November 3, 2010
I came across this new post at The Main Irish Dance Board That I thought was a wonderful contribution. I am working on my own O post, but in the meantime, enjoy the wise words of this parent!
Top 10 things for Parents to Remember:
1) Don’t upset your daughter or son by telling them they didn’t dance well or won’t place well.
2) Don’t scream at or pull your children, trying to get them to practice before they go on stage.
3) Remember your child’s results doesn’t change who they are as a person, nor will it get them into the college of their choice.
4) Remember the dance teacher is just as disappointed at a bad result as the child they teach, or maybe more disappointed when they can’t explain what happened.
5) Try not to gloat to other parents if their dd or ds does exceptionally well and the person they are talking to has had the opposite sort of day.
6) Don’t go to the bar and stay out late. It just doesn’t look right and sets a bad example and typically puts you in a bad mood when dealing with children the next day.
7) Take a lot of pictures and try to remember that your child is only a child once and life is short. Don’t miss these moments with your child.
8 ) Try to remember what it was like at your dd or ds’s first Oireachtas and help the new parents in your school through the event.
9) Remember it’s the friends your child will ultimately treasure from Irish dancing (just ask any dance teacher) , not the medals and trophies.
10) The Today Show is doing a series on how common courtesy lacking in our society. Set an example by saying please and thank you to everyone around you. It feels good.
September 11, 2010
Injuries. Stress. Frustration.
I feel like I need to write to help those who are feeling some of the above.
Those who feel these keenly are often those who work the hardest. You practice hard, dance full-out every time, and rarely give yourself a break. The first few steps in the morning hurt. By the end of class, there’s fire in your shins. You know exactly how you want to do your steps, but are limited by your frame.
What do you do? I know you, you’re like my student. You push harder. Or you’re like a few of my other students, and you let the blame fall on what you think you can’t help.
You can help yourself. And you don’t have to kill yourself to do it.
Take a look with me at Yoga and Pilates, and what they can do for you.
What is it? Yoga is an ancient Indian body of knowledge that dates back more than 500 years ago. The word “Yoga” came from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means “to unite or integrate.” Yoga then is about the union of a person’s own consciousness and the universal consciousness. In Yoga, the body is treated with care and respect for it is the primary instrument in man’s work and growth. Yoga Exercises improve circulation, stimulate the abdominal organs, and put pressure on the glandular system of the body, which can generally result to better health.
Why should Irish Dancers do it? Because the series of postures can do the following:
1. Increase Balance (have you ever been injured by falling?)
2. Equalize strength on both sides of the body (Is a movement harder to do on the Left foot than the right?)
3. Stretch whole muscle groups (longer muscles are less prone to injury)
4. Tone whole muscle groups (increases strength and power in jumps)
5. It increases mental focus (useful for learning steps or altering incorrect technique)
Give it a Try!
What is Pilates? Pilates is a series of whole-body exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. Pilates’ emphasis on posture, strength and flexibility have made it a popular workout choice for athletes and dancers alike. It’s an excellent exercise routine encompassing a strong focus on upper body strength for better balance, alignment, posture, turns and other points of work. It is also very effective at strengthening body parts – especially ankles and feet, which are essential to dance.
Why should Irish Dancers do it? Because consistent training in Pilates will:
1. Build core strength (essential for everything from maintaining balance to more lift in jumps)
2. Tones supporting muscles (more muscles working together=more power)
3. Increases balance
4. Lengthens muscles (aids in leg-straightening so many Irish Dancers struggle with)
5. Increases Mental Focus (useful for learning steps or altering incorrect technique)
But here’s the kicker:
Irish Dance injuries are mostly impact and overuse injuries resulting from repeatedly slamming our legs into the ground, correct? Yoga and Pilates are minimum impact, thus increasing their value to Irish Dancers who want to increase their potential without increasing wear and tear.
Increasing training in either of these will also train muscles that you don’t typically think you use as a dancer, but will find that if you can utilise them, your dancing will be more powerful and effective.
If you’re looking for Aerobic exercise, here are a few short suggestions:
1. Cycling- when done in a structured Class environment, Cycling increases leg and core strength, and is very easy on the knees. And you’re covered in sweat afterwards!
2. Choosing the Elliptical over the Treadmill- on an elliptical exercise machine, the feet remain in contact with the foot pedals, reducing impact on the knees and ankles.
3. Swimming/Water Aerobics- when in the water, there is zero impact on the body. Pool Laps are great for cardio and general toning, and Water Aerobics classes also get your heart rate up and target specific muscles.
July 1, 2010
Here you are at a new crossroads in your life. You’re going to a University, ready for all that lies beyond childhood. You’re going to do amazing things with your life.
You kick yourself for not making it all the way to the top. Time ran out in the headlong rush of teenagerhood, and you had so many other wonderful experiences- I’m glad Irish Dance was not the only thing you did with your time. You’re a more complete person, and you touched lives in your being a friend to so many.
I’ve seen you grow and develop and change since you walked in my doors as a child. My heart swells when I watch you on stage and remember that I taught you your first steps. There is no better indication that as a teacher, I’m doing alright than to see one of my dancers dance so well and so confidently.
Thank you for all you’ve done for my school. I can’t think of a better example to the rest of your classmates and the school as a whole. You showed them that making it to Championships takes work and a good attitude. You showed them that champions are humble, focused and positive. You set the tone for an entire generation of my school. As they work to be the best they can, they have you as a benchmark.
I know that in my dual role as mentor and business operator, I should not get attached. I am selling a service that you purchased, and now you have no need of my services. There, doesn’t that sound a cold and clinical analysis? I have a hard time believing any teacher ascribes to that philosophy. Because how could I not miss you when you leave?
It will seem empty in class for awhile. You are kind of the center of a whole orbit of activities, classes and friendships. The kids will be at sea for awhile until a new leader comes to the fore. I’m glad they have the opportunity to try to be you. You’ll visit and feel a little like an outsider in the coming months, wanting to come “home”, but seeing that everyone has moved on, working on their goals and sharing victories that you weren’t here to experience. It will be hard, as we all drift further apart.
I hope the memories you’ve created, the friendships you’ve made, the experiences that have made you grow will stay with you. That’s why we learn to dance, in class and in life.
Slán abhaile, dear friend.
This post dedicated to all of my dancers who have gone on to the next big adventure. Thank you.
May 15, 2010
1. Be on time. This actually means be early- to class, to competitions, to shows and to meetings. If your dancer needs time to eat, change, fix hair, etc., you need take that into account and show up a bit earlier. People who are punctual often rise on my trust list, which translates to more opportunities for your and your dancer. A word to my fellow TC’s- Chewing out a dancer for being late, especially a young dancer, is not fair- most of the time it is the Parent who has challenges with punctuality.
2. Learn how to communicate with me. I’d love to answer your questions, especially if I can do it after class, by email or on the phone. It’s very frustrating for me and for other dancers when my attention is taken up by your chatting for the first 20 minutes of class.
Teach your child how to communicate with me. I don’t think I’m generally a scary person, and it’s good for children to learn how to talk to adults. It is very hard to work through a misunderstanding or problem if you let her make you a go-between, because she’s “shy” and can’t talk to me directly.
Oh, and if you have a question, ask me, not the parent sitting next to you in the lobby.
3. Be supportive of your dancer. It’s heartbreaking to see a child at a feis dance their best, walk back to their “stage mom” in the audience and hear that they danced badly. These kids in tears, gripping second place medals next to a parent fuming because if they had just danced better they could have won first- it’s horrible!
Great parents don’t compare their dancer with anyone else. They discourage negative self talk and negative talk about other dancers. Don’t participate in this behavior with your child, and if you overhear others, please tell them to stop.
4. Ask what you can do to help. Running a dance school is more than coming up with new dance steps. I had no idea that my passion for turned out feet would necessarily include finances, fundraising, paperwork, hours on the phone, tracking down softshoes, dressmakers and tardy teammates. There are so many wonderful things you can do to help your child have a great experience at a well-run, parent-supported school. My parents are amazingly talented people who give so much time, and it makes all the difference.
5. Be on top of your tuition and fees. If it’s easier for you to pay in longer spans than a month, we can work it out. If you can only go month-to-month, I understand. If you know you have a tendency to leave that check on the fridge door, feel free to mail it in. If your child has a stack of cash in their bag that they forgot to give me, we need to work another way out. It would be wonderful if my landlord were as forgiving about my paying studio rental as I am about your paying late or not at all. Don’t make me do awful things like charge late fees.
6. Don’t indulge in gossip with other parents. I know, it’s so easy. You have so much time there together while your dancers are in class. It’s so fun to speculate why Jane left for that other school, or what’s going on in Mike’s home life that his socks don’t match today. You may feel you NEED to know why Melva got moved up to the next level and your daughter didn’t. I’ve actually seen schools torn apart by the machinations of bored mothers in lobbies.
Instead, be part of a solution. Help recruit for our feis committee, brainstorm new ways of fundraising, always find something nice to say about the dancer all the other moms love to tear down.
7. Be aware of important dates. I do my best to give you as many points of access to my calendar as possible. Please check your email, ask your dancer for notes and calendars from class, and check the website. The worst excuse in the book is “I didn’t know”, and the Parent who uses it quickly loses favor.
8. Respect my judgement and rules, as well as the rules of my organization. I’ve been in this business for long enough to know my way around. I try my hardest to follow the rules my organization has set forth. I also have a set of personal school rules that help keep not only you, but myself in check. I want to be fair but merciful.
One big one here is class placement. The prime example of this is when two kids start dance together, and one has either more innate talent, or practices enough that they progress faster than the other. The parent of the dancer left back just can’t understand why they don’t get to move up together. Most think it’s because I don’t care about the lower student… it’s quite the opposite. I realize that the kids are friends and would love to be together, but it would be more detrimental to move a dancer up who is not ready. I want to make sure that each child is in a place where they can learn without being frustrated, and progress without pressure. Please help them understand this, and encourage them to set goals and plans for achieving them.
9. Help your child prioritize. It seems like today the more we do, the better our chances are in being considered a success. I’d love to take whoever invented the term “Supermom” out and whip them. Doing too much is not good for anyone, least of all our kids. Childhood is not about college applications. It’s about growing, playing, being loved and discovering what is out there. Kids who come to my dance class straight out of soccer practice, then have to leave five minutes early for their piano lesson that they couldn’t fit in later because of their church group… (you get the idea) are not learning effectively in my class. Help your child discover how to manage their time, but make sure they’re including unstructured play time.
If your child really can’t wait to get up in the morning to practice that trombone, well, I’ll miss them a lot, but I’ll understand that they’ve found something they truly adore, something that is worth simplifying life for.
10. Lead by example. Realize that your kids are not perfect and it’s that’s okay. Be the type of parent that you want them to become. It’s incredible how children pick up on everything you do and say. The children who are polite, honest and happy invariably come from parents who exude the same qualities. The poor kids who whine, don’t try and are irresponsible come from similar stock.
I am their dance teacher, and as such have mentored many young people, but I am no substitute for a mom or dad who listens, provides emotional stability and physical security, and loves their kid in more than words.
As a final note, I want to thank the many parents who have made my school possible. They have been selfless and patient. They were all older than me when I started teaching their children! To place their faith in a young, inexperienced and slightly batty dance teacher, to place their precious children in my hands, was a priceless gift. And as the school has grown, we have grown together. They have forgiven me, let me forgive them, and worked together to give great experiences to not only their own children, but to everyone else that happened into our happy little studio. Thank you, wonderful mothers and fathers. Here’s to many more years together.
April 6, 2010
After a very eventful March into April, I come back a little reluctant at what I’m about to write. Oddly enough, while this affects students more than you know, my remarks are directed at your teachers- at the overarching personality canopy and political structure that Competitive Irish Dance functions in. That, unfortunately, I must work within.
As I have attended meetings for the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a growing trend of teachers asking why their peers don’t obey local and general rulings. The subjects can vary from recent rulings in skirt length to classic “white lies” involving ratios on teams or dancers entered for competition in the wrong age category. Others express frustration on issues not covered by rules, including “feis boycotting” and other gestures of support for feiseanna and Oireachtasi. When a rule is passed that is clearly unenforceable, it’s open season for sneaky behaviour.
This extends to adjudicators. Some judges are sticklers for rules, and will mark you down if you went out-of-bounds during your figure dance, or your skirt is too short- you’ve all heard stories. Others seem to let things slide, much to some parents and teachers frustration. The scores of people who have observed unethical judging could be marked up to many cases of sour grapes. But why would such extreme opinions and experiences be so widespread?
If you stand and say “why can’t everyone just be ethical?”, you’re not alone.
Pride wields her mighty fist in this Irish Dancing world. Each teacher is fighting desperately for his or her school to be the best, to have the most advantages and make sure that anyone in their way is set down. The “my way or the highway” attitude is taken by mighty figures, as well as the political power to grind into the dust anyone who might have another opinion or need. Just like one dance move will work for one student and not another, one ruling may help one school while tying the hands of another.
Apathy also takes a leading role in this melodrama. “Because that’s just the way it’s done” is the rallying cry of those who don’t know the reasons why we do things, just that it’s “traditional”. (for a humorous story about why we do things, visit http://www.wattbusters.com/news/article17.html) People with new-fangled ideas are laughed at or shunned. New blood (with it’s new ideas, technology or philosophy) in the organization is congealed by the tourniquet of the “old crowd”. It’s easier for these disenfranchised new teachers to just say “why should I bother trying to help? No one listens.” Then they become part of the apathetic herd.
Others are scared. I’d count myself in this group. We are so afraid to step a toe out of line, for fear the vitriol of the region will be directed our way. We are the silent ones, the “abstain from voting” crowd. Better to not make a splash then to be cannonballed. (Now you are recalling how my blog is anonymous… scaredy cat me.)
Then the only option left is to decide whether to obey the rules that others will not, or find your own way around them. Of the host of consequences resulting from this, perhaps the vicious cycle of teachers and learners is the worst. Dancers who emerge from the schools of dispassionate teachers have less respect for rulings and guidelines as well. It becomes a game, entitled “what can I get away with?” Those who win, get away with it with flying colors.
Reading the above is enough to work anyone into a rage. But as I started pondering this major flaw in my organization, I had to look to myself first. I had to ask:
“Have I always followed every rule exactly?”
“Do I speak of my colleagues with respect, even in my own mind?”
“Do I make excuses for my behaviour by saying ‘But they do this and this to get ahead- I’m only making things fair.’?”
“Do I always consider myself right, not considering the situation or experience of others?”
I found unsavory creatures inside my own head. Hubris, Hypocrisy, Hate. I’d love to pretend they aren’t there, but they’ve grown up alongside my humbling experiences, tests of integrity and genuine love for my students. No one is free of them completely. I’ve met many a wonderful person and teacher who will regretfully admit that behind their pleasant facade they are battling these monsters themselves.
These problems are not going to go away until we do two things:
1. Someone must come forward, risking political pull, respect and power to say that what we are doing is wrong, and that we need to do better.
2. There will always be a struggle until moral discipline is nurtured personally in each member of the organization, from the president of An Coimisiun to the newest teacher. Because no one wants to listen to a hypocrite call us back to dignity.
For this, a couple months late, I resolve to try to do what is right, not just what is legal. Maybe if I work from that higher law, I won’t worry about the trends in regional and organizational rules. Maybe Hate, Hypocrisy and Hubris can take a backseat, and freedom to be the best teacher I am capable of can come to the fore.
February 20, 2010
I loved dancing.
I would get my steps stuck in my head, just like you’d get that annoying top-40′s song. I would doodle dress designs on my school notebooks. I would ponder at length which touring show I wanted to be on. I would live for the day of class each week. I loved announcing to my schoolmates on the first day of school “I’m an Irish Dancer!” I loved going to feiseanna, waiting around sidestage and chatting about how late the feis was going with my fellow competitors. I loved doing dance-outs, performing for audiences who loved to see “that riverdancing stuff”.
Then I started teaching. Helping out with beginners really. And my life changed. I didn’t know that helping a child learn how to do something new could be so fulfilling. I didn’t know that I would eagerly comb results for the dancers I helped before finding my own. I didn’t know I would jump up and down with joy when trophies were announced and they won their special and I didn’t win my championship. I didn’t know I would start loving to go to class because I loved helping others find their dreams.
I’m not sure when it happened. People used to ask me “Are you sad you took the test so you can’t compete anymore?” Every once in awhile, I am. I remember the adrenaline rush, the lights, the way my costume felt. But mostly, I would rather be here, where I am more than anything else.
So long Jean. So Long Mr. Flatley. I’ve got my own troupe now.
Being a Grown Up never felt so good.
January 18, 2010
Thanks for coming in and watching class. It was good to see you, recognize you and hear what you have to say. I’ll go ahead and send that transfer in after a couple criteria are met.
I’ll need to call your teacher first. You see, you’ll be in my classes for a little while. 6 years, maybe more if you keep dancing beyond high school, maybe less if you move on to greener pastures. But I’ll be working in the same area as your teacher for decades. It’s important to me to preserve that relationship. Sometimes he’ll tell me what a great student you are and how they’re sorry you have to leave. Sometimes she’ll tell me “good luck, sister” and give me a laundry list of the issues I’ll face in taking you on. Sometimes they won’t care either way.
I hope you have already talked to them about this, because the worst feeling in the world is when a student transfers “Out of the Blue”. Please show enough respect to your teacher to make sure they know your concerns, what needs are not being met or what feelings have been hurt or that you can’t afford them anymore. They taught you. They deserve the chance to grow and make things right. They deserve this face-to-face, not in an awkward break-up letter or phone message timed when you know they can’t answer the phone. Those are tactics for cowardly ex-boyfriends, not for someone honest. Like I am sure you are. Someone who lurks behind the backs of those who trust them is not someone I am interested in having join my school.
Here is what you need to know about transferring to me.
I am not your old teacher. Being certified does not automatically turn us all into teachers who have the same experience, methods and philosophy. I run my classes differently. This is what works for me, and has worked for my students. My schedules, fees, and policies are a part of how I work best, both as a teacher and also as a parent and support to my family and personal life. Give me a chance if you like, but please do not try to change me.
You are a talented dancer. I can see that plainly. I am already thinking of the steps you will learn first, the moves you will do nicely. I know you have choreography from your old teacher that you love, that you feel comfortable with and have won with before. I know you’re eager to show them to me, hoping they will have a new home within my steps. But part of the restyling period mandated by my organization is for the purpose of giving you time to assimilate my steps and styling. Please don’t hang on to the old you. Give me a clean slate to work with. Learn my movements and my sequences. You’ll look nice doing these too.
Change takes time, sweat and committment. While you are doing well now picking things up, some things will take time. Changing the way you move, how your muscles have learned one movement in favor of doing it a new way. Becoming the dancer I’d like to see. Some moves will be hard. Some will be “too easy”. Trust me. Trust yourself. This is not like a new costume, that instantly transforms you with no more work than doing up the zipper or tying the tie. This may take months. This may take a year, or two. Expecting better results out of the starting gate is like expecting to lose 50 pounds the day after starting a new diet. This kind of patience will serve you your entire life, long after you stop dancing. It’s the principle of delayed gratification.
I know you have a lot to share. I know that your teacher does a lot of great things. And that they do a lot of things that made you angry or sad or frustrated. These experiences are private, and between you and your teacher. I’d rather not hear your insider info, for better or for worse. I’d rather my students not hear it either. We don’t gossip. We’d rather you didn’t either. It spreads quickly and everyone’s hands get dirty. Irish dance as a community doesn’t need that. Your teacher is a person and a professional and deserves respect, no matter what they have done. I’d like to think that I’ve been given chances to change and grow and mend my ways, even if my former students move on in the end.
Oh My, I’ve given you a lot of info. I hope you are not on overload. If you go ahead and make the decision to do this, you are welcome. I’ll teach you with no preconcieved expectations. We’ll start at square one together, and make you the best dancer you are capable of being. Let me know what you need, and I’ll let you know what I need from you. This will be an exciting new chapter for you. Let’s make it count.
December 23, 2009
Merry Christmas to everyone!
I want to say thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my blog. It has been really fulfilling for me to express my feelings and ideas here and get such honest and positive feedback. I love to write, so this has been a great outlet for me.
In a dance form so intense, full of passion, emotion and relationships, there are a lot of situations to be canvassed. I’d love to address questions that you may have about how to succeed, both personally, with friends or with your mentors.
So, for Christmas, may I ask a favor?
Please reply with questions that you would like answered or blogged about this coming year. I won’t publish the responses, but hole them up for use as inspiration this coming year.
Thanks for your help to make the Irish Dance Teacher’s Blog more meaningful for all our visitors!
November 17, 2009
As everyone heads into Oireachtas qualifier season, I’d like to take a moment to offer my thoughts on those stern people seated at tables in front of your stage. They are armed with a silver bell, multiple pens and the almighty score sheets. You’d like to forget that they are there, but you know that your success this year depends upon them. (As much as call-in votes would be fun to do…)
Who are they? Where did they come from? Why are they here?
They were selected by the teachers of your region for multiple reasons, which I won’t canvass at this moment. They are highly qualified and trained adjudicators from all over the world. They have seen thousands of dancers in their time, have selected world champions and placed incredible teams. They have seen success first hand, because they have created it.
But who are they really?
Each one walked into an Irish Dance class as a youth. Each one pointed a clumsy toe at their first feis. Each one worked to learn a new Jig, to perfect a Hornpipe. Each one slipped on a new costume and laced their hardshoes with care. Each one experienced frustration, felt the elation of victory. Each one had injuries, and fought their way back. Each one danced and danced for years and felt that that was the best thing in their life.
Not only this, but each of those people worked to become a teacher, because the dance was so important to them that they wanted to share it. They wanted to improve the sport, inspire coming generations and feel a part of this world even after their dancing days were done. They have seen children grow in mind, body and spirit as they tame the dragons of discouragement, pessimism, weakness and defeat. They have helped in that journey. They loved those kids who walked through their doors. Many still do as they continue to teach and judge on the side.
Each has their own preferences, their own Essential List of “What Irish Dance should look like”. Some want lift. Others want footwork. Some want powerful movement, while others would rather see precise and sharp. Some want carriage, others want the newest movements. Some like a polished appearance, all want solid rhythm.
But do you know what each of them really wants to see?
They want to look at you dancing and feel what they felt years ago. They want to feel the drive, the passion, the elation and the happiness in soaring across the stage. They want to know that you want this so badly, that you love it so much. That it is a part of you. Because it’s a part of them.
October 20, 2009
I know many of you took piano lessons at some point in your life. You went to one lesson a week or month, right? What did you do on the other days where you were not at a lesson.
I didn’t practice either… see how well I play the piano? I had enough natural pitch and rhythm and sight-reading to maybe convince my teacher I had thought about practicing during the week. I’m sure I wasn’t her star pupil. And after all the battles over practicing, my mom let me quit. To this day I kind of blame her for it. I wish I could play well. But she was not about to waste the money on lessons, gas to drive there, and music to purchase without my holding up the end of the bargain.
Why is it that Dancers think that they can improve by just going to class?
Practice makes perfect, right? It is SOOOO frustrating when we work together on a piece of your reel, we finally make some technical progress, and I’m excited for your breakthrough. Then next week, you dance your reel, and ta-da! It was just like it was at the beginning of class last time. You didn’t even think about what we had worked on, much less actually practiced it. So we start over. You think class is boring, I think you don’t listen to me.
Say it with me… Prac-tice. Good! Again. Practice. And louder. PRACTICE!
And I don’t mean kick off your shoes, run through your reel and one step of your Hornpipe during the commercial break of ‘So you think you can dance’. I also don’t mean turn on Lord of the Dance and learn the routines. I also don’t mean work on the Slip Jig of your buddy who is already in Champs and has new steps that you like.
Practice is having a big enough space to work, free from the TV, facebook or your cell phone. Practice is having your dance shoes on. Practice is a 10 minute warmup, drills like we do in class, isolated practice of sticky spots and what your teacher worked with you on last class, Feis Runthroughs, Endurance Reps (the dance twice without a break), Video Taping and reviewing, One Dance in Depth, and 10 minutes of cooldown and stretching.
Beginner+ 20 minutes of practice 3 days a week for 3 months= Advanced Beginner in all your dances at your next feis.
Advanced Beginner+ 30 Minutes of practice 3 days a week for 3 months= Novice in your stronger set of dances, high placements in all the rest.
Novice+ 45 minutes of practice a day for 6 months= Open Prizewinner, Baby.
Prizewinner+ 1 hour of practice 3 days a week for a year= Preliminary (at least by my “teacher discretion” qualifying method)
Preliminary+ 1 Hour of practice 4 days a week for a year= Open Championship
Open Championship+ 1 Hours of Practice a day (even on class days) for 2 years= Worlds Recall
Yes, that’s beginner to Worlds Recaller in 5 years.
Sound extreme? What does it take to become an olympic gymast?
A Concert Violinist? Awesome Article: Concert violinist
Or, a bit closer to home, a Ballerina?
If you want to be a champion, you have to work like a champion.
Mom, listen up.
I have heard some of you whine about how you don’t know why so and so is moving up while your daughter, who “loves to dance” but “isn’t as aggressive” is not. You ask me about rewards for good behaviour, making your kid practice charts, scare tactics, etc.
Did you pay for your Daughter’s Irish Dance class or not? Do you buy her new shoes, a new wig, drive her to class every week, take her to feiseanna? A new dress if she practices for 45 minutes a day should not be the reward. Getting to Irish Dance should be the reward.
This is not Math Homework. This is something your child wants to do. If they are “well-rounded”, often meaning they have too many activities on their plate to really gain mastery in any one of them, then expecting to become a champion is not a reasonable expectation. If your child really wants to do this, it will need to be one of two or maybe three primary focuses in their life.
Talk to me (your child’s teacher) about it. I am a fan of the hard-nosed parent in this respect. If they don’t think it’s worth their while to practice what I’ve worked with them on last week, I don’t want to see them in class today… it’s a waste of my time and theirs, and a waste of your money. I’ll understand their absence if they are getting some tough love.
You should only have to give the support on your end if she is willing to put in the time on hers.
When everyone does their part: Teacher gives steps and feedback, Parent gives some funding and lots of support, Dancer gives focus and effective practice- the results are incredible.