Just for fun

7 Gratifying Dance Teacher MomentsThat Make It All Worth It

Being a dance teacher is hard work, but at the end of the day, it's one of the most gratifying jobs you could ever have! You're spreading the goodness of dance into the hearts of young children—it's positively magnificent!

The world needs love right now, and because you're giving it with all your hearts, it's only fitting you get a lot of it in return!

Here's a reminder of some of the most the gratifying dance teacher moments that make it all worth it!

Enjoy!


1. When you see a correction click in your student's head

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2. When your dancers come up to you and thank you at the end of each class

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3. When a parent tells you how much their child loves learning from you

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4. When your students reach their personal goals and grow throughout the year

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5. When your dancers support and encourage each other

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6. When you see the love of dance develop in your dancers' hearts

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7. When you hear about a good decision your student made in their life because of something you said to them

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Three cheers for teaching dance and all the joy it brings into our lives! Life is good! Dance is good! You are good! Hoorah!

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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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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When legendary Black ballet dancer Kabby Mitchell III died unexpectedly in 2017, two months before opening his Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, his friend and business partner Klair Ethridge wasn't sure she had what it took to carry his legacy. Ethridge had been working with Mitchell to co-found TUPAC and planned to serve as its executive director, but she had never envisioned being the face of the school.

Now, Ethridge is heading into her fourth year of leading TUPAC, which she has grown from a fledgling program in an unheated building to a serious ballet school in its own sprung-floor studios, reaching hundreds of students across the Tacoma, Washington, area. The nonprofit has become a case study for what it looks like to carry out the vision of a founder who never had the chance to see his school open—and to take an unapologetically mission-driven approach.

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