Miss JoAnn, a teacher at the Edmonton School of Ballet, spent time putting together this article for her Jr. 4 class this year, but we thought that everyone might benefit from reading her tips and advice!
Why do we dance?
We dance because we love it! It’s a way for us to express how we feel through movement. It’s a challenge that is paid off with hard work. You want to be great and show people all that you have to offer. There are days when we are itching to move and there are days where don't want to dance. Dance is hard work and takes a lot of discipline. The best thing we can do is work hard even when times get tough. The key is to remember that things are hard now, but one day all your hard work will pay off!
Why does my Ballet teacher give me so many corrections?
Dance teachers give their students corrections to help them improve and grow with their work. It’s not meant to be a negative; it’s for the benefit of you as a student. Dance teachers see the potential in each student, even if you don't see it in yourself just yet. If they give you a correction think of it as a gift. We have extensive knowledge in the art of dance. We have been in your shoes and know how hard it can be at times, but we also know about all the joys that can come with it!
How can I help myself to improve?
Remember, every class has the potential for personal growth! Come to class knowing it is going to be fun, but also hard work. Your personal growth in class is all about your attitude. Try to come in with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. Remember, your teacher is going to give you corrections, but remember this is not a bad thing, but a good thing. When you get a correction, this is a chance for you to really improve. Try to really work hard on your corrections even if there really difficult, you'll see that one day they won’t seem as hard anymore. You are the only one who can hold yourself back or make yourself excel!
Exams are scary and can be stressful. They can also be fun and exiting! Your dance teacher is going to do the best that they can do to get you ready for your exam. You, as the dancer, also has the responsibility to prepare yourself for your exam. You can do this by working hard in every class, taking corrections, and studying your theory. You may also need to do some extra work on your own, such as practicing the more difficult steps or exercises at home.
What if I'm not ready for my exam?
If your teacher feels that you are not ready for your exam, try not to view this as a negative thing. Sometimes we just need a bit more time to accomplish all of the technical expectations for each level. Your teacher wants you to be as successful as possible! If you do need a bit more time that is okay, you will still be able to improve and grow! Keep working hard each and every dance class and keep taking correction and practicing, and it will all come together!
by JoAnn Zayak