"Before you bring up your concerns with the school's faculty, take some time to honestly ask yourself if you are being treated unfairly or if your feelings are stemming from [another place]. It can be easy to fixate [on a problem] when instead you should be focusing on the work YOU have to do...Many students are eager to see the teacher confirm that they are doing well or they compare themselves to the rest of the class when, really, they need to be looking internally..."


This is a huge problem in today's world. Everyone is fixated on how many "likes" they get, how many "followers" and how many "comments" / compliments they receive, that people are starting to place their worth in those things. At least 75 percent of my students in classes are staring at my face looking for approval, or, to see if I caught their mistake...When they need to be seeing themselves in the mirror and focusing 100% on what they are doing with full reliance on their own mind and body VERSUS looking at other dancers to copy what they are doing, hence removing their own self-reliance and not actively dancing using the their own brain... So when it comes time to do it on their own, they can't... 


Where does this stem from? In my opinion it stems from their environments outside of class where they are not being exposed to enough situations of independence, self-reliance, confidence boosters, and a lack of self-responsibility and entrepreneurial-ism. I also disagree with the current generation's "do anything and get 5 stars" attitudes or what they call a feeling of entitlement; this of course is perpetuated by no-fail policies and other policies in schools and sports teams, and at home, where kids are not having to "earn it."


"Be entrepreneurial about your [dance] training...Show up early, dress properly, work hard and pay close attention to your body language...Listen and take in feedback given to others. [Alice Klock, a Professional Dancer with an extensive career says] 'I knew I wasn't getting the steps the fastest or translating the choreography into my own body well. So, I'd do extra work, inside and outside the studio. I built a serious work ethic and I still operate that way.'


Talk to your Teacher: ...Focus on...the fact that you would like more feedback and challenging performance opportunities. Ask 'What can I do better?' And show that you've generated some of the answers on your own...Asking about your weaknesses shows maturity, and helps keep the conversation open in the future... There are lots of access points to becoming a better dancer, especially when you refuse to shut down or give in to negative self-talk."


Author: Krystyn Brady

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