New home-study version now available!

The group version of How to Build a Sustainable Practice Habit won’t be offered until next year, but now you can get the new home-study version!.


Have you tried to establish a steady dance practice in the past

but couldn’t keep it up?

How to build a sustainable practice habit

Most of the techniques we try work just fine – but only in the short term.


Willpower-based advice like “just do it”, and panic-based techniques like external deadlines (prepping for an important show, etc.) motivate you for a little while, but fizzle out when the urgency fades.

(That’s a big part of why New Years Resolutions fail so often.)

So you end up right where you started.

Doing “feast or famine” practice (or no practice), and beating yourself up for not doing more.

To build a long-term practice habit, you need to take a sustainable approach.

One that focuses on habit, not willpower.

One that respects the realities of your life and priorities – but still finds a way.

One that’s flexible enough to deal with injuries, vacations, other obligations – and the simple fact that things change over time.

I did that in 2014

In less than a year, I completely turned around my dance practice.

I used to be a “feast or famine” practicer, doing hours of practice one day, and then nothing for days – or weeks!

But now I consistently practice every morning.

(And I am NOT a morning person.)

I didn’t discover some magic source of willpower

In fact, willpower had almost nothing to do with it.

I didn’t gain extra hours in the day

I had a full-time dance business and a full time day job when I did my turn-around.
(I’m now part-time at my day job, and loving it, but that happened later.)

Nadira's Graduation

I don’t have a literal engineer hat anymore. I didn’t keep the mortarboard. I did keep the engineering mindset. And the guy.

Instead, I got smart about how I practiced

You know that phrase “work smarter, not harder”? It’s bunk.

Practice takes work. There’s no getting around that.

But there are dozens of tiny things that make that work easier or harder to do.

So I put on my engineer hat.

I started observing and optimizing.

I noticed what took time away from practice.

I noticed what made me feel like not practicing.

I tweaked little things, like what I wear to bed.

I tweaked big things, like how I see the role of dance in my life.

I learned to work smarter so that I could work harder.

In 2017, you can do the same

Your life is different from mine, so your obstacles and tweaks will be different.

But the same process can get you there.

And I can help.


How to Build a Sustainable Practice Habit

Stop “feast or famine practicing”, and make steady practice a part of your life

If you’d like to create your own rock-solid practice habit this year, join me for this 9-week online course.

In this program, you’ll:


Gradually Ramp Up Your Dance Practice

We’ll begin with a hilariously short daily practice of just 2 minutes per day. (Yes, really!) This will build the foundation of your practice habit. Then over the course of 9 weeks, we’ll gradually work up to an hour per day. (You can also choose a lower amount, depending on your needs and goals.)

Find Your Real Motivation

Dancer in studio

Get rid of the “shoulds” that make practice a chore and find your “wants”

The carrot & stick approach works in the short term, but to stick with practice in the long term, you need to find your intrinsic motivation. So you’ll examine the “shoulds” that are clouding your practice goals, and find your real “wants”. Then you’ll translate that into realistic, sustainable practice goals.

Understand the Role of Willpower and Habit

Especially here in the US, there’s a belief that success is a matter of sheer willpower. But willpower is a finite resource. For long-term, sustainable action, what we really need is habit. So you’ll learn about how habits work, how to create habits to support your dance practice, and how to spend your willpower wisely.

Reduce Friction

Even with a strong habit in place, there are lots of tiny things that can get in the way of your practice. So we’ll start thinking like engineers: observing and optimizing. You’ll pay attention to the things in your environment, daily schedule, and mindset that make it easier or harder to practice. And you’ll experiment with small tweaks to make practice more likely to happen.

Prepare for Problems

There are also some bigger things that can jeopardize your practice. So you’ll create plans for dealing with curve balls like injury, illness, and vacations. And you’ll create strategies for day-to-day impediments like interruptions, boundaries, and getting the support you need to make time for practice.

With those plans in place, you’ll be prepared, so you can get back on track quickly.

Make the Most Of Your Practice Time

Our goal is to create a life-long practice habit, so showing up consistently is more important that what you actually do. But once your habit takes root, you’ll want to get as much benefit out of your practice time as possible. So we’ll talk about how to set short-term goals, and translate them into a practical practice plan. We’ll discuss structuring your practice session, deliberate practice, how to use DVDs effectively, and how to avoid procrasti-practice.

Learn How to Keep Working When You Feel Like Giving Up

As we work up to longer practice times, you may notice that you feel like giving up long before you want to. So you’ll learn to recognize how frustration, fatigue, and boredom affect your practice, and practice strategies to help you “ride the wave” until your motivation returns. (This is NOT a “just do it” approach.) Some of these are broad strategies like managing your energy, but some are just simple tricks.

Happy tired dancer

Enjoy that luscious feeling after a great practice.


Set Long-Term Goals

Once you have a steady practice habit, and know how to make the most of your practice time, you’ll want to make sure your practice time is aligned with your goals. So you’ll take an honest look at your dance goals, and make a plan for reaching them.

Take Off the Training Wheels

As you reach the end of the course, you’ll create a plan for how to maintain your practice habit. You’ll reevaluate how much you want to practice going forward, decide how to get accountability to keep you going, and what you’ll do when you get off track.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a steady practice habit, the know-how to spend it wisely, the tools to stay on track, and strategies to get back on track when you stray.


I won't try to make your practice a cookie-cutter copy of mine.

I won’t try to make your practice a cookie-cutter copy of mine.

No Cookie Cutters Here!

This program is based on my own practice transformation. But that doesn’t mean you have to create a cookie-cutter copy of my practice. Your life and goals are different from mine, so your practice should be too.

Instead, I reverse-engineered the process I followed to create my practice habit. So you’ll ask the same questions, and follow the same steps.

But you’ll find what works for you.


How it Works


How to Build a Sustainable Practice Habit is a 9-week online course.

Over the course of nine weeks, we’ll build a solid foundation for your dance practice, step-by-step.

The program has three components:

1) Gradually increasing practice targets: We’ll ramp up from 2 minutes per day to 60 minutes (or less, depending on your goals)
2) Practice support assignments: These will teach you the concepts and tools that support a steady practice, and help you make good use of them.
3) Personal support (optional): If you choose the premium option, you’ll also get personal support and accountability from me, and from your classmates. This is optional because I know some of you prefer to go it alone. But you’re much, much more likely to succeed with outside support.

Each week’s assignment will include:

Training audio: This will introduce you to the week’s concepts and tools.
PDF transcript: For those who would rather read than listen (or for quick reference).
Worksheets: To help you put those tools and concepts to work supporting your practice.


To make sure that you get the most out of the program, I have some great bonuses for you.

Q&A Calls

We’ll have two group calls during the program, so you’ll have a chance to ask questions. If you can’t make it live, don’t worry: you can send in questions beforehand, and the calls will be recorded.
private facebook group

Private Facebook Group (premium package only)

You’ll also be invited to a private Facebook group for course members. This is a safe, confidential space where you can meet your fellow students, ask me (and each other) for help, and cheer each other on. If you’d like some extra support and accountability, you can also be paired with a practice partner. Participation in the group is entirely optional, but the community and support will help you learn.

Accountability Check-Ins (premium package only)

When you’re establishing a new habit, accountability (i.e., knowing someone is watching and cares about your success) is key. So I’ll also be providing a daily accountability check-in. It only takes a minute or two: all you have to do is visit our private check-in page, and tell me whether you practiced, didn’t practice, or were taking a planned day off.


When does it start?

The program will begin on Monday, January 9th. The course will end on Sunday, March 12th.

What’s the time commitment?

Non-dance work: The weekly assignments are designed to take 60-90 minutes, but may vary from week to week, and person to person. You can do that all in one sitting, or spread it out over the course of the week.
Dance work: You get to choose. Our daily practice will ramp up from 2 minutes per day to 60 minutes. But you can choose to do less (overall or on a day-to-day basis), depending on your needs and goals.


When are the Q&A calls?

The calls will take place around three weeks and seven weeks into the program. Those will be scheduled after the course begins, so I can take everyone’s time zones into account.

But if you can’t make it to the live calls, don’t worry! The calls will be recorded, and you can send in your questions ahead of time.




Do I need any special equipment?

Nope! All you need is an email account to receive the lessons, and a telephone (or Skype account or web browser) to participate in the Q&A calls. For the lessons, you have your choice of listening to the audio files (MP3 format) or reading the written transcripts.


Do I have to practice every day?

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: I will ask you to practice every day, because our goal is to build a life-long habit, and consistency is key. But you don’t have to practice for a long time every day.

Depending on your needs and goals, you may only do a token practice of 5 minutes on certain days to maintain the habit, and do a longer practice session on others. (And don’t underestimate the power of 5 minutes – 5 minutes of shimmy drills, arm flows, or improv every day can really add up!)

You might also choose to practice only on weekdays, and take weekends off. Or if you have a non-standard schedule, you can set your own plan for “on days” and “off days”, as long as you commit to following it consistently.

You’ll figure out your ideal schedule as part of the program.

Do I have to practice in the morning?

No, you can choose any time of day to do your practice. That said, I do encourage you to at least experiment with morning practice during this course, and see how it goes. I am NOT a morning person, but I find that mornings are the most reliable time for practice.

I’m going on vacation during the class – will I fall behind?

Not at all! Vacations, travel, and sick days are part of life, and you’ll learn how to deal with them during the course. If your outage will fall before Week 4 (when we’ll cover that), just let me know so I can help you plan ahead.

What levels is this appropriate for?

This program is suitable for any level dancer, from total newbie through seasoned professional.

What styles is this appropriate for?

This course is completely style-neutral.
(It’s even topic neutral – you could use the same process to practice tap dance or the oboe or Spanish. But all the examples in the course will come from belly dance.)

I’d like to take this course so I can help my students practice more reliably. Is that okay?


Absolutely. I ask that you don’t share the materials or the full system with others, but you’re very welcome to share individual ideas or techniques, with proper credit.

(And once you’ve completed the course, I’m open to licensing the program for use with students or a study group.)


Sign Up Now

What’s Included:
Basic Package
Premium Package
9-week Email Course

Two Q&A Calls
(worth $30)

Private Facebook Group
(worth $40)

Accountability Check-ins
(worth $27)

$99 $109
Registration is now closed. Join the waiting list to hear about the next offering.


Still Not Sure?


Things come up. Life gets busy, emergencies appear, and priorities change. And I know from experience that your world tends to explode just when you’re doing something fun and exciting.

And that really sucks.

So while I hope that when March 12th comes, you’ll be ready to celebrate your progress with me, I know that some of you will need to drop out.

So I’m offering the “GAH! My World Is Exploding!” guarantee.

If you decide to drop out of the program for any reason – even if you love it but just can’t handle it right now – you can drop out by the 10th day (January 18th) and receive a full refund. Any lessons you’ve received up to that date will be yours to keep.

And when I say “for any reason”, I mean it.

If you decide the program sucks, or you can’t stand me personally, you can request a refund for that too.

(But I hope you will love the program and think I’m awesome.)

Of course, you don’t have to drop out.

The course was designed to be doable on your own, so there’s no need to keep up with the group. You’re welcome to stay enrolled in the class, and just save the lessons for when you have time to use them.

But if you’d rather just have your money back, I am 100% okay with that.

I hope to “see” you on the course!



p.s. If you still have any questions, or if you have trouble registering, don’t be shy – drop me a line!

p.p.s. But if you’re not sure, feel free to sign up anyway. There are absolutely no strings attached to the guarantee (besides the deadline), so you can always try it out, and request a refund if it’s not for you.

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