As I dive into this years ‘Recital Season’ I thought it was only fitting to wriest my next blog post about all this Teaching! At the moment I teach 7 days a week…..yes you heard correct SEVEN! I know, it may seem crazy not to have a day off (and believe me some weeks I feel the same) but its just something that I have grown to love to much and not to toot my own horn too much, but think I ’m pretty dam good at it. At the moment I teach anywhere between 30-36 hour per week, plus private lessons, rehearsals and my own training on top of that.
Teaching Dance has definitely been a passion of mine that has immensely grown over time, and each and every year that goes by I fall more and more in love with this craft and teaching world.
Of course, it’s not all roses and smiles 24/7 and definitely has it challenges along the way. That’s why I have created a few tips and tricks below that have definitely helped me along the way to what I believe has made me a better teacher!
1. Be CONFIDENT! I remember, I think it would be maybe nearly 8 or 9 years ago when I first put my teaching hat on that I was always so worried about what my students thought regarding my song playlist, my choreography, how I structured my class and so on. It’s not that I don’t care what they think now, its just that I am so confident in my choices on what music I think is appropriate to play for each age level, how the class should be structured depending on their skill level and what I want my students to be leaving each and every class with that I know that all my choices are the right ones! Of course we are always learning from our students each and every day, but they can feel the energy in a teacher when they walk into the room 100% confident and prepared for the lesson….or not!
2. Wearing different hats as a teacher! At the moment I teach anyway from 2years of age to 50years of age, and of course I’m still the same me as a person in each class… however I am a totally different teacher for each class. For example the way I teach my 2-3year olds is drastically different to the way I teach my 12-15year olds. They all know me as Miss Kate, but as different version of me. This also goes hand in hand with what style I’m teaching. Whether I ’m teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theatre whatever it is, I put on a different teaching hat for each style. I think this is super important as sometimes I have students for back to back classes for 3 different style of dance in the one day…. They need to know and see the difference between their Ballet and Hip-Hop Teacher… even if it is the same person.
3. Be PREPARED! Depending on your teaching style, me personally I think my classes always run better when I am over prepared. If I am starting a brand new session at a brand new studio I always have a few different combinations I can pull out depending on their skill level and dance style. I have made this mistake in the past choreographing a full combination and then not being able to teach a single step of it because the students either a) have not learnt any of the steps yet or b) are advanced beyond the combo I have choreographed. Be PREPARED!
4. Have FUN! Dance is yes an art and many of my students go on to be Professional Dancers however, each and every dance class does not need to be silent, strict and structured from wall to wall. Dance is an art form that we do because we love it! It can be fun also! I myself do forget this too sometime sand have to remind myself that my students are here at the studio because they love to dance and want to be here! Enjoy yourself teaching the next generation or dancers and have while you do it!
I hope this was a quick little interesting read if you are a dance teacher or even if you’re not! Next time you're in the studio teaching or learning enjoy yourself and always take something away from each and every class you take or teach!
Love Kate xox