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Tag: dance teachers

Being A Dance Teacher: 8 Tips for Strong Student Relationships

being a dance teacher

Connecting with students is imperative to the lasting success and legacy of your business. You have an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life and inspire their appreciation for the performing arts. Being a dance teacher is a huge role, responsibility, and opportunity, and it should be taken seriously. The following tips will help you connect in meaningful ways that are fruitful for yourself and your students.

TIP 1: Be a Role Model

When you work with children on a regular basis, it is important you take your job seriously and that you strive to be the best role model possible. Students should never see personal vices (cursing, drinking, smoking), and you should always have the students’ best interest at heart with each and every interaction.

TIP 2: Be Realistic with Expectations

Some students may choose to pursue a professional career in dance, but, for many, the experience will be about building self-confidence, leadership, physical fitness, poise, discipline, time management, and an appreciation for the arts. Even the students that are not destined for professional careers are important, and you should treat them with an equal level of significance.

TIP 3: Be Knowledgeable

When students come to you inquiring about professional opportunities and avenues for personal growth, be prepared with an accurate and helpful response. Familiarize yourself with area dance programs, conventions, summer workshops, colleges, benefits of varying majors, conservatories, industrial work, theatrical work, theme park work, agencies, etc. You should know every avenue available to students; they are relying on you for that information.

TIP 4: Be the Teacher

When instructing students throughout their lives, it can be difficult to maintain professional boundaries; however, it is critical that those boundaries exist for the relationship to be effective in the child’s development. In order for the student to have respect for you as an instructor, there must clear boundaries in place. Communication should only be managed through professional outlets (i.e. the studio), and owners/instructors should avoid unprofessional relationships via social media outlets (remember, you are the adult, so the student is relying on you to utilize professional protocol).

TIP 5: Be Truthful

Always be open and honest with your students. Inform them when they are doing great and let them know when they can improve. If students respect your truthfulness, the relationship will flourish and grow.

TIP 6: Teach More than Steps

The dance world is full of history, knowledge, and culture. Make sure students know their terminology, origin of steps, and important figures and moments in dance history.

At the same time, instill lifelong values in your students; teach them to be strong, productive, good-willed citizens and leaders. You can do this through community service events, supporting their artistic and scholastic endeavors, and offering them multiple avenues to express themselves and acquire leadership roles (Work Study Programming, Junior Membership Organizations, etc.).

TIP 7: Resist Parent Influence

When working with children, parents’ behavior can easily influence the treatment of a child in the classroom setting. Try to rise above this desire and objectively view the situation from the child’s perspective. Your kindness and professionalism will go a long way in impacting the student, and it may even result in a change of heart from the parent.

TIP 8: Refrain from Judgment

Sometimes, students need to leave the studio to venture on another path in life (whether it be a relocation, studio change, activity change, etc.). If you approach these changes with support rather than resentment, the students/parents are only going to respect your business and brand.

When one door closes, another usually opens. Celebrate the opportunity and take solace in the fact that the change was likely for the benefit of all parties involved.

If clientele have a positive exit experience, they will share it with others and will recommend your studio. The Dance Exec’s Studio makes a point to let people know that “our door is always open.” And, countless times, we have had clients return.

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Dance Teacher Body Language in the Classroom

dance teacher body language

In The Little Mermaid, Ursula tells Ariel “don’t underestimate the importance of body language.” The line is true in real life, and it’s important to pay attention to dance teacher body language in the classroom!

Think about how your body language motivates and encourages your students (or, if the body language is negative, how it might deter your students). Your posture, engagement, confidence, and connectivity influences your class as much as your verbal language.

Do you find yourself standing in open or closed positions?

Do you allow yourself to roam around the classroom, engaging with students, or do you find yourself in a more stationary position?

How do your students react when you move around them?

Do you ever catch yourself with tight shoulders?

Try and monitor your facial expressions during the next dance class. Are you smiling more often than not? Frowning? Do those frowns come at appropriate moments?

If you make even slight adjustments to your dance teacher body language, you will be surprised at the difference it can make in the energy of your classroom!

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