This month, I really wanted to focus on young dancers and issues that they might run into as well as inspiring information that both the dancers themselves, and their teachers can implement in their classes.
As I've already mentioned, my passion lies with working with young athletes and dancers. The main reason for this is because they are still figuring out where they belong, what they want to do when they graduate, and how to care for their bodies properly to prepare for adulthood. I love mentoring and working with kids to help them realize their body's potential. More than that, I love watching them grow and mature into beautiful adults.
Being a Christian Personal Trainer and Dance Teacher gives me a wonderful opportunity to work with both the student and the parent, cultivating their hearts toward beautiful, godly things. I always ensure that each one of my clients (young and old) understand that before anything else, their mental and spiritual health is what matters most.
Young people have a tendency to easily fall into eating disorders and body image issues because they are growing and changing. As teachers, we should encourage positive thinking. Don't let your students talk down about themselves.
I have a student that is a perfectionist. She wants everything to be right the first time and she puts a lot of pressure on herself to see results quickly. She also struggles with body image because she is in the process of becoming a woman. I have to keep pulling her away from any negativity that she wants to bring out on herself and remind her that everyone is different and she is beautiful.
I also had a friend who was a beautiful dancer (I say was because she doesn't dance anymore) from a young age. Her teacher (I actually met her once) was not the kindest person. She had a tendency to tear her students down, sometimes without even meaning to, and she compared them. This wreaked havoc on my friend's life. She felt insecure, incapable, and small. Once she entered puberty, she had an extremely difficult time dealing with the changes because she was insecure already.
This is the complete opposite of what we, as dance teachers, need to be doing for our students. We need to cultivate the passion and love for dance while balancing the love for themselves. They need to be taught how to adapt to the changes their bodies go through, how to prepare for adulthood, how to take care of their bodies inside and outside of dance, they need to be shown and told how beautiful and capable they are.
That is how you cultivate the heart of a dancer. This doesn't necessarily change when they get older either. Older dancers need to be shown these things as well. They need to be brought back to a positive, peaceful relationship with themselves.
I hope that this helps you, whether you are beginning your journey as a dance teacher, or you already are one. The hearts of our students are more important than a paycheck. In the end, the relationship that you build with them will be more satisfying than anything else.
If you have any questions or would like advice, please feel free to contact me!
Until next time,