable tool for maturing their depth of expression.
Resource: AboutParenting.com, Dance Teacher Magazine
Dance Exec Note:
We have recently implemented journaling as an exercise for our competitive students. The students are becoming more thoughtful and self-aware, and we are noticing a positive impact on their progress. The students are excited for journaling time and look forward to it on a consistent basis. In your studio, consider encouraging the students to write about: progress, goals, memorable moments, etc.