Just for fun

It’s National Compliment Day—Here Are 23 Things We Think You Guys Are Nailing!

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We couldn't let National Compliment Day pass without complimenting dance teachers for all the fabulous things we notice them doing. You guys are queens, and we don't deserve you!

Check out what we had to say, and share the love with a dance teacher you think embodies the qualities of teacher success! Let's get this compliment train rolling!

xoxo


1. Providing your students with exceptional technique classes.

2. Putting on fantastic year-end recitals.

3. Choreographing 9,000 solos each fall.

4. Creating mind-blowing group numbers that inspire others at competitions.

5. Making those comp routines as clean as possible.

6. Ensuring your dancers have a well-rounded curriculum.

7. Prioritizing your students' mental health.

8. Setting boundaries that protect your time away from the studio.

9. Staying energized through seemingly endless competition weekends.

10. Keeping your dancers' hair and makeup looking fierce.

11. Saying no to "hamburger hands."

12. Setting a record for how many times a person can yell, "Point your toes!"

13. Taking action against bullying at your studio.

14. Managing a minefield of tense dance moms.

15. Prioritizing service opportunities for your students.

16. Teaching your dancers to be professional and respectful.

17. Filling youth with a love of dance.

18. Helping your students book their dream job/get accepted to their dream college.

19. Educating students on the importance of viewing dance live at the theater.

20. Teaching your students their worth.

21. Staying up-to-date on current style trends and teaching methodologies.

22. Emphasizing the importance of expression and connection in dance.

23. Changing the world one tendu at a time.

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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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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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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