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What Do You Mean I’m Not Perfect?

Imagine this scenario: You have been working hard in class on a double pirouette (turn) for the last 3 months and, finally, you nail it. Everything comes together in perfect harmony, angels sing, and you have so much pride in accomplishing a goal you’ve had for weeks. You look expectantly at your instructor for praise at your perfection and think, “Oh my gosh, she is about to tell me I’m the best dancer ever. I nailed that turn.” Instead, your instructor says, “Ok, now that you are able to do 2 turns, let’s start working on a triple.” Dang.

Being coachable is a huge life lesson. It takes humility and an assumption that someone brooklyn teachingelse may be able to teach you something you don’t already know. Good coaches in any sport or activity will push past the limits you have set for yourself to help you achieve things you didn’t know you could. This is as true for your bosses and managers as a working professional adult as it is true for youth sports and activities. Keeping your defenses down can be HARD, but it is only when we let go of our pride that we are able to grow.

There is a very common conversation with students and parents in the dance world that every instructor understands. Often, the students who have the most potential are the ballet3ones who get called out to fix their mistakes again and again. If a student is the subject of constant constructive criticism, the attention can be exhausting. Sometimes, the student will start to feel “picked on” or frustrated thinking they can’t do anything right. What has to happen at this breaking point is a shift in perspective. The instructor is calling you out in class because he or she KNOWS you can fix it. She sees that you can grow and improve, and that’s why she won’t leave you alone. To leave you alone would be giving up on you.

Teaching this to our children and students is an amazing way to set them up for success in the future. They need to truly understand that every critique is an opportunity to grow because their teacher, mentor, coach, parent or friend sees something beyond the limits they have set for themselves.
None of us are perfect. There is always room to learn and grow. I want to help students open their minds to the endless possibilities. I refuse to give up on them.

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Learning How to Fail (Fall) With Grace

Who wants to fail? Not me. It isn’t fun to feel that your efforts are in vain. Who never fails? Not me. Not anyone. Everyone fails at something at some time, unless you just never t
ry anything new, ever. The true test is in the reaction. Do you shut down? Do you give up? Or do you get back on your feet and try again? How you react to failure is something dance points out all too well, and each fall, each fail is an opportunity to build that resolve to keep going.

We teach perseverance as one of our core values at Lonestar Dance Center. We teach it as “never giving up, no matter what.” This can be seen in many examples in the classroom. When a dancer falls down, literally, trying a dance step, our instruGOPR0648ctors’ first question is, “are you alright?” Then, upon brief analysis of the situation, there is an immediate instruction to, “keep dancing,” or “try again!” I find that the faster the dancer gets on their feet and keeps going, the less attention there is on the failure itself. We learn from it, put it behind us and return all focus to the task at hand instead of the embarrassment of the fall. What a life lesson! Learning to quickly assess a mistake, learn something and put it behind you, instead of ruminating over it or giving up, results in a much more productive outlook.

I think that the people that seem to “have it together” in life tend to be the ones that do this well. I’m talking about the people that rarely seem stressed out, frazzled or uncertain. I know that confidence and organization have a lot to do with that kind of demeanor, but it’s inevitable that those people get knocked on their butts too. It’s just how they react to their mistakes and failures that differs from those that let it keep them on the ground. We, at Lonestar Dance Center, try very hard to keep our dancers on their feet. But, when they fall, or fail, we want them to learn how to persevere with grace.

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Teaching Our Children Lifelong Health Habits

I think we can all agree that as life moves in, an awareness of being fit and active has a tendency to move out. Even the most fit and active people go through periods of time where workouts and healthy eating go to the back burner. We’d all love to work out every day “if we had time,” right?

We sometimes make huge and unachievable goals at the beginning of the new year, or swimsuit season, or the holidays, and then feel the sting of failure when those goals aren’t met. It’s logical and sensiblepush ups that it is habits and lifestyle changes, not fad diets or workouts, that keep us healthy and happy, but habits and lifestyle changes don’t come easily, especially if we weren’t raised in an active household (I was very lucky to be raised in an active and healthy home! Thanks, Mom!). What I do find, is that the workouts that are fun and energizing, the kind where you laugh and sweat at the same time, are the ones I stick with the longest. I want to do the kind of workouts where you look up 45 minutes later and are surprised that it is over instead of counting every minute of torture. For me, dance is that kind of work out.

Technology and an ever-growing list of responsibilities make today’s youth that much more susceptible to creating an early habit of a sedentary lifestyle. It takes work and effort to get kids moving outside of their school physical education, which can only do so much. Finding an after-school activity that is active and energizing is a great way to not only help your children focus better, sleep better and stay fit, but it is the beginning of building a lifelong habit of staying active.

As our dancers grow, we also address the topic of nutrition and making healthy food choices that provide the energy your body needs. Among the many benefits of dance, building lifelong health habits ranks towards the top, for me! Looking for an activity to get your kid moving (as well as socializing, creating, developing confidence, mind-body connections, and so much more)? Try dance. Click here for a free trial coupon; spring registration closes February 19th.

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Finding that kindred kind of weird…

You know that feeling you have with your absolute best friend, life partner or family members? That feeling that you can be completely yourself, embrace your “weirdness.” The jokes that only you get, the weird sounds and faces, the goofy songs and dances that you feel comfortable enough to perform for each other?

Guess what.

The relationships you build in the dance studio reflect this kind of friendship. Besides being bound by a similar interest you are stuck in a room with these otheminis6r energetic and creative humans learning to let your guard down bit by bit. You are wearing spandex hot shorts or pink tights and black leotards and moving around the room in sometimes new and uncomfortable ways. There is no room in the dance studio for feeling self-conscious if you are there to grow, and, as a by product, you learn so much more about your dance friends than you might learn about friends from other walks of life.

dance friendsIf you are one of the dancers who participates in a competitive level of dance you find yourself changing, unabashedly and quickly, backstage along with your fellow dance friends without batting an eye. You help each other with make up, costumes, hair. You don’t hesitate to point it out if your team mate has a wedgie or lipstick on their teeth. You pull extra bobby pins out of your own bun to help a rushed friend fix theirs (that really happened last spring on our “Teen” team, and it was one of the cutest scenes ever… a story for another day).

Ask any dance mom who has seen their child grow up with the same group of dancers. It is a special bond. Dance friends are the best friends!