Teaching Tips

3 Go-to Tips for Commanding Respect When You Look as Young as Your Students

Thinkstock

When you look as young as your students, commanding their respect can be pretty tricky. To help, we've curated three teaching techniques that will help you quickly take control of your classroom in spite of your baby face. Check 'em out ya'll! 👇


1. Demonstrate Everything

This is the single most useful tip we can give you for quickly commanding the respect of your students. Demonstrating accomplishes three things as a young-looking teacher:

1. It shows students that you have successfully incorporated the skills and technique you are teaching into your own practice, and are therefore in a position to teach it.

2. It allows them to visually see correct alignment and technique, which helps them find correct positioning to imitate with their own bodies.

3. Their surprise over how high your leg can still go will make you feel grrreat about yourself! (Heyyyyyyy! 💁)


2. Set Boundaries

The line between being your students' friend and being their teacher can be tricky to manage, particularly when you look young. Establishing boundaries early on can help you stay in an authoritative position, while still giving your students the emotional support they need from a mentor. Let your students know that as long as they respect you, stay focused and work hard in class, you can still find time to have fun, goof off and be friends. A balance can be made if they are willing to put in the effort. Usually (not always) this keeps class from turning into total mayhem, like this.👇


3. Come Overprepared

Of course every teacher needs to come prepared for class, but when you're young—you REALLY need to. Nothing says "inexperienced" like a disorganized or unprepared teacher. Come to class with your lesson plan/choreography/combinations established, and you will show your students that you mean business.

Higher Ed
Getty Images

As we wade through a global pandemic that has threatened the financial livelihood of live performance, dancers and dance educators are faced with questions of sustainability.

How do we sustain ourselves if we cannot make money while performing? What foods are healthy for our bodies and fit within a tight unemployment budget? How do we tend to the mental, emotional and spiritual scars of the pandemic when we return to rehearsal and the stage?

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Cynthia Oliver in her office. Photo by Natalie Fiol

When it comes to Cynthia Oliver's classes, you always bring your A game. (As her student for the last two and a half years in the MFA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I feel uniquely equipped to make this statement.) You never skip the reading she assigns; you turn in not your first draft but your third or fourth for her end-of-semester research paper; and you always do the final combination of her technique class full-out, even if you're exhausted.

Oliver's arrival at UIUC 20 years ago jolted new life into the dance department. "It may seem odd to think of this now, but the whole concept of an artist-scholar was new when she first arrived," says Sara Hook, who also joined the UIUC dance faculty in 2000. "You were either a technique teacher or a theory/history teacher. Cynthia's had to very patiently educate all of us about the nature of her work, and I think that has increased our passion for the kind of excavation she brings to her research."

Keep reading... Show less
News
Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Ford Foundation; Christian Peacock; Nathan James, Courtesy Gibson; David Gonsier, courtesy Marshall; Bill Zemanek, courtesy King; Josefina Santos, courtesy Brown; Jayme Thornton; Ian Douglas, courtesy American Realness

Since 1954, the Dance Magazine Awards have celebrated the living legends of our field—from Martha Graham to Misty Copeland to Alvin Ailey to Gene Kelly.

This year is no different. But for the first time ever, the Dance Magazine Awards will be presented virtually—which is good news for aspiring dancers (and their teachers!) everywhere. (Plus, there's a special student rate of $25.)

The Dance Magazine Awards aren't just a celebration of the people who shape the dance field—they're a unique educational opportunity and a chance for dancers to see their idols up close.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.