Dear dance families,
Stay where are if you know what’s good for you; and most importantly your children. Your dance teachers need you, but what’s interesting is that you and your children will need them far more during this time and especially once this is all over. “But it’s only dance they said. The kids can do without it can’t they?” I’m here to tell you that if you want your children to make it through this time well adjusted and sane then its probably a good idea that you continue training with your current dance school.
I am a mother of two, one is a professional dancer, a dance teacher and former studio owner so my perspective comes from many angles. So let me explain to you why sticking with your current dance school is essential to your children’s mental health, well being and future self:
- Consistency – Anyone expecting anything to make any change of any kind will need to make sure they are consistently doing that thing. This could be helping a child learn to take instruction all the way to helping them get their first job. Positive change can only occur when you do the same thing over and over. So stopping for a month or six means you will be starting from scratch when you get back. Don’t believe me? let’s see how your abs hold up after a few months hiatus from the gym.. Same goes for your physical and mental abilities in dance class. It’s unmotivating and demoralising to go backwards with anything. Can you imagine how terrible your child will feel going back to a class (if there is a class to go back to) they once felt confident in but no longer can keep up with? Do you want too add that to their mental load when this is all over?
- Familiarity – No matter where you are your child’s world has been flipped upside down. Maintaining activities that offer familiarity will provide qualities that are necessary for their mental health. The friendliness and intimacy that is provided by their dance teacher is often unmatched by other aspects of their lives, even within their own family. Is this something you really think they can do without? I think not!
- Regularity – Maintaining a healthy routine while at home is something I can’t stress enough. Children are like sponges and it doesn’t take long for them to develop habits that are detrimental to themselves and their future selves. Actively maintaining a schedule that is representative of their former lives will prepare them for the day that it all goes back to “normal”. I often see high levels of anxiety when students return from extended vacations due to this fact and think it would be so overwhelming for parents and educators alike to have boat loads of children falling asleep at 10 am because they slept in for the last 3 months.
- Integrity – Your children are mirrors of you. Maintaining strong morals and ethics in such a tumultuous time will help them develop their own moral compass that will dictate future decisions. So ditching your dance school because things have changed ie. online classes, isn’t the most moral of decisions in my opinion as they are offering a valuable service.
- Don’t be a hypocrit – Everyone wants/needs help right now. And absolutely you have every right to feel terrible about your situation: whether its losing your job (hi there I just lost my job and my son lost his dream job so we can relate), getting sick or worse or just simply having to be stuck in the house day in and day out…..we get it. It’s awful! So, when you reach out for help, isn’t it nice to actually get it. How about not forgetting to help the studio that gave and is still willing to give your child a safe space, friendly ear, greater confidence or simply a new step to learn. Teach your children to give and not just take. Although giving takes sacrifices, it is worth it. My dad lost his job, we were a single income household, and it was rough. But, my mom created miracles out of pennies and managed to maintain our dance training despite barely being able to keep a roof over our head. Because of this sacrifice I learned how to give even when at first I didn’t think I had anything to give. So although many of us are doing it tough, don’t forget to pay it forward to the people and businesses that you want to be there when this is all over.
- Discipline – Without strong outside influences for our children, our job as parents is infinitely harder. If I had a dollar for every parent that said “but Miss Ashley they listen to you” I wouldn’t worry so much about losing my job! Your children’s behaviour can easily waver and with the discipline provided in a dance a class you are sure to keep your child’s code of conduct sound and their mind trainable. This is by far the most important quality sought out by teachers and employers.
As you can see the reasons you enrolled your child in dance are more prevalent than ever!
My list can go on but honestly who has the time to listen to me babble on? Kidding, we all have time to read my very long, very necessary rant about an industry I love, my family loves and so many people around the world love. Now I’m not one to mince words so the fact of the matter is if you don’t support your dance studio then they probably won’t be there when this ordeal is over. Do you really want your child entering a world that is so vastly different than the one they left behind? I know for the stability of my child being part of something has been integral to his success and in my opinion appears to be the number one factor that I found was present in successful children and adults. The second you decide your child’s passion, safe place or escape from the world we live in isn’t worth the time, money or effort you might just invoke a change that you cant undo.
Don’t like what I said? It won’t matter because we will all have bigger problems to deal with if we don’t proactively support each other today!
Stay safe! Sending love and positive energy your way:)