Classroom Wisdom

Imagine the Collective Success

Imagine the Collective Success

As a teenager, I remember overhearing a group of dance teachers at a dance convention get all fired up about the recent rumor they had heard about another dance teacher (who was not there, of course).

Dance Teachers Are Special People

Dance Teachers Are Special People

How long has it been since you caught your reflection in the mirror and thought about how happy you are just to be you?

Who is Fierce

Who is Fierce?

They don’t perform grand leaps, not one fouetté turn nor a single pirouette, and there’s no flash at all. Yet you watch them with your mouth open, while that head-to-toe body chill takes over your full being for a few moments as you settle into the greatness before your eyes.

We Have Come a Long Way, Baby

We Have Come a Long Way, Baby

After months of attending conferences and giving speeches across the United States and Canada, I’ve discovered that there is always more to appreciate about our dance education community.

We are witnessing a time in dance history when many school owners have become smart small business owners who offer quality dance education to every child—and they are being rewarded with financial success. For dance teachers, there have never been more opportunities to teach, not only at these schools but also in a new field that has evolved, in which master teachers travel throughout North America to teach and choreograph at small-town studios. And everywhere they go, they inspire young people to pursue their dance dreams.

Find the Real Win in Dance Competition

Find the Real Win in Competition

by Rhee Gold As we begin a new competition season, let’s remember that our goal should be to instill in our students a passion for performing rather than merely the desire to win awards. The satisfaction of an excellent performance is all the inspiration we and our students need to work harder and continue improving. We shouldn’t judge our students’ performances on the size of the trophies or the color of the medals they take home. And we shouldn’t judge ourselves or our abilities as teachers, mentors, and leaders by the results of a competition. Our students’ participation in competitions…

Special Needs Teaching Advice

Special Needs Teaching Advice

by Tricia Gomez Finding the Just-Right Challenge We’ve all experienced walking into a dance class as a student and finding it beyond our understanding or abilities. Maybe the teacher teaches too fast, uses unfamiliar terminology, or asks you to do something that requires more flexibility than you have. Or you’re excited to take a workshop—only to find out that it’s intended for beginners. But you’ve paid for the class, so you stick it out. If we’re able to self-regulate effectively, we can maintain self-control and behave appropriately in these undesirable situations. But individuals who have difficulty self-regulating may react to…

Opinion Better Behavior Better Convention

Opinion: Better Behavior = Better Conventions

by Erik Saradpon As the popularity of dance has increased, so too has dance convention attendance. As an educator, I’m fortunate to experience conventions from both sides: I take my students to conventions frequently, and I also teach at conventions. But I’ve noticed some convention behavior that needs to be addressed. I want convention teachers, studio teachers, and parents to put students’ needs first, and I have some ideas about how to make that happen. Here are the points I think we should consider: Let’s take convention classes seriously Class is the most sacred part of a child’s growth as…

Blessings

Blessings

by Rhee Gold As adults (parents and teachers) we know that our blessings are not the awards that our children win at dance competitions (or any other activity). Our blessings are children with healthy bodies who have a passion for the art of dance. It leads them on an awesome journey that will make them smarter, better, braver, more determined . . . it keeps them protected and off the streets. It’s time to think of the award as gravy on an already perfect life experience.

Looking for the Good

Looking for the Good

by Rhee Gold Lately I have been heard a lot of discussion about what’s wrong with dance education, especially in regard to appropriate choreography, costume, music and the sexualization of dance. And I too see a problem . . . BUT, I want to share with you the good that is happening. There are schools, teachers and dancers who are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for kids with cancer. There are teachers who are creating choreography with a message to help to make the world a better place, while they educate their dancers on acceptance. Teachers are continuing their…

I Have Often Wondered

I Have Often Wondered

by Rhee Gold I have often wondered why we (dance teachers) can be friends with teachers and school owners who teach in another state or quite a distance from where we do, but if the teacher or school happens to be in the same town, then they are often considered the enemy? What is hard to understand is that the teacher up the street possesses the same passion that we do. We actually have more in common with them than we do the teacher who happens to do their thing quite a distance from us. Just a thought . ….