To every age and level of our dancers we find ourselves constantly saying, “Make the choice.” For little littles the choice may be easy, like participating in the dance game while keeping our hands to ourselves vs. having to stand by the teacher, but we attempt to give responsible options that give the dancer the control to be responsible for the outcome. For older dancers it may be choosing to make the correction vs. being moved to the back of the formation or choosing to listen vs. leaving the classroom. Either way we are teaching these kids that only YOU have responsibility for your own body and your own choices, and that only YOU have the power to define your success or failure based on the choices you make.
Absolutely, 100%, there are things that happen out of our control. Our goal is to teach them that it is not what happens to us that defines us, but how we react to it and take responsibility for the consequences of what happens to us that defines us. For example, if a dancer has missed a class because she was sick that is no fault of her own, and we are not in any way mad or upset that she was sick. However, it may mean that she missed an entire rehearsal of new choreography, and that a private lesson is required or a session at the studio with a friend needs to happen to catch up. It is important for the dancer to realize, though, that we, as the teachers, are not responsible for setting up that lesson or meeting up with that friend to ensure they know their choreography, but that they must make the choice and take the effort required to catch up before the next rehearsal.
Taking responsibility gives you the power to choose your outcomes and pathways to how you define success. It lies in the choice to be proactive, in the choice to do what is right, and in the choice to respect your commitments and your team mates. These are huge life lessons that will follow these dancers throughout their careers and their family lives. We can only hope to have a small influence on how they will handle these situations down the road. Interested in joining us? Spring session starts 1/7. Check out our schedule here.