“Teaching is a selfless act to serve and educate others.”
Teaching is everywhere and teachers are everywhere. I believe that anyone can be a teacher once they are passionate about something; anything. If one spends enough time mastering a skill, one can teach it to others. I discovered this as I kept training in dance and others began to ask me for help. Through my studies, I knew what to do.
I studied Brain-Compatible Dance Education at the University of Tampa. This inspired a new desire in me to teach. From my perspective, teaching in the dance world turned very biased, harsh, and not as foundational or uplifting as it should be. I realize how important it is for instructors to value the details in a dance class rather than jump to certain skills and rush through a class. That gives students little to no substance. I also realize how classes shouldn’t be the same each week- it loses its value and students quickly become desensitized to what they are working on in class. Students need to be actively working in each class to various goals they set for themselves.
Teaching should have a layered approach so the student can continue to build and strengthen themselves. They grow from a strong set foundation and advance in their skills and technique. For example, a plie might seem too easy for some, but they also may fail to realize that this exact plie is what is required to perform jumps that advanced dancers are so eager to perform.
The Beauty of Teaching
What I love about teaching is the opportunity to challenge my students. I believe that challenges are important in the studio as it prepares them for challenges outside of the studio. Challenges encourage critical thinking and pushes someone to be out of their comfort zone. For me, dance is all about pushing out of that comfort into the unknown. Giving yourself the opportunity to be in vulnerable positions while in motion. Initially teaching those fundamentals and later revisiting them is paramount for dancers who want to improve.
I believe that there is no line of perfection in dance. There are goals, but no one will ever be ‘perfect’. Everyone has their own definition of perfect. It seems as if the industry has built a negative connotation amongst all dancers that they will never be good enough. I have had those thoughts myself and they are unhealthy for the mind. As a teacher, my goal is to shift that thinking. Students and dancers should be comfortable with their unique qualities and embrace what they can do versus what they cannot. They hold a bigger power when they know and are reassured that they are good enough rather than being knocked down that they can always be better.
However, the discipline in the dance world is something I admire, especially from ballet. Adequate discipline raises strong, respectful dancers and confident individuals outside of the studio. They are mature to take on multiple tasks in a timely manner- a necessary skill needed for life.
What Teaching Is To Me
Teaching is a selfless act to serve and educate others. Learners need to be nurtured, valued, and encouraged in what they do so that they do not lose the same passion that you have for what you are teaching. I believe that a good teacher is one who cares for their students more than they care for themselves and helps them in any way possible within the industry. Teachers invest in each of their students’ needs for everyone learns differently from each other. Diversity needs to be taken into consideration in all aspects of teaching, and as a teacher, I will actively find methods that will work adequately and thoroughly with my students. I will also never stop learning.
My goal is to be a better teacher and new things are learned each day. How one creatively utilizes that knowledge and skills are what encompasses a great teacher, especially in the dance studio.