Q: Whether online or through word of mouth, I'm constantly hearing dance teachers tear down other teachers who think differently than they do. How do I keep my self-esteem high when our internet culture seems to promote this—and better yet, how do I teach my students to do the same?
A: I agree that there are a lot of naysayers in the dance world, but you should never let someone else's opinion affect how you see yourself. Don't empower negative people in your life.
Social media makes it easy for people to make hurtful statements about you that they would never say to your face. Sadly, I think our dancers (especially our teens) are affected by negative comments on social media as well. I feel as educators we must constantly reinforce our dancers so that they realize how smart and talented they really are. As educators we have the power to change the message.
Our studio T-shirts say "Integrity, Bravery, Love and Sweat Equity." These are the qualities that make a great dancer and person. Build yourself and your dancers up with positive quotes posted around your studio and constantly reinforce the idea that they are amazing dancers and people.