Recently I exchanged “stories” with a young ballet dancer. In a few paragraphs we were each able to summarize and hit the highlights of our dance backgrounds, life and training pathways while also revealing something of ourselves. The things she’s accomplished and experienced are compelling not because they are uniquely spectacular but unique to her, interpreted by her, shared by her. Whether you elect to focus your tale on dance or on your entire life’s journey, I’d simply like to invite your to share your story with the rest of us in a medium of your choice.
If your child is asking, investigate the reasons she wants to take a new or additional dance class. Costume style, choreography, musical accompaniment, or maintaining friendships may be no less valid or less important to her than the desire to enhance her skills. Dance should be fun, too! Do not devalue or brush away these motivations, they are part of the equation.
“I once took six months off from ballet when I was 14. My school commitments were growing and it was becoming seriously difficult to juggle everything. It reaffirmed for me, however, that ballet was my one love and out of everything what I should have been doing.”
Experience and exposure in a variety of dance styles is important for creating versatile dancers and may even be a necessity for aspiring professionals. Being well-rounded in dance is a good thing. Exposure to different dance forms, starting at a young age, is a great thing. So where’s the myth? It lies in the misplaced emphasis on experience and omission of training.
Highlighting a few of the many continuing education programs and events for dance teachers, as well as links to many more, and alternative ideas for refreshing and inspiring your teaching over the summer.
Opinions on the characteristics of a good dance studio or school abound. In previous posts I have outlined what I feel are important qualities to consider when assessing where you are currently or potentially studying dance.