Inspiration to Teach

Inspiration to Teach…

Inspiration can come in a number of ways, if you are open to it.  Sometimes inspiration comes even when you are not open to it.

My inspiration to keep going came from someone I don’t even know.  Just a little blurb that came across my Facebook one day from an online company , Dance Advantage.  Their  blurb was “Never Give Up”.  I’ve used that phrase probably a million times along with the phrase “Never Give In”.  “Never Give Up – Never Give In”.  Isn’t that the way it is in the dance world?

Some days you are riding the wave and splashing in the great pool of unchartered waters, and other days you are dancing with snails on the side of the fish tank.  We all have those moments.

When students come to me for training, I do hope that I can augment or compliment the other learning styles they are being taught.  However, some days it is hard, especially when you have corrected a student of a bad habit, and they continually repeat the same mistake.  Their answer, “Ms. _________ says we have to do it like this”.  In those times, it is hard to compliment.   It’s a never give up moment for sure. You correct again.

I do teach to inspire.  Any instructor who’s been out teaching, even at the basic level should have the ability to put together a routine, and fiddle with music.  However, it is usually those instructors who have a strong ballet background that show case their dancers early on in their best light.  Their technique generally rises above the rest.

If you have students who also work with other instructors – it is best to compliment one another, rather than work against them.  It doesn’t serve your students very well if you work against them, especially when they are trying so hard to learn correct technique.

If you use just the basics of ballet you will find that you will increase your student’s overall performance level greatly.  But you have to be consistent.   When you are creating choreography it is best to first understand the levels of your students.  Can they switch their hand and feet patterns to jazz, and back to ballet rapidly?  Do they get confused?   Do they have that level of training?  Are you setting your students up for failure in another area by adding too much difficulty in visual patterns?   Ask yourself some questions.  Be honest.  Take the competition out of your decisions.

Everybody wants to be a dance teacher.  But not everybody can teach well.  Even when you do teach well, if the student(s) have other instructors – is the training complimentary?

One discipline we can probably all agree on is ballet.  Ballet is a discipline.  Ballet is also an art.  Ballet is not for the casual recreationalist.  Ballet will weed out the weak from the strong.  It takes hours of bar and floor work, just to get the technique right.   You’ll have months of practice before you even begin to learn a dance. Are you up to the challenge?  Still want to teach?  Ballet not as exciting as solo competition and team jazz instructor?   I think it is!

Ballet is the body’s way of expressing itself through pure beauty.   It’s both elegant and graceful, and yet it’s powerful.  Yes, it is formal, but it can also be fun.  When you see your students start to advance above their peers in their other dance classes, you recognize the power of ballet.

I’m looking at a group of young ladies that are interested in pre-point next year, and turns and leaps.  I think they are going to drag me back into it.  They have the attitude of “Never Give Up – Never Give In”.  It’s one thing when you beg them to do something – it’s another when your students come to you and ask.

Inspire your students to want to do better.  Complement or augment with as many instructors as you can.  The dance community as a whole should equal one.  Keep it that way.  Ballet is a good start in that direction.