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Make it stick

Start today. Don’t start tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Start now but start small.

Be a student. Always be a student. Those of us who educate dancers do our best work when we take class too. The classes we take will inform the classes we teach, what will move and motivate our students. Work on your tendus. Work on your shuffles. I still am.

And when I get a compliment from my teacher, it still feels really good.

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Artists Choreography creating Educators

Make it real

We have the ability to ask 10,000 people what a good song would be for a 7-8 year-olds musical theatre solo.

We can join a group where colleagues will share with us how they marketed their studio and all of the promotions and trials they did that were a smashing success.

We can pick songs and create dances based on what we think people would like to see or dancers would like to do, or what we think would score well.

Nobody does you better than you.

All of this is not for nothing, but none of it will work if it doesn’t move you from the core, if it doesn’t feel right and natural, if it’s not coming from you, if it’s not consistent.

My biggest flops were when I was trying to emulate someone or something else because I thought it was better than what I could create or be on my own.

Let your flops and failures be YOUR flops and failures. Only then can your massive successes truly belong to you.

Choreography Dance

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.