Dancer vs Teacher - Being the best you can
During my 12 years of teaching there seems to be a continuing theme; dancers who are capable of being amazing but not willing to work for it. One of the most (how can I put it nicely) annoying traits of this is the dancer not willing to try new ideas and styles. Believe me when I say every teacher wants the best for their pupils, works hard to find their 'gift' and then nurtures it to create something special. As this is the case, the words "I don't want to do that" or "I'm not doing it" comes as a complete kick in the gut to the teacher and it hurts. Teachers work hard to look at their students and see what they need to do to improve, added to the fact they choreograph dances which will showcase their students talents. Yet sometimes it does not feel appreciated.
To successfully succeed in the dance world it's a hard journey with a lot more downs than ups. Auditions go right, some go wrong, sometimes your face fits, sometimes it doesn't. It's not a straight forward climb. So what can you do to make sure you're professional dance ready:
1. Do every dance thing you can physically do! Auditions, shows, competitions, events, awards, lectures, workshops and classes.
2. Listen when you have advice on how to improve and never take it to heart, it's about getting better not already being the best. When I was a teen dancer this was the hardest thing for me to do. If I wasn't told I was the best at a specific move or didn't win a mini competition within my dance school I would react like it was the end of the world, however it prepared me for the hard work and determination I needed for my future dance career.
3. Criticism does not mean your teacher hates you, it means the complete opposite. They are there to teach you how to dance, to support you on this new journey and to have a lot of fun making memories with you.
4. Try every style you physically can! This goes for any piece of choreography your teacher is going to try with you. Don't be afraid of different!
5. Trust your teacher. They spend a lot of time with you and grow attached to you. Just because something doesn't go your way does not mean it's time to quit. Believe me they are as excited when you win as you are and as gutted when you don't.
6. Fight back! Never settle for anything other than the best. Push yourself in class to show how amazing you are. Get the well done, get the dancer of the week stars, get the praise, because when you do it's worth it.
7. Work out of dancing. Yes you can do a lot in class, but also do your homework. Practice, stretch, create ... all these help
And most importantly ...
8. Don't say "no" or "I'm not doing that" ... embrace and discover. At the end of the day it could be the most amazing thing you ever do.