Look For the Little You

Look for the Little You
by Rhee Gold

When I do my seminars, I always ask, “How many of you were the best dancer in your class?” In groups as large as 500, only one or two people raise their hands, and sometimes no one does.

This tells me something that I think is really important for dance educators to know. Most of the time, it is not our best students who move on to become the pro dancer or teacher. Often, the best take their natural talent for granted and never feel the passion that burns in every committed dancer.

Instead, it turns out to be the little dancer in the second row who struggles with her turnout and never hits a real passé who someday takes the Broadway stage by storm or becomes the awesome teacher whom you take pride in having trained.

Look for and appreciate the little dancer in the second row that may not be as strong as the others—but boy, does she have the passion. Grab her by the hand, bring her to the front of the classroom, and make her day. It could be the moment that gives her the confidence to become you!


  1. Ashani Kiner on February 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    This is very true, and a post that all dance teachers should read! I will also keep this in mind for my students. Although, as a young dancer, I was the best in my class lol. At least for a few years! lol Thanks for a great post Rhee! 🙂

  2. Betty McRoberts on February 26, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Rhee, This actually got me all choked up. How true and how nicely put. I would see another teacher at the dance studio single out a child who is trying so hard and really interested in perfecting their move only to be beat down emotionally and maybe scarred for life. I made it a point to find something good that the child should show off to the rest of the class and gave them a moment to shine. You know, our “ugly duckling” is now a professional ballet dancer. I say “bravo” to them.

  3. Teri on February 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Once upon a time, I was that child, always in the back row, or at the end of the line in all the routines. A slow learner, who went home and practiced every day to keep up. -A body, that hindered instead of helped. I now own a small school, in a small town. My intensive students always get into the major schools & summer study programs they audition for, and many are offered scholarships to boot! So see, I’m a good teacher, becuase, I had to do a lot more work than the average “Joe”.
    -And I’m HAPPY!