This week is Love Your Body Week, so I thought it was a great week to talk about how we can help the next generation with this concept. As the quote says “If the world is your house, then your body is your home, love it.” This is something that is hard for many of us to do. We are critical of all of our flaws and notice every imperfection we have.As dance educators and mentors, we can help our students to love their body and in turn have a positive self-image. In our classrooms this week our teachers had a conversation about loving our bodies for all of the amazing things it does for us and then tasked our students to write something on the class poster board that they loved about their body. This brought a lightness and appreciation to the room like I had not seen before. We have done this before with paper hearts and had the students write on a heart and then we posted them all over the room.
Any type of awareness to help our students love their bodies will help them create a positive body image. As the anonymous quote says, “Loving your body fills your soul with confidence.” We know this to be true, but many adults suffer from a lack of confidence due to a body image issue. If we spend time teaching and guiding the next generation to love their body, we will help mold the next generation to not only have a positive body image, but also have more confidence.
Showing a motivational video also helps show students ways to love themselves and love their bodies. Here are a few great videos to show students.
- Love Your Body
- There is a great exercise to do with the students, and yourself. I know it helped me to get over some insecurities.
● Have them write something they are insecure about on a small piece of paper
● Put on a song that is fitting for the exercise, something emotional that they can
● Have them improvise around the room and get out the feelings on their paper.
● Next, have them place the paper on the floor and dance to another piece of paper. When they open up the next piece of paper they will dance and improvise with how that one makes them feel.
● Continue switching papers for a few rounds.
● To conclude, have them crumple up the last piece of paper, change the song, talk to them about how now, they have overcome these insecurities and are ready to celebrate. The next song should be upbeat and positive.
● Allow them to explore these feelings and watch the energy in the room shift and
10 Steps to Loving Your Body - I am including the image for this great exercise as well. I want to make sure to give you several different tools to use to help your students, and yourself to love your body.
Something else to consider as dance educators is to costume all students appropriately. Put time and effort into making sure costumes are flattering to EVERY student in your class. This is something that is often overlooked and can be very damaging to our student’s body image and self-esteem. Another thing to consider is the language we use as we instruct our students. Be very cautious about the words that you use in front of your students. Your words and actions matter.
We are very influential in the lives of our students. It is very important that we help our students learn to love their bodies. Take some time over the next week to help your students learn to love their bodies. <3 Pam
Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.