I don’t teach dance in my dance classes
Recently I was talking with a teacher about the highs and lows of the job - the many challenges and the many rewards. She mentioned the disappointment at having lost a student not long ago because of the dancer feeling uncomfortable in her own skin; she had some body insecurities, and those feelings had led her to drop out of dance classes. We commiserated that it’s so hard to work on all the things with our students: technique, terminology, flexibility, progressions… getting it all done can feel impossible at times.
We agreed that incorporating body positivity with dancers is important, but again, there’s just so many things to bring to the studio and teaching day after day, it’s understandable to be overwhelmed by it all.
That’s when I realized it - I stopped teaching dance in my dance classes a long time ago.
Here’s what I mean: when I decided that I was going to focus less on technique and more on getting dancers to trust their own bodies and abilities through the medium of dance, I stopped caring about ‘getting it all done’.
What if, instead of trying to do all the things in our dance classes, we focus on one thing. Not technique, or terminology, or choreography, but what if to teach dance we first teach dancers how to love and respect themselves?
Body love and acceptance for our dancers isn’t a side dish that we should serve supplemental to technique. It’s a vital, needs to be implemented NOW mindset shift. What if it’s the first thing we teach, secondary to even technique?
Why? Because we’re in the business of teaching dance safely and joyfully to young people, and because of the nature of dance (standing in front of a mirror all day, using our muscles and brains and spirits to convey movement and emotion), we HAVE to include conversations about bodies and mental health. If we want our students to bring every part of themselves to dance, we have to teach them how to love and respect all parts of themselves.
Bottom line: I don’t really teach dance in my dance classes - I teach personal discovery, growth, and empowerment. For me, the dance is secondary - the medium through which I help my students strengthen their bodies, minds, and spirits.
So, if you’ve found yourself thinking of body positivity as ‘woo’, or something ‘extra’ you’ll add to your classes later, when you have more time, to a gift that you can immediately give to your students that will allow them to be all they can be - body, mind, and spirit.
Not sure where to start? I hear you; getting started is the hardest part.
That’s why I created the Dance Studio BodyPosi Challenge. This 5 day Challenge gives you a step by step guide to bring more body love to your classes and studio culture starting now. It’s chock full of resources for all ages and levels and includes journal prompts, games, meditations, moving mantras (short movement exercises combined with affirmations), and support from me.
The Challenge runs March 25-29, so the time to get started is NOW!
Are you ready to focus on just one thing? Are you ready to take that one step forward that will boost your studio and teaching practice to the next level? I’m so ready for you! Get started by clicking the button below! And you can always e-mail me if you have questions.
You’re doing great work my friend, and I want to thank you for all you do for your dancers. I know this job isn’t an easy one, but you were meant to do this work. I’m here to cheer you on and push you forward. Well done. Keep going!