Friday, February 7, 2014

Starting Dance Classes

As the time approaches for us to don our dance shoes and settle back into the year we thought it was important to reflect about what this step might mean for our little dancers.  We have been thrilled to hear news of mass excitement, sensations of butterflies and mad enthusiasm as we all await our first dance classes for the new year.  For some of our students they will fling themselves through the door with confidence and ease but for some of our dancers, especially our beginners and our tiny ones..........they might feel more like clinging to their parents or nervous about what their class will entail, who will be their friend and will they know what to do.
Your teachers are all excited and nervous too.  They know that along with the joy of being a dance teacher comes a lot of hard work and their biggest concern in the first few weeks will be about YOU, their student.  We strive to create a beautiful and supportive atmosphere where everyone feels welcome.  You are all very important to us and we have loved the opportunities to talk to your families, meet new little faces and hear about your goals for the year.  We want to dance along side you.  We want you to have a haven for your creativity and self expression and most importantly of all, we want you to walk out our doors with confidence, self belief and a huge smile.
Parents, especially parents of little people, do know that for some children it will take a few weeks to feel completely at ease in a new learning environment.  It is overwhelming to suddenly leave the security of Mum or Dad, your normal routine and suddenly be in the spotlight in dance class with lots of new faces.  Know that it is very NORMAL for your usually very gregarious child to suddenly turn very shy or the child who was up dressed in their tutu by 6am to suddenly be frozen and glued to your hand refusing to budge.  So if they just want to watch for a bit or if there is a little tear, it's OK, in fact it's more than OK, they are still learning and absorbing and the next time, it will be a little easier and a little less daunting.  As teachers, we have had the wealth of experience and the joy of many years helping our little dancers find their wings so we won't bat an eye.  We won't question whether your child is ready or label you a pushy parent.  We trust and know that each child starts to engage at their own time.  It may be immediately or it may be the second or third week of class.  This is all very normal and encouraged. 
 We will ease off parent observation after classes have settled.  We are really proud of our dance curriculum and really want to show you that you have made the right decision in entrusting your child to us.  We do believe it is important that parents are able to witness the content of class, the teaching philosophies and the knowledge of your teacher.  After the initial observation period, we know that the most enriching learning opportunities will arise when we have the full attention of your child and are allowed the opportunity to develop a rapport with them and within the dynamics of the class.  You will be amazed to hear what your child does when they have the freedom to explore within the studio with the music, the movement and oh, of course the mirrors.  ( they love to preen...and it's important for them to feel alive and energised within their own bodies.)  Trust that we will have the best interests of your child and the class at stake and even if a little one is teary please allow us the opportunity to calm them.  Sometimes this special performance is just reserved for Mum or Dad.  If we can't settle a child after a short period, we will send for you.  Our goal is happy children.  Most times, it's less than five minutes and your child is skipping about and any anxiety is quickly forgotten.
For our continuing students, it's OK to be a little nervous or hesitant too.  You have been out of routine and had a long break but your body will remember.  We look forward to getting sore with you and helping you to soar this year.
Together, with the support of parents, we will have classes of happy students progressing at their own unique rate in no time.
HAPPY DANCING EVERY ONE.  Looking forward to all the many wonderful emotions the first few weeks will stir.
See you in class.

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