Foundations for Excellence: Beyond physical practice

dancer with arched back and arms above head infront of Cardiff bay skyline. Young white female wearing black leotard and green silk trousers

By Terry Clark, Sanna M. Nordin and Imogen J. Walker, Trinity Laban

Being successful within the performing arts requires much more than just high levels of technical facility. Efficient use of psychological skills is a key part of effective training and performing. Central to this are the skills of goal setting, imagery, arousal control, and self-talk, which can be used within the studio or practice room and when preparing to go on stage.

Foundations for Excellence began as a Department for Children, Schools and Families’ Music and Dance Scheme conference in February 2009 at Dartington Hall. The energy that was evident at this event made it clear to the programme committee that this work needed to be developed and distributed further; to provide a resource to as many practitioners and young musicians and dancers to have access to the latest research, ideas, examples and good practice as possible.

Foundations for Excellence existed to share research, resources and best practice for the support and development of talented young musicians, singers and dancers. This was achieved through the online resource hub, the commission of new information sheets on a variety of specific topics and a biennial conference.

These information sheets were created by Foundations for Excellence in collaboration with One Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer Programme. You can find links to the other information sheets below.

Losing yourself in the work, or lost to nerves?
The nature of motivation: a question of ‘Why?’
The intricate dance between motivation, goals, and success in the performing arts: A guide for teachers
Managing Joint Hypermobility – A Guide for Dance Teachers


Who is this for? Health and Wellbeing

Created on 05 July 2023

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