How Many Ways Can You Solve the Problem?

As a daughter and sister of educators, I was (and continually am) pushed to solve problems logically, reasonably and creatively. Never was I just given an answer; I was taught to work for it and find the solution. I married someone who also pushes me often to be a problem-solver. There are almost always multiple ways that a problem can be solved, and I am blessed to be surrounded by people who are happy to talk through probable solutions and weigh the pros and cons of each.

Growing up in a teacher’s household, though, also enlightened me to all the issues that come with an often over-regulated curriculum that does not always cater to each individual’s learning style. musicalT5Every spring you see the blog posts and status updates cursing standardized testing and the government’s assumption that all children can learn the same way. Kudos to all you amazing teachers out there that continually push and find ways to reach every child in your classroom. I imagine that it isn’t easy!

If your child struggles with the sometimes one-dimensional aspects of school, dance is excellent example of an environment where children can learn that there may be many ways to solve a problem. During improvisation exercises instructors often may say something like, “Work your way from this side of the room to the other and don’t let your feet leave the ground,” or,”Figure out a way to make it across the room in only 10 steps.” There are very few rules or parameters and multiple ways to solve the problem in these kinds of exercises, and it’s exciting to watch children attack it from different angles. Interested in starting your dance journey? Click here.

“Networking” at an Early Age

We have a special blog post edition today written by one of our dedicated students! Abby Purcell is 15 years old and has been dancing at Lonestar Dance Center for the last 3 years. She aspires to be a working dancer one day, and she shares her thoughts on how dance is teaching her the art of networking early on. Enjoy! — Kate

Over the years, I have realized a few things about dance that are very helpful at any age; one of them being networking. Making connections with others dancers in your community can make the competition environment better and convention classes less separated by studio. About two years ago I started branching out at conventions and competitions to meet new people, and from then on I began to appreciate the Austin dance community to a much greater extent. Going to a convention [or class, or audition] by yourself, or even with your studio, may feel awkward at first since you don’t know most of the people in the room, and this is part of the reason why networking is so important.

This past weekend, I attended a convention/competition in Austin. I went to this event last year, however this time, I wasn’t with others from my studio. I recognized a few people from past conventions and competitions, since most dancers at this convention were from Austin. The Austin dance community is so large, you could easily meet multiple new people at each competition.

one time performance
Abby pictured front left at Celebrity Dance Convention October 2015.

Taking classes with friends from other studios is such a treat because it isn’t the norm. In addition, seeing the level of talent from other places makes the environment of the class even better, and it may encourage you to push harder to do well.

 

I have made many friends at conventions in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Chicago, and just knowing their names and making those connections could be important if I want to continue with my dance career. Remember, once you are done with competitive studio training, everyone becomes part of the dance community, and that is why networking at an earlier age can make it easier for your career in the long run.

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