ballet

The Fine Line Between Fun & Discipline

Just as every math, science and English teacher desires, we dance teachers desire for our subject to be fun. We were drawn to dance because of its energy, passion, creativity and FUN. It makes us smile, feel weightless and unstoppable. But there was always a distinct line: a line that we learned to be aware of and respect.

Somewhere along your dance experience you must learn that dance isn't just chassés in a circle, or "head-shoulders-knees-and toes." To REACH a new level of freedom in dance (and fun in dance) requires technique, dedication, loyalty and persistence.

It takes all of the bad days you have in dance, when nothing goes right and your body is working 110% against you, to test your technique, dedication, loyalty and persistence. Dance, just like anything you could want, will seduce you just long enough until it's ready to pull away! It makes you work for it.

As a dancer, we know the line well, but as a teacher? We had to discover when to acknowledge and enforce the line. Sure, we have rules which we establish the first day of class: No gum, No hair in the face, No baggy clothes, No talking over each other, No asking the same question your fellow dancer just asked, No saying "I can't," No disrespect toward the studio, the art, other dancers, or the teacher. But we also encourage our students to open up: tell stories, express when they are frustrated (as long as they do not quit), and share whatever they're going through (happy, sad, mad, bad). Sharing creates caring as well as unexpected connections in the studio. It dissolves the walls our students bring into class on the first day, and promotes a good learning environment so that the result is a fantastic piece at the show.

However, it also brings... relaxation.

This is the line.


 

Confidence by Trial & Error

We can all agree on at least one thing: Turning the hot water off while in the shower during the winter, so difficult. If you're anything like us, we sit there and stare at it knowing as soon as we turn this off the real world is going to hit us like an ice truck, then we're going to have to get out of the shower, grab the towel, and run - freezing - down the hall, where we will inevitably have to get ready for work and start what we're sure will be a very long day. (Deep breath). That entire process is started by having to admit: "You can't stay here in the warm, soothing water all day."

A lot of people don't do simply because they know the chain of events to follow may be downright uncomfortable. But sometimes, that's exactly what we need.

While we were never scared to dance in front of our fellow arts school classmates, singing was another thing all together. As students in the Musical Theater department, we were required to stand in front of peers, who we were also trying to develop friendships with, and sing. If we could tell you how many times this process felt like sandpaper on sunburn... and how many times we prayed we could unzip our skin and walk away, you would be reading this blog for far longer than you budgeted time for.


 

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Design & Development by Shane Jeffers