It often starts innocently with that first preschool dance class. A year or two later, one class becomes two, or three, or four. Before you know it, your entire household’s schedule begins to revolve around classes and rehearsals or competitions. Work, phone calls, and sometimes even meals take place in a studio lobby. Your purse contains bobby pins, hair nets, and bandages. Your taxi (er… car) is littered with stray dance shoes, water bottles, and sequins. Your wallet, on the other hand, is empty! If this sounds familiar, you’re probably a Dance Parent!
If you are a family that has welcomed dance into your household and your hearts, you may have had no idea when you began this adventure that it could become so all-consuming! You receive direction, advice, and even… ahem… orders (nicely stated orders) from other parents, teachers, and even your own child. Yet, despite all of this input, there may still remain the questions and concerns of a parent whose focus is the welfare, health, and happiness of their own child.
It can be difficult to know where to turn for objective answers to these questions. Fortunately, I’m happy to announce a resource that contains some excellent information and solutions to the frequent concerns of dance parents everywhere. The offer is a free, download-able manual, written by Lisa Howell of The Ballet Blog specifically for parents of dancers. I recently highlighted some of Lisa’s work with Deborah Vogel of The Body Series. Lisa is a physiotherapist in Australia that works specifically with dancers. However, her mission and message reach a worldwide audience through her work online. She is the author of several manuals and resources that are aimed at helping students stay healthy and injury free and arming teachers with a strong base of information with which to guide their dancers toward this aim.
Her Parent’s Manual is certainly geared to those parents who have daughters embarking on a serious and intense study of dance, and particularly ballet. However, much of the information is quite useful for recreational students that take multiple classes, male students, or students taking classes in other disciplines. This is due to the wide variety of topics covered in this 100+ page e-book, which begins with lots of nutrition guidelines and concerns, goes on to speak about the physical development of a dancer, discusses injuries and their prevention, psychological issues in dance and dance training, choosing a school or teacher, and frequently asked questions about beginning pointe work.
A Knowledgeable Parent
Parents play a huge and important role in the education of dance students. A knowledgeable parent is one prepared to make decisions, offer mindful support, and ask informed questions. Ms. Howell’s manual is a quality resource that offers knowledge on important topics. I have read the material and appreciate Ms. Howell’s other work. She offers informative and professional guidance to the dance community.
The Parent’s Manual is not only great for parents but can be a useful tool for teachers in communicating with the parents of dancers. In fact, I have referenced Ms. Howell’s materials in my teaching and when working with parents. That is why I feel comfortable in sharing this resource with you.
To be clear, there are other materials available for purchase at Lisa Howell’s website. I am not receiving any compensation for sales on these items. The Parent’s Manual has been made available for free to dance parents (and teachers) and I simply hope you will take advantage of the information offered. I also want to be clear that Lisa is asking that you submit your name and email address in order to reach the link for downloading this e-book. You will be subscribed to newsletter updates which will often contain articles and answers to readers’ questions. I have enjoyed the information contained in these articles, however, you can unsubscribe from these additional emails easily via a clearly marked link at the bottom of the newsletter.
Okay, here’s the link:
Lisa Howell’s Perfect Pointe Parent’s Manual
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.