That One Kid: How to Deal

temper tantrum

Every dance teacher, at one time or another, has taught that one kid. Whether it’s a one-time occurrence, or a weekly problem, it never ceases to amaze me how one child can disrupt the flow of an entire dance class. This little disruption can take many forms. Continue reading

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The Power of Choice

Every Wednesday and Friday night, I teach a class called 30/30. The class is split into two half-hour segments – 30 minutes of Ballet, 30 minutes of Tap. At the end of the hour, I announce that it’s time for “Miss Nadine’s favorite part of class.” Naturally, I announce this like a ringmaster at the circus. It’s quite exciting. My favorite part of class is “dancer’s choice.” The girls are allowed to pick their favorite tap step to do across the floor. I think it’s safe to say that this is their favorite part of class as well. Continue reading

Whisper

ImageYesterday afternoon, I was assisting the director of Academy of Dance, Kim Rowley, with a class of 4-yr-olds. It’s a full moon week, so the girls were especially silly. Kim was instructing the girls to do ballet runs. In doing so, she lowered her voice to a whisper and told the girls that they mustn’t scare the fairies away. I watched, amazed, as the once rowdy group of toddlers ran back and forth in complete silence. Continue reading

The Power of Imagination

In the past, I have often made the mistake of thinking that my students are too mature for fairy tales. I don’t know what could have influenced this assumption, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Kids love silliness.

Don’t underestimate the power of imagination.

“Walk like a princess” is one of my imaginationstudents’ favorite activities. Before beginning this exercise, I ask the girls to imagine they are princesses. This always results in a chorus of voices telling me what kind of princesses they want to be. I’ve heard everything from fairy to vampire queen. It doesn’t matter what kind of princess they choose, as long as they feel elegant. I then ask the girls what princesses wear. Continue reading