News

9 Reasons Dance Teachers Should Be Celebrated on Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day this weekend, and we could not be more excited to celebrate all of the mothers in our lives. You make our world go 'round, and we are eternally indebted to you.

Here at Dance Teacher, some of our favorite mother figures out there are actually dance teachers. Yes, many of them have babies of their own, but that's not what we're talking about. We are talking about how they nurture and raise their dance students as their own.

Check out our list of 9 reasons why dance teachers should be celebrated as second mothers this Mother's Day.


1. Dancers spend more time with their teachers than they do their actual parents.

But like that's actually a fact.


2. Teachers know every detail of their students' lives—dance or otherwise.

Students do their homework at the studio between classes and tell teachers all about their crushes/relationship troubles. We could essentially write our students' biographies one day.


3. Teachers are aware of every ache or pain their dancers have ever had.

"Miss Suzie! I have a tummy ache, my hip pops every time I battement and I'm thirsty."


4. Teachers constantly have to remind students not to forget things.

I mean, who does that other than your mother?


5. Teachers bring extra food and snacks places just in case one of their students gets hungry.

How much more mom-like can you get?


6. Teachers are just as involved in their students' college application processes as their parents are.

"OK, you have your Marymount Manhattan audition this weekend, Pace the next, and then you need to really push yourself to get ready for Juilliard three weeks from now."


7. Teachers almost always get invited to their old students' weddings.

And they'll be the one to catch the bouquet—with perfectly pointed toes, obviously!


8. Teachers feel like they're losing their own children when their students graduate.

The end of the year recital is equally as devastating as it is celebratory.


9. Teachers would do anything for their dancers.

They really would! Isn't that something?

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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