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?

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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.

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12 dance ideas to bring fun and inspiration to your Zoom classes

Are you getting stuck for ideas and running low on inspiration for your zoom classes?

The below 12 ideas can help give you, and your students, more ‘feel good’ factor about being on zoom again this term.

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12 reasons 2021 is THE IDEAL year to add Groove Child to your timetable…

There are so many reasons to incorporate this refreshing and creative additional syllabus into your timetable this year. Here are 12 reasons why 2021 is the ideal time to do this…

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What is the ONE thing you wish for your students in 2021?

If you’re answer is anything to do with confidence, individuality, creativity or self-belief then read on…

What’s the MAIN gift you hope dance gives every student that tip toes through your doors over the years…

Confidence?

Self belief?

Technical brilliance?

To lead a happy and creative life?

As teacher, creator, nurturer our we can sometimes feel the pressure of having to be ‘all in’ creatively from week to week. Do you sometimes feel like you need to hit refresh on your teaching approach? Some times finding a way to think outside the syllabus box is all it takes.

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Have you ever had a negative response like this from a parent?

True story.
This happened to me a year ago…
Dad picks up daughter from ballet class.
Little brother comes with him and seems excited to be there.
I suggest that maybe he could try a class some time?
Dad says “over my dead body”
I do a double take, and vaguely giggle back thinking he’s trying to joke.
Dad says “I’m not joking. My boys’ not going to be a woofter”
…😲😲😲
Wow.
Just WOW.

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Boys Dance Too!

As dance teachers, we are all aware of the unbalanced ratio of male and female dancers in our dance schools. And with a list of factors, including stigmas against boys who dance, feminine marketing and advertising, and limited options for boys uniforms, it becomes easier to understand why there might be so many less boys than girls in our dance schools.

But, we want to share with you a story of one boy in particular that we teach, and the impact dance has had on his life.

This is Will’s story, in the words of his teacher Natalie Pearl…

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How can we keep our dancers coming back?

If the pandemic has made us realise one main thing, it’s how important it is to create an environment where students LOVE to dance. For the sheer enjoyment of it, and nothing else…how can we help encourage this and keep them coming back, no matter what life throws…

If the pandemic has made us realise one main thing, it’s how important it is to create an environment where students LOVE to dance. 

For the sheer enjoyment of it, and nothing else.

Aside from the anxiety many have felt from the recent lockdown period, social media is undoubtedly young people’s biggest issue right now when it comes to anxiety. 

But what about the more subtle in-person behaviours they might feel from peers and friendship groups in class they aren’t part of, which can also chip away at self-esteem…

How can we make sure our dance schools continue to be a ‘safe’ space for them mentally, and one that they want to keep returning to again and again?

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How to Bring Back your Creativity after Lockdown

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…

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Learn Level One ONLINE! – Your FAQs

After a wonderful response to our Level One offer online during this unprecedented time, we have put together these FAQs all in one place! If you can’t find an answer to your question here, get in touch! info@groovechilddance.com

After an overwhelming response to our learn level one online offer during lockdown, we have decided to make it an ever-green offer as a way for more teachers to be able to dip their toes into the creative world of Groove Child without committing to any annual licensee fee unless they decide to offer this creative confidence-boosting work to older students, and learn further levels.

We have put together our most frequently asked questions about the offer all in one place here, but if you can’t find an answer to your question below, just get in touch! info@groovechilddance.com

1. No ongoing annual licence fee for level one? Is that just for one year or forever? 

Yes, there’s no annual licence for Level One / Purple. It’s free for life!

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