collaboration Dance Competitions Educators motivation Training for success

Let them play sports

Every year it’s inevitable. Dance educators lose their minds over scoring, judging, levels, lack of students’ enthusiasm and efforts and the list goes on.

Lots of complaints about competing priorities.

Lots of frustration with students losing their drive.

I consider it a gift when a student comes to me who plays sports. Every week they either win or they don’t, and they go home. Rinse and repeat. It’s a practiced thing. Every game is different. It’s not a routine they’ve practiced and replicated over and over.

Students don’t feel burned out by too many hours spent at the studio. Please, have a well rounded life so I have happy dancers in my class.

I question the current status quo where dancers compete in every dance style (often more than once) and are required to take a long list of classes in order to be on the competition team. I was the kid obsessed with all of it, but most kids aren’t me.

Bring me the kids who play sports. It’s less work on my part to instill the desired attitude, ethic and mindset. It becomes a group effort, and we can all play a role in sending passionate, determined, collaborative-minded humans into the world.

collaboration teamwork

We all fall down

In Parade Of the Wooden Soldiers, the iconic piece performed by the Radio City Rockettes, we end the piece with the famous fall.

It’s not really a fall. It requires laser focus and immense upper body strength. If one person does not do her job, it fails 100%. When the fall fails, people get hurt. If you do less than 100% and someone gets hurt, that’s on you.

It was one of the best ways to learn that no matter how well I do, it doesn’t mean anything if every single other person isn’t just as strong.

It goes both ways. If I’m the weak link and the rest of the line is fully engaged, the whole thing will still collapse. Every single person matters.