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Reflect, Reframe, Reset - dealing with the ups and downs of Irish dancing

Dec 06, 2023

The Irish dance year is over and this is the perfect time to reflect, reframe and reset. These ‘3 R’s’ are a staple in our MWM community. Our MWM Gold Club dancers are taught in detail how to reflect, reframe and reset on a regular basis during their weekly mindset classes with Annabelle. 


Taking the time to reflect, reframe and reset at the end of the dancing year helps Irish dancers to understand what they did well, what they may need to improve on next year and also think about how to improve in the upcoming year too. Without taking the time to go through this process, dancers tend to repeat similar mistakes for much longer than dancers who actively reflect, reframe and reset. 


So, let’s break the process down so you can do this at home…




The first step in this process is to reflect. Reflection means to look back; whether that be look back over the day, the week, the month or the year. When we reflect back, we want to think about our actions, habits and beliefs critically. This means to challenge ourselves to question why we did things and whether they were the best choices to make. 


So ask yourself these questions: 


  1. If I had to sum up my dance year in one word - what word would I pick? 
  2. What went well in the dance year? 
  3. What didn’t go so well this year? 
  4. What would I change about this dance year if I could? 
  5. What habits served me this year?
  6. What did I do this year better than last year? 
  7. What made me a great dancer this year? 
  8. What was my mindset like during the dance year? 
  9. What did I do to improve my dancing this year? Did it work? 
  10. What was my highlight of the dance year? 



The second part of this process is to reframe. This simply means to think about something differently. This is a skill that many dancers find difficult, which isn’t unusual because it is a hard task. But with some practise it does get a lot easier and can make a HUGE difference to dancers’ mindset. 


To learn how to reframe, think about a situation during the year that wasn’t ‘ideal’. For example, being injured. Once you think about the situation you are going to reframe (or more often than not, the situations - as there will be more than one), your thoughts and feelings around the situation will be most likely negative, painful or upsetting. 


Now, think about as many positives about that same situation as possible. We often say to aim for three and see if you can think of more after that. 


So to use my example, some positives of being injured could be: 

  • You had more time to catch up on school work and revision during a busy exam period 
  • You used that time to work on your weaknesses that you don’t always get time to when you are dancing - e.g. although you may have a sprained ankle, you could have spent more time working on your carriage 
  • You had more time to watch the other dancers in your class and you learnt from them. Maybe a teammate kicks her bum more times than you do and you’ve never noticed before or your friend who has the amazing kicks does a certain stretch every class that you have never tried 
  • You had more time to work on your mindset and bouncing back from this injury increased your resilience 
  • You spent more time strengthening a weak part of your body by doing your physio exercises and this decreases the likelihood of it happening again


As I said, you may find this difficult at the start but keep practising it and it will get easier. Each ‘negative’ will have a positive that comes from it and eventually you will be able to think of these positives when the situation is happening which helps dancers with their resilience, self-compassion and self-belief. 



Now, it is time to reset and look forward! There’s a very exciting dance year ahead of you and now it is time for you to get excited about it. This is the stage that dancers find the easiest but sometimes dancers’ answers are hugely reflected by how they are feeling at the time. 


If you are feeling really motivated then dancers often set goals which are unrealistic - whether that be their goal is too much of a stretch from where they currently are or they set themselves goals which will never fit into their timetables e.g. practising every night when they have homework, dancing, other sports, rest days and social events to schedule in as well. On the other hand, if you have had a disappointing Oireachtas or you are lacking in confidence in your dancing, then dancers can sometimes set themselves goals which are too low for their standard and are actually TOO achievable. It is best to do this task a few weeks after your final feis of the year or ask a trusted friend or family member to check over this forward plan with you. 


Have a think about these questions…


  1. What goal do you want to achieve in the next 12 months?
  2. If I had to break this goal down into four smaller goals - what would they look like? 
  3. Who will help to get me there? 
  4. What do I need to change to make this goal achievable? 
  5. Why do I want to achieve this goal? 


From this point you can go on to make a more detailed plan of action of how you are going to achieve these goals! 


Our reflect, reframe and reset formula doesn’t just have to be an end of the year process - you can do this on a monthly basis if you wish! Remember that by going through this process can be massively beneficial to your upcoming dance season. 


Let us know if you enjoy your Reflect, Reframe and Reset process and if you learnt anything new about yourself. Remember, our MWM Mindset Coach, Annabelle, runs through this process in her sessions during our MWM Gold Club weekly mindset classes. 


You can join in with these here or look into 1:1 Mindset classes here.

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