A topic that has come up so often recently with my team members, clients and others is the significance of commitment. As a dance studio owner and teacher, I know without a doubt that my team and I are not just teaching students to “twirl.” We’re instilling so many important values, one of which is commitment. My struggle recently has been getting students to understand that although we dance because it’s fun and we love it, more often than not, it can be HARD. It’s hard to show up for classes week in and week out. It's hard to keep working on the same skills over and over again just to try to see that little bit of improvement. It’s hard to consistently hear corrections from your teachers even when you feel like you're trying your best to make those corrections.
What I have encountered recently is that students get so easily discouraged and instead of seeing a challenge as an opportunity for GROWTH, and embracing the obstacle, they just decide to give up, make excuses for why they’ll never achieve x and quit. The biggest issue with this is that students aren’t on the journey long enough to see and experience the growth. Because they cut themselves short, they don't have the opportunity to experience all the vital parts of dealing with a challenge, so they miss out altogether. They don’t learn what it looks like to make a commitment and follow through with it. They don’t learn that YES they CAN do hard things and overcome obstacles. They don’t learn that challenge and failure are very normal and important parts of any journey. They don’t learn RESILIENCE. These are all skills and values that if learned now will continue to serve them for the rest of their life.
Please know that as teachers, yes, we’re passionate about providing proper training for our dancers, but we know that many (most) of our students will not go on to dance professionally and that’s ok. What's most important to us and the reason we're so passionate about what we do is that we know that dance helps students develop good character. Let me reiterate for the people in the back! As a studio, we’re actually in the business of BUILDING CHARACTER. Dance is just the tool by which we achieve this. So, parents, when things get hard, and your child comes up against obstacles, let’s work together to remind students that yes, it’s going to be hard, but more importantly it’s going to be WORTH IT.