Respect for the Teacher

Hello everyone! This is my first blog post for your lovely studio, and I could not be more thrilled! The topic chosen for this post is Respect for your teachers. This topic goes hand in hand with ballet because it was created in the courts of French kings and queens, where the highest respect was given.

With the newest iphone always just around the corner, we also tend to look towards the future for bigger and better things. But I have found that a sincere respect for the past has been lost. Desire for the newest techno-gadget can be compared to a dancer’s desire to be shown the next impressive new step. But what if we took a moment to look to our teachers and realize their past experiences hold a wealth of knowledge. Sadly many of us never realize the amazing resource our teachers are.

LISTEN: What they’re Saying is IMPORTANT

If your mind is wandering, or you’re having a side conversation with your friend, you’ll miss information that could help you succeed in the class. Sometimes our teachers tell us the same corrections, but we get comfortable with their comments about what needs to change and think, “there they go again telling me to engage my core, point my foot, or use my turnout”. Just imagine how far we’d be in our dancing technique if we actually listened the first time our teachers told us something. But many times we don’t. If a student keeps tuning out the correction being given, the teacher will move on to another student who will pay attention to what they’re saying. While improvement does take time, a teacher can always tell when a student is listening.

Attitude Changes EVERYTHING

Yes, I find myself laughing at the first impressions of some of the eccentric teachers I have had. But their words of wisdom have made me a better dancer. Teachers will say the simplest correction, like “jump higher so you have more time in the air”. You can either think, “well duh, that’s obvious”, or you can think, “alright, I will give it my all”. It is your mentality that will determine how you use that correction to either stay where you are or take a step towards improvement. Because at the end of the day, your teachers want to see you succeed.   

Corrections are GOOD

As students, it’s easy to forget that our teachers want the best for us in our dancing. Corrections can become thought of as only being another way in which we aren’t good enough. However, the opposite of that is true. When a teacher corrects a student, this means that the teacher sees potential for the student to grow as a dancer and artist. So see the correction as motivational because it is being given by someone who knows that you can do it! Your teachers believe in you!!

MEET them Halfway

As the wise Ms. Mia (co-owner of Laurel Ballet Academy) once said, “you gotta meet me halfway”. Simply put, show up to class with an eagerness to absorb as much of the knowledge that your teachers have to offer you. Show up to class alert, attentive, and ready to work hard for your instructors. Personally, I have noticed that I do my best work in class when I am mentally ready to go after whatever the teacher gives in class. My first reaction may be to widen my eyes and think, “that’s insane! There’s no way I can do that”. But then I remind myself that the teacher is giving the combination to the class because we are ready for it. It’s my job to give it my all. That’s what I urge you all to do as well.

See what amazing resources your instructors are, rise to the occasion, and respect the gift of having your teachers guide you towards greatness in every class. For that gift is priceless.