What can success in dance look like?
> A trophy
> A top exam result
> Acceptance into a prestigious training facility
> Acceptance into a prestigious performance company
So often it is only the above where we look for validation.
BUT not everyone will gain the above. So what does that mean? That they have not succeeded? They have failed?
No because success is more than the above.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of trying to be one kind of success.
It happens without even realising. For me as a teacher it happens naturally, I want to do my absolute best, teach the best technique and performance skills… so of course I want those four things to be mine or that of my students.
But at what cost?
If a dancer trains very well, but never quite manages to get 1st place, What does that mean? Are they less successful then their friend who always wins? Well it depends on your definition of success. For me, not necessarily. If you look at the whole person you may notice they overcame stage fright, or got up early several times a week to practise their steps before going off to school. That to me is success. Lessons to take with you into life.
Does it make you a 'loser' to value more than first place? Not to me, but that's up to you.
Our definition of success can change over time and it is different for everyone.
Success in dance is also
> Learning to be dedicated
> Learning how to deal with set backs
> Learning how to prioritise
> Ongoing technique and performance development
> Learning to set goals and expectations
> Learning to be a good team player
> Learning good sportsmanship
> Being a role model to a younger dancer
> Dealing with insecurities and gaining confidence
Dance is different everywhere.
Every dance school across the world will have their core values. As parents it is important to know what each school is about. No one school is wrong, simply different.
~ Written by Tara Becker, reproduced with permission! Thanks Tara for your wisdom!
This Winter we have got a fantastic opportunity for kids to further develop their own creative talent.
July 6th - 8th,
9am - 4pm (Intermediates 9 - 11)
9am - 5pm (Seniors 11 - 14)
Creative kids are smart kids. Creativity development involves more neurons crossing from the left side of the brain to the right, and when it's done physically, it is so much more powerful. Choreography is an art unlike any other, it's like painting with your body at the same time as writing a script, and it takes some time to understand and refine! Normally kids don't get this opportunity, and so this is a unique intensive where we are specially giving kids training and practise in developing as choreographers.
NATALIE PELAREK, one of Australia's rising stars in the contemporary dance world, will be teaching for us these holidays. Dance technique classes will be contemporary dance, and focussing on getting the kids moving in new and exciting ways! This is an event not to be missed. I would love to talk to you more about it.
For ALL the details, and to sign up, click HERE!
In the ballet dept. we are starting to think about Ballet Exams! One thing that I know gives parents headaches is how to do a ballet bun.
Doing buns is like riding a bike. Once you have got the knack, it's as easy as pie. But until then, it's a painful learning curve!
Well I have done a lot of the hard work for you here, and I have found the best ballet bun tutorial on Youtube.
Before you begin, you will need:
Hair Gel, Hair Spray
Bun pins (not Bobby pins)
Bobby pins or clips for stray hairs.
This should REALLY help you. Let me know how you go trying it this way!
“If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
― Mary Pickford
I love this quote so much because it is a great illustration of the lesson of persistence. People may think that when they send their children to dance classes, we are teaching them to dance. This is true of course! But what is FAR more important is the character development that the process gives. One of the most valuable life lessons anyone can have is developing persistence, it is the key to success in anything.
In fact I think that is so true I'm going to say it again. Persistence is the key to success in anything a person may do in life.
Dance is more than a sport because you must train all year round. Because it demands far greater levels of attention to detail and co-ordination, strength and flexibility than anything else. (Gymnastics comes close but does not require the detailed finish, the sophisticated body awareness that dance does.)
The amount of effort it takes to keep trying is immense. And failure is an everday thing.
I got up this morning feeling rotten. I did not want to do my morning stretches. Now before you start thinking I am one of these super-human WAG type women with clean-eating cookbooks, white teeth and washboard abs, let me tell you that morning stretches are a recent thing, and something that has come and gone in various phases of my life. I'm no iron woman. But I do know that having the discipline to keep trying is the only thing that is going to get me to do stretches in the morning. These stretches keep my spine healthy, my migraines at bay, and give me more energy for my day, and so they are very beneficial, but they are SO easy to skip when you get up grumpy and tired from a bad night's sleep! Who's going to know if I skip it? Nobody. Who's going to care? Nobody. Who will suffer? Me. I'm the only one accountable, and I'm the only one who can make me do it.
Self-discipline is the key thing - and when I don't have enough of it, I go through the day fighting the guilt that says I should have stretched. I should have done it. I feel like a failure, and that makes me less likely to want to do my stretching the following day, because I don't want to face the failure and guilt of the previous day! So what's going to pull me through this silly cycle and get me back on the wagon? Just the will to try again.
As Mary Pickford says. I haven't failed if I fall down... only if I stay down. Persistence is the only thing that will make me keep pushing through.
Every dancer will gain from doing more Pilates, whether your 'thing' is hip hop, ballet or something else entirely!
This is the Pre-Entry class for the Vaganova Academy, the world-renowned Russian Ballet School. These girls are 10 years old and have prepared this class to audition for entry into the school. I think any ballet student would gain a lot from following along with this class; it is simple to follow as none of the exercises are complicated. But just try to do it with posture and feet as beautiful as the girls in the video :-).
Many Oasis Ballet students will be familiar with their warmup as we do this before most of our classes.
Teenagers are like sponges. They are hungry for new experiences that will help them define their self-image, in a time of rapid change they struggle to understand. I found a brilliant article from Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, where they run a programme for young people called "Life Pulse". They describe their experiences with young people so beautifully:
"As they move through adolescence, teenagers experience changes in their bodies and minds. They develop an increasing sense of self, and become curious about, and sensitive to, their bodies. At this time, dance can be a vehicle to help young people understand their bodies and identify themselves. Dance allows them a channel through which they can confidently express their emotions, while encouraging creativity and cultivating an appreciation for the arts. "
"... through dance education, adolescents can grow physically and mentally. It allows them to confidently express their views of the world, get recognition from others, and show their emotions. It inspires their creativity and their sensibility to art. In a study of young dancers, Susan Hoyle, Director of Dance of Arts Council England, observes that adolescents naturally enjoy dancing and learning something new. They also like to create and perform their own dances and be part of a dance group (Brinson, 1991). "
"Adolescence is a time between childhood and adulthood; it is a time when everything suddenly changes and young people look for corresponding fulfillment physically, psychologically, emotionally, and socially. During this time, teenagers become sensitive to rapid growth in appearance, including height, weight, muscles and bones, and sexual characteristics.
During such a transitional period in their internal mindset and external appearance, teenagers tend to care much about peer interaction. They expect to be noticed and easily come up with an imaginary audience with which to practice social interaction. Sometimes they exaggerate their behaviors or thoughts to fulfill a personal dream. In this transitional period, it is key for them to remain comfortable with their growing bodies (Wang & Ke, 1999). "
"In MRT stations, the Taipei Main Station shopping mall, or any other public space in downtown Taipei, it is a common sight to see adolescents grouping together to practice dance. They get together, play popular music on a portable player, and practice different styles of street dance, cheerleading, or even new styles that they have created. They are not inhibited or embarrassed to show their bodies moving to music in public. Yen & Lee (2011) describe it as something that shapes youth culture. "
"Teenagers face huge changes in their bodies and minds. They get emotional and energetic. They become isolated from their parents and family as they seek to explore the world, which switches from parents to peers. Having a positive understanding of the body can help adolescents strengthen their ego and self-worth, peer relationships, parental relationships, and further educational study. "
"Body movement is a form of language; it is a choice beyond words. Dance courses in regular schools, free street dance groups, and classes in private schools allow teenagers more choices to get close to dancing. Through such courses, it is expected that they will become more confident in interacting with others and expressing their viewpoints or emotions. In addition, by experiencing body movement, they will become sensitive to their own physical and mental conditions. With this experience, they can further listen to their inner voice and find their own identity and ego."
I have just taken excerpts that apply to us all generally but you can read the full study here: http://ausdance.org.au/uploads/content/publications/2012-global-summit/dance-learning-rp/when-young-people-meet-dance-a-case-study-from-the-life-pulse-course.pdf