Why PRAISE is bad for our dancers – and what to say instead

Becoming a mother has taught me so much already…

Not least of all it’s made me question the things I am already saying to my 15 month old to encourage his growth, independence and self-belief, from the word go.

I mean, should I help him with the puzzle piece? Should I show him how to open the lid – or different ways to play with the sand? Should I clap and praise him when he gets the shape in the right place or should I just sit quietly and watch so as to not interrupt his concentration?!

One things for sure, becoming a mother has made me consider more deeply how I speak to and praise the dancers I work with, for exactly the same reason… Are my words helping their growth in the best way?

Continue reading “Why PRAISE is bad for our dancers – and what to say instead”

HOW can we increase self-belief and emotional wellbeing in our dancers? 

As dance teachers we are used to constantly wearing different ‘hats’, adapting for the role and all the complexities and challenges it brings – even without a pandemic!

You are no doubt used to helping your students through personal challenges, outside of their dancing, often being there with advice and a listening ear.

Many of us have been noticing a shift in our teenage students, even before the coronavirus, where personal pressures may have been mounting and their relationship to their dancing fluctuating.

There are so many reasons for this – not least of all the part that social media plays in their lives (far more than it did in any of ours – social media didn’t even EXIST for most if us back then) and the burden of constant comparison it has brought with it.

Many of us may be asking can we do to help?

We KNOW dancing can be an escape for them, and our dance families a safe haven for them to be themselves in. But still, many of our teens are struggling with low self-esteem, more so than ever.

We feel strongly that 2021 is the year to step up to the growing problem of UK mental health, and we know that as dancer teachers we are in a position to help our students in more ways than we may realise, because they look up and listen to us. And they look TO us for ways to behave and how to navigate situations in their lives.

So, where do we start?

If we don’t already it’s time to prioritise the dancer before the dancing.

Continue reading “HOW can we increase self-belief and emotional wellbeing in our dancers? “