Great idea!

So you have this idea for a piece. It’s a great idea. You’ve got the perfect music and you see it unfolding in your mind.

You’ve got these students to set your work on. Maybe everything falls into place and you bring your idea to vivid life. Brilliant.

Or they may be too young to tackle the maturity level of your idea. Possibly you have a hard time pulling any authentic expression out of them. They may not be able to execute technical elements to satisfy what’s needed to embody your idea.

This can be one of the great challenges of being a dance educator. I’ve made this mistake. It’s not enough to pick a song or concept I love and create what I want because it moves me.

It’s all about pushing dancers to explore more layers of self-expression and discovery, while giving them something they can genuinely relate to. You find that perfect spot in the middle, where dancers bring something different to the stage with each season while still getting to be themselves.

By Denise Caston-Clark

Hi! I'm Denise Caston-Clark, a professional dancer, choreographer and dance educator. I am a former Radio City Rockette and currently direct Tap Dance Detroit and the annual Motor City Tap Fest.

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