Dance Education Philosophy
Understanding Dance Education
Parents and teachers may look at a child’s learning from different perspectives. However, they share a common goal: to assure that every child receives the best possible training, both physically and mentally. Mutual respect between our faculty and our dancers’ parents provides the children with the ultimate care and education. As a parent, the financial support of your student is important, but of equal—perhaps even greater—value is your emotional support. Encourage your child to be the best that he or she can be without regard to what others may achieve. Dance is an individual art form; each child needs to achieve at a pace that’s comfortable for him or her. No two students will progress at the same rate, even if they experience the exact same training. It’s important to encourage the children to focus on themselves, give their all, respect and be supportive of their teammates, and be satisfied with their own accomplishments.
Dance education encompasses far more than technique or the steps your children will learn. We believe the discipline of dance training gives young people a better understanding of commitment by offering them the chance to learn, experience the spirit of teamwork, and understand what hard work can accomplish. Our goal is to educate the minds, bodies, and souls of our students, to teach them the skills needed for a successful life, whether or not they stay involved in dance.
Some parents may compare their child’s progress or class placement to that of others in the program. Watch for this behavior in your children as well, and encourage them to focus on their own accomplishments. Looking to others for inspiration is a good thing; however, a negative focus or comparison distracts from the energy that could be focused on becoming a stronger dancer. In addition, speaking negatively about your child’s teachers, fellow dancers, or other parents in front of your child––or other students––could result in problems far beyond your original concerns. Often children will react to their parents in a way that imitates the parent’s behavior with other adults or authority figures.
Children learn important lessons from their teachers and parents, acquiring important behavior patterns through their example. RDC’s faculty takes that responsibility seriously. It’s our philosophy to encourage our students to feel, think, and act respectfully to their peers, the adults in their lives, and themselves.
Be proud to be a non-gossip parent; spreading gossip or rumors creates a downbeat atmosphere and influences negatively on productivity both in and out of the classroom.
The RDC faculty meets regularly to discuss the dancers’ progress and/or placement. It is our policy to offer appropriate opportunities to every child. Placement decisions are derived from many years of teaching experience. Not all dancers progress in all styles of dance at the same rate. Sometimes, dancers will be placed in different levels for different styles of dance. Often a child is placed in a particular group or class where he or she will feel confident, in order to promote the development of self-esteem . Some dancers who are placed in a higher level become discouraged, only to lose their passion for dance. Others respond to the challenge of being in a class with dancers who are more proficient by pushing themselves to work harder. Placement is highly individual and the factors that go into the decision are complex. Rest assured that our faculty has the best interest of your child at heart in making placement decisions. Our faculty’s goal is the best development for each dancer. Ultimately, class placement is up to the teachers/choreographers.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s dance education, class placement, or anything else related to the studio, don’t panic––and please don’t talk only with other parents when questions arise. Make an appointment to speak directly to your child’s teachers or Julie Kay. Please conduct all communication through a mutually agreed upon time with the teacher or Julie Kay rather than approaching your child’s teacher, choreographer or Julie Kay between or during classes or rehearsals or calling them at home. If you do request a conference, please listen carefully to what your child’s teachers have to say. They spend a significant amount of time with your child and can offer expertise in the field of dance education.