Confidence

Grit Guts Gumption, Go!

Do you know what it is to love without abandon? To keep going?

Photo: Tim Evan-Cook

There are three words that we remind ourselves of often: Grit. Guts. Gumption.

We first found these words, in that combination, when researching what creates the unmeasurable trait of "grit" within students. The answer? Being unafraid to fail, because they were taught to learn by failing.

Photo by: KidCase


 

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!"


 

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