Ziva’s Arabic Dance Corner: SMART DANCER

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Building dance goals for 2013


2013 is here!  With the New Year come new beginnings and good intentioned resolutions.  While I feel that resolutions can be cliché and unsuccessful, I do believe in well-structured goals.  I also believe in seeking new ways to become a stronger dancer.  Below I share how you can be a SMART DANCER in 2013 and eternally.

You may have already heard of the term “SMART goal”.  A SMART goal is meant to help you conquer objectives successfully.  As you construct your dance goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, action-based, realistic and timely.

Specific: A specific goal has a much better chance of being accomplished than a general goal.  Your goal should be well defined with clear actions that will be taken.  Write down the details of how and when you will accomplish each specific behavior. Also identify any requirements or constraints.


Measurable: A good goal should be measurable.  This can be challenging for dance goals due to the artistic nature of dance.  Consider crafting your goals so that they answer the questions, “How much?”,  “How many?”, and “How will I know that it is accomplished?”


Action-based: Your goals should be things that you will actually do. For example, a general goal such as “Become a better dancer” is an outcome, not an action.  A specific action-based goal would be, “Attend Arabic Dance class at Hipline 3 times a week and review new moves 5 evenings a week after work.”


Realistic: Your goal must be possible to achieve.  Consider your time and the resources available to you.  Make sure that your goal is attainable and that you are willing to work towards it.


Time-constrained: Goals must have a deadline.  With no set time frame, there is no sense of urgency.  Time bound goals will help you stay on track and give you a solid time reference.


Using the SMART goal guideline, let us delve deeper into the elements of becoming a stronger DANCER:


Drilling: Strong technique is the backbone to a dancer’s movement.  Where will you train and how will you make the time to practice?  Consider specific movement goals.  “I want to be able to layer a ¾ shimmy with a chest circle.  I want to maintain a consistent shimmy five minutes.”


Artistic: How can you further your art and tap into your creative side? What do you want to say with your dance?  What is your message?  How can you express yourself on a deeper level? Go to spaces where you feel most comfortable and that don’t have any distractions.  Allow yourself reflective and imaginative time.


New: Keep things fresh and stay inspired.  Pay close attention to what stimulates you.  What mediums can you use to see the latest performances and learn upcoming techniques?  Take workshops from Master instructors whenever possible.  Use YouTube to see dancers from all over the globe.


Culture: Research the traditions and background behind Arabic Dance.  Understand “herstory” and get to know the classic Raqs al Shaqui stars.  Grasp the foundations of Middle Eastern musicality and implement them into your dance.  Arabic Dance is a rich art form representing a variety of Middle Eastern cultures.  It is our duty to be aware of and respect the dance’s cultural background.  Create a list of trustworthy resources and use them.  Plan to visit your local library, travel abroad, take workshops, and ask your instructor meaningful questions.


Exposure: Plan to perform!  Getting ready for a performance is one of the best ways to better your dance.  A show will give you a deadline and an audience.  We all know that the best way to become a better performer is to perform.  Challenge yourself to incorporate different dynamics and elements of dance into your show.  Stay tuned as Hipline’s Arabic Dance Program will offer several performance opportunities in 2013.


Reason: At the end of the day, we dance because it fulfills us in some way.  Remember why you dance and let that inspire your goals and future dance aspirations.  Write down your reasons for dancing and tuck them away.  Pull them out when you need a friendly reminder.



Once you have your goals, write them down and refer to them often.  Put them somewhere you can see them and consider sharing your quest with a friend.  Good luck ladies, and happy goal conquering!


Ziva Emtiyaz

Hipline Arabic Dance Program Director



Ziva is a goal driven, die-hard dance advocate. She loves teaching Shimmy Pop, Shimmy Pop Toning, and Arabic Dance weekly at Hipline. To learn more about Ziva visit www.zivadancer.com

Hipline exists to inspire and empower women through movement. We nurture community, health, and diversity through all aspects of our company.