Professions across the globe hold yearly conferences, and the dance industry is certainly no exception. Annual conferences exist for dance teachers, dance medicine professionals, dance educators and more. Taking the time out to attend them can be well worth your while for a number of different reasons. Let's take a closer look at four of them.
1. Learning – This may be the most obvious reason to go to a dance-related conference, but that by no means makes it any less important. There are sessions for everyone, covering everything from best practices, to current research, to hands-on training. You'll learn from all kinds of different practitioners/professionals and hear about a good chunk of the latest and greatest news in your field. It's a great way to stay current, as well as pick up some new skills or techniques to share with students or other teachers when you get back home.
2. Networking – Simply put, you'll meet other professionals you wouldn't otherwise connect with during the normal course of your teaching career. Conferences bring professionals together from all over the U.S. (and beyond!), and it can be super-helpful to hear from others who do what you do every day. It's a chance to make new friends, establish lasting relationships, find mentors and more.
3. Inspiration – Most dance teachers will find themselves super-energized after being exposed to new ideas, participating in lively discussions and trying out new concepts at a conference. Gathering with others in your field can be just the wind you need in your sails when you're feeling burnt-out or like you've been stuck in a rut. You'll come back with all sorts of things to try out, and more energy to share.
4. Rest – Let's face it—most dance teachers find it hard to come up with a reason to take some time off. Since dance conferences usually require a bit of travel, they can serve as both as both a professional investment—and a much needed break. After all, you don't have to sign up for every session or attend every lecture. You can also build in a bit of time for yourself to catch a movie, read or just relax!
With the New Year right around the corner, why not take a look at the different dance conferences coming up and see if there's one you can attend? Whether it has been a while since you went to one—or it's your first time—you'll come back refreshed and equipped with some new ideas and information you can put right into practice!