by Debra Danese After teaching my students new choreography, I end the class or rehearsal by saying, “Don’t forget to review before we meet again.” However, in the next class I often need to reteach the movement rather than reviewing and adding on. To the students’ explanation that they don’t have time to practice because of school and other activities, I respond, “Practice in your mind,” because we all have time for that. To help them learn to do this effectively, I incorporate creative visualization into class time, a process that is often referred to by sports psychologists as “mental…
Taking students to competitions is an expensive endeavor. Explaining the costs involved to parents is important, and ensuring that parents follow through on their financial commitments can be difficult. Three studio owners devised plans for making the interactions surrounding competition costs as painless as possible, and they might work for you too.
Although I discourage using the word “lose,” it’s the best way to make my point. Some of the smartest and brightest people got that way from losing many of their battles. We learn from the losing process or by not getting what we want. It’s how we improve ourselves.
I’ve discovered a trend. It’s a growing disconnect between what’s said and what’s done. The frustration that arises among teachers and school owners stems from students and parents who feel that they don’t have to abide by the policies or rules set forth by their dance school, that they, or their situations, are exceptions to the rules
“You’re an artistic genius! How do you come up with an idea like that?” “Motivated to be different” is the motto of the teacher who choreographed the piece that everyone is raving about. She’s the one who doesn’t want to be like anyone else or follow the current trends in choreography.
TEACHERS: Great choreography isn’t about emulating the latest trend or the award you may win. Greatness is present in the choreographer who has the ability to make every dancer look good (and feel confident) regardless of the skill level of the students. You accomplish this by creating works in which the audience can’t tell the difference between the strongest and the “not as strong” students because of your genius choreography. Have a great day–Rhee
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…
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.
by Rhee Gold It’s the day after a long competition. Maybe your dancers did excellent, and maybe they didn’t? Either way, don’t make that what matters most post-competition. Ask your dancers, “What was your favorite piece from another school?” Share with them something you liked about someone else’s work. Ask them, “What do you feel that we need to work harder at?” I could go on with the questions, but you get my drift. It takes total confidence in who you are and what you believe to “rave” about others accomplishments, and to know where you truly stand. Teach kids…