This year has been a weird one hasn’t it? With a lot of time spent in lockdown and unable to do what we love, it’s only natural that finding that creative spark again might take a little bit of time. To help you get those creative juices flowing again, we thought the best place to start is by acknowledging and avoiding the main creativity killers…
When we first began developing the Groove Child® Dance Syllabus we knew we wanted it to be fun for both teacher and child, but carefully structured in away that reduced the likelihood of the following creative road blocks – to really ensure the children benefit from the multi-faceted learning that dance can offer.
Lack of Inspiration
An uncreative environment with no strong or helpful stimulus often leads to dancing without feeling and inspiration.
WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW: Try providing a weekly dance session that offers a variety of music, creative themes, props, or a mix of set work and new work to help keep engagement and joy ignited from week to week.
When you worry about the outcome ONLY, the work becomes tight and forced, rather than enjoyable and expressive.
WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW: Try cultivating more enjoyment of the PROCESS – of how the children are working during an exercise, the ideas they’re having, or the enthusiasm and effort they are putting in. Focus on praising this aspect rather than the end result all the time. As the saying goes, it’s the journey not the destination that’s important. Experiment and curiosity breeds a deeper emotional involvement in the process, which can also lead them to a deeper understanding and/or memory of the work being taught.
Lack of ‘Play’
Completely structured activities and exercises of any kind often stifle any opportunity for creative growth within that activity.
WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW: Remind yourself that ‘play’ is a foundation of exploration and discovery in all areas of life, especially dance! Allow yourself to use this concept in your dance classes more often…Structure is of course very important for growth, and its important that the children know the aim of the exercise, how to go about it, where to begin, etc. But creative exercises that are also high quality learning experiences have a balance of STRUCTURE and FREEDOM for young dancers to ‘create’ within given boundaries. This approach helps them to stretch themselves (in mind and body) and acts as a springboard for other desired qualities we all want to cultivate in our pupils such as effort, adaptability, perseverance and resilience.
We all know from personal experience that not feeling like you’re improving at something can be discouraging. And having spent a lot of time unable to be in the dance studio, some children may feel a little shy towards activities that had once been familiar to them.
WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW: Create a space where all children can experience new success, and try offering reinforcement that they have made headway at some point within this session. Rather than only focusing on technique, repetition and corrections in every class, consider incorporating additional weekly sessions separate to technique practice that let children explore dance creatively, in a structured manner that offers them CHOICE and support so they can start to build CONFIDENCE in their own ideas.
This type of class approach can be a much more motivating, particularly in times of stress and uncertainty, as it helps them to relax and have more fun and be in the moment more which will ultimately boost their confidence.
Protection from Failure
Totally protecting children from failure in anything means they will not know how to cope well with it and therefore they may take less risks and not TRY new things for fear of failure. This can also lead to lack of self-belief.
WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW: Acknowledge failure or mistakes as part of learning and growth, and encourage a sense that failure is okay – as long as you learn from it and grow in your approach the next time. Let them know it’s all part of life! If they feel it’s okay to make a mistake within the class they be more likely to take risks when you want them to improvise or be creative.
Did you like this blog post? Leave a comment below with your main #creativitykiller We’d love to hear your thoughts! SHARE this post with a friend who might find it helpful…
Amy & Natalie x
Groove Child® was created in support of your passion. To grow their love of dance and a love of themselves. Get started with Level One music and exercises by downloading them from our membership area today! Start discovering the joy and confidence it can bring your students by exploring the exercises within your current classes. https://www.groovechilddance.com/sign-up