Dance Teaches Responsibility

When I was the captain on Texas Pom I would have to write packing lists for our trips. Being that college is that “in-between” phase of being wholly independent and still somewhat a child, we held each other accountable to remember things like costume pieces, pajamas, retainers, the right shoes to wear, etc. On mornings where we had to get up at the crack of dawn for appearances we would self-assign a buddy to text or call each other in the morning to make sure we were up. We took all the experiences we had in school and dance growing up and helped each other be responsible, and we built valuable life skills for adulthood. That was the first time that there was no parent to wake us up or check our check lists.

These lessons were being taught to us all along on our dance teams and school teams as we matured. Even my mini team has to have all the right shoes and costume pieces for competition, right?Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.52.50 AM Maybe mom helps a lot right now, but they are starting to learn how to prepare for something, remember details, and execute detailed directions. It’s one thing to have to remember your sports uniform, shoes and a few pieces of equipment. It’s entirely another to have to fill a huge duffle bag full of 4-5 pieces per costume, make up, earrings, 4-5 pairs of shoes, a cover up, etc.

I think this makes dancers logical thinkers, problem solvers, and detailed workers. We generally listen to directions well and are good planners. Of course, this perspective is all coming from someone with an “A-type,” organized personality, but I think even our dreamers are very responsible. Isn’t it great when your creative passions can also teach you such practical life lessons? I think so. Interested in starting your dance journey? Click here to download a free trial coupon.

An Outlet for Stress

Kids are so busy! I was of the busy kid generation, so I do get it. I would get up at 5:30AM to go to One Act Play rehearsal before school because the whole cast was so busy with after school activities and homework that doing rehearsal later in the day was not an option. I would go to school, work, dance or be involved in other clubs from 5:30AM to 9PM almost daily. Plus fitting in homework when necessary (I think kids do more homework now, though). Today, high school curriculum mirrors more of a college course load than mine did. Learning how to time manage and deal with stress are absolutely necessary to be successful in a college or work atmosphere as they grow and move on.

All this to say: kids (and adults!) need to find their stress relievers. rise up

While I absolutely love my job providing dance as an opportunity and teaching it to the next generation, it gets pretty stressful to run a business and plan for my own classrooms each week. I have found a few stress relievers when I need to take a brain break from the  studio (mostly exercise these days), but the absolute best is when I have the opportunity to take dance for myself. An opportunity to refill my cup with the passion I have for the art of dance. I see these kids refill their cups every day when they get the opportunity to step into the dance room and just be themselves. They can be silly, they can get the wiggles out, they can express emotions that they cannot put into words. They sweat, they stretch, they create. They get to take their own “brain break” from their busy, stressful lives, and I love witnessing them learn how to “de-stress.”

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Preparing to Perform

The performance arts are a unique opportunity to practice something very hard, very often, for just one performance. One shot. Countless hours and efforts can go into learning a routine, perfecting that routine, and making it muscle memory all to perform it one, solitary time on stage. You may only get those 2 minutes to show off an entire year’s worth of training. Sometimes it goes swimmingly, other times you blow it. Lessons can be learned either way.

During this time leading up to our 12th annual recital, I have been reflecting on what an exciting time it is. recital staff danceI get butterflies thinking about recital day; the culmination of all our hard work. Participating in recitals teaches dancers how to perform under intense pressure. It teaches them to be a part of something behind the scenes. It shows them that successes only come from dedication, practice and hard work.

The adrenaline rush of performing is almost addicting. You see dancers come off stage breathless, not just because of the cardiovascular exercise, but because of the excitement of performing live. I know I’ve gotten a similar rush when being interviewed or making a difficult phone call. The trick is turning those nerves into positive energy. Dance is such a cool way to practice and learn this life lesson! Interested in seeing this idea in action? Click here to join the Facebook event for our 12th Annual Recital, “Under the Big Top!”