Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More than a ballet lesson

Last night in technique class, I had the girls write down their personal answers to five questions. I had been wanting to do this little activity for the past couple of weeks but hadn't yet.

Class had started off well, but after barre we got a little side-tracked talking about stretching different muscles and other body alignment questions. I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to get the girls to think beyond their technique for a moment. Luckily, I had grabbed paper and pens as I ran out the door before class.

Here are the questions* I asked:

  1. Tell my why you want to dance.
  2. What do you want to learn from this class?
  3. How can I help you specifically?
  4. What can you do to make our class better?
  5. Where do you want dance to take you?

We laid on the floor on our stomaches with our heads pointing in toward the circle. Very relaxed and informal. As I thought of and asked each question, I wondered if I would get the responses I was hoping for. I wondered if they would take this little exercise seriously and go beyond the basic responses.

We finished up just as class time ended. I tucked the papers and pens in my bag and drove home. After eating dinner and putting Miss M and Mr. T in bed, I eagerly pulled out the papers.

As I read through the first girl's paper, my heart sank a little as I read the answer to question #5. She said, "I love to dance, but I'm not very good; so I don't know yet."

I remember having similar thoughts during my dancing days.

I have a great desire to teach the girls about the impeccable beauty of ballet and to love it as much as I do. But, there is more I need to teach them. I want them to push themselves to places they didn't know they could go. I want them to learn to be artists and not just technicians. I want them to find ways to express themselves and their emotions through dance. I want so much for them. I realized last night that, above all, I want them to love themselves. I want them to be happy with who they are and to strive for their best excellence.

I look forward to the upcoming classes where I can hopefully share a few small things I have learned in my own ballet-life journey.

*The above questions or similar questions are helpful for every aspect of life. I feel rejuvenated when I refocus my own desires and plans of action.

What helps you stay focused on your goals?

1 comment:

  1. It took me a little time to find you inside your blog. You have a lot of things going on - cleaning products, food, but here is where I think I found the real you, with the dance and with your two posts about your children.

    I love this post because it is so open and genuine. I can see your love of dance and love of learning dance that you want these girls to experience as well. (I can see your love of your children because even though this post was not about them - they sneak their way in). These girls are lucky to have you as their teacher. To want them to know they can achieve so much and love themselves and be happy is a wonderful gift to give them.

    Thanks for stopping in at my blog. Your comment was lovely.


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