A Letter to my Young Dance Teacher Self

Dear Andrea,

Congratulations on your first job as a dance teacher! You love dance and you love kids so this seems like an easy gig at 16 years old. Buckle up, Ann… This will be your life’s work. Every class you teach will be an opportunity to change lives. For some kids…

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… you will be the only bright light of their day. Be the light. 

…you will be the only space they feel safe. Create a safe space. 

…you will be the only person in their life that speaks to them with respect and kindness. Never forget that your words matter. Choose wisely. 

…your class will be the only time they get to move their bodies and express themselves freely. Learn how to create a class that’s about them, not you. 

The sooner you realize that teaching dance has little to do with dance steps the sooner you’ll realize it has everything to do with connection and relationships. Very few people outside of the dance world will see it as so, but listen to me… YOUR. WORK. MATTERS. You won’t always get it right and you will most certainly make mistakes. Humbly move forward in your journey with an open and grateful heart knowing that YOUR. WORK. MATTERS. 

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You may be surprised to hear that as much as your students will learn from you, you will learn more from them. You will go through many transformations over the years, each time gaining new perspectives. Experience will prove that when you move your ego aside and welcome change, you will become the teacher that your students will never forget. That is why this “job” is your calling. Your gift. Be eager to give it away for it is the best gift anyone could ever give. 

I am proud of you. And, because you won’t hear it enough, thank you. 

Love,

Andrea

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Andrea Trench is dedicated to helping dance teachers create and deliver content that is research-based and developmentally appropriate for children under the age of 6. Her primary focus is classroom management, conceptual teaching, and foundational movement skill development in early childhood dance education. In addition, Andrea uses her 12 years of experience as a partner in a dance studio to inspire, equip, and empower educators.

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