Monday, August 15, 2011

New Spaces, New Experiences, New Dancers

I like to do research and  I am not talking about the kind of research you do before you write a term paper.  I mean getting to know my surroundings before I teach, attend a workshop or even a performance.  I have a tendency to get lost when I drive (even with my GPS) so sometimes I will drive to a location I need to be at a day or two before.  I like to check out the space I am going to teach in ahead of time if this is possible as well.  I like to be prepared so any surprises I might encounter are minimized. 

The same strategies can be applied to teaching/parenting children.  The unknowns are even more daunting for kids.  Children like routine, predictability and do not have the same understanding of time that adults have (meaning children can not be rushed!)

If you are a parent of a child taking dance for the first time, see if you can visit the school before the first day of class.  Try on leotards, tights, and shoes before the first day because sometimes kids need to get used to new tactile experiences as well.

If you are a teacher, invite children to the studio beforehand if possible.  On the first day of class take a tour of the studio.  Discuss how the dance space is different then their living room.  Are there any similarities?  And don't forget to tour the bathrooms!!

If the children are prepared you can help minimize any surprises they might encounter and ensure a smooth transition to a new class, school and experience.  (Parents and teachers will be more prepared as well!)

 Have fun researching your new surroundings and preparing your little ones for a successful dance year!


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