Education

What We Owe to Our Communities

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”

Remember this. Always. We all have talents and strengths and we must use these to benefit our futures.


 

Imagination = Power

im·ag·i·na·tion: noun / forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses; ability to face and resolve difficulties.

One of the most valuable, unique, marketable abilities in a person is their imagination. One's imagination is instilled within during their childhood and throughout their adolescence. Imagination helps children solve problems, because it links them to various different outcomes. Imagination also helps children "practice" real-life skills (pretend grocery shopping, pretend doctor). Tests also show an increased vocabulary, but most importantly... imagination results in creative thinkers, which our world needs to be successful!


 

How to Be Successful in Class

It’s the first day of school. You get your little one ready: lunch packed, clothes in all the right places, and pencils, paper and all of the other essentials for learning. You take your child to be dropped off and that is where the torch moves from parents’ hands to teachers’ hands.

We, as teachers, need certain things (for lack of better word) from our students’ parents, the same way parents need certain things from their students’ teachers.

First and foremost, and something to never forget, we are on the same team. If your child’s name is Katie, we’re on Team Katie. Michael? Go Team Michael! We just work different hours on the schedule. I know, I know. There is no such thing as a parent “clocking out,” but when it comes to your child’s education… it is a little like clocking out. We pick up after you drop them off, and vice versa.

Directly from teacher to parent, here is what we need from you:

pencils
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Raising Artists

I'm back! Fresh off the train from New York City!

Classes were challenging and inspiring. Some of my students felt, for the first time, their Super Hero Dancer inside of them; they were doing things they've never done before. This glimpse of how freeing dance can be has instilled within them a new confidence, and fanned a flame inside of them.


 

If There is Only One Thing

We sat in class watching dance students. They are all in different phases of life; Some are starting high school, some just finished and are packing up their childhood, on their way to college. Some were going through personal drama, and others are dealing with bad friends or embarrassing moments. We wondered:

If there is only one thing they take from their teachers, what would it be?

We want them to feel and understand completely how deeply the love for dance runs. And we want them to carry that confidence with them always.

Our passion for dance cannot be measured. It's nothing like baking cupcakes. There isn't a specific amount of passion to be poured into the mix. For us, it is everything, all of it: the reason why we do what we do, live how we live, believe how we believe. It's the reason why we carry faith and happiness with us in everything we do. Within every one of our cells there is an urge and need and desire to dance. It's a rush, a jolt of beautiful, that feels a little something like...


 

Work With What You've Got: Your Turnout

"Turn out! Rotate, rotate, rotate! From the hip!"

Dancers, you've grown up hearing these words. From the day we learn what First Position is in ballet, you've heard these words more than you've probably heard any other collection of words.

We model ourselves off of the ballerinas we see on stage, on TV, in photographs and magazines. While this helps us visualize what the "ultimate goal" is, it isn't necessarily healthy. We have to learn a valuable lesson first:

You've got to work with what you've got!


 

How to Teach Confidence

The first day of dance class: The students come in, quietly put their bags down, then walk to an isolated part of the room to start stretching. Some just stand there. It's as if their bodies are just stuck in the space in a standing position. They look around at the other dancers. Eyeing this, eyeing that, eyeing her, him, me. They have no idea what the class will be like.

First order of business: Confidence.

As teachers, we know if you're going to get these students to dance, and we mean really dance, you have to make them feel comfortable in three different areas:

1. With themselves

2. With their classmates

3. With that inner voice that tells them, "You can!" and "You can't!"


 

What To Love About Teaching

Plain and simple. What we love about teaching.

Watching a student realize they are capable of doing something they never imagined they were capable of.


 

Future Investments

"This is what it's all about: to make a child happy. And you know it." –Woody (Toy Story 2)


 

The Biggest Mistake Public Schools Can Make

So, rumor has it (and school budgets are proving) that public schools are slashing their Arts programs. No longer can they afford to pay a teacher to teach a child how to sing, read music, deliver a monologue, learn an instrument, learn the history and icons of the arts. This breaks our hearts.

Instead, however, of appealing to your emotional side, I'll just tell it how it would be without the Arts.


 

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