How to balance parent pressure with your beliefs?

What can a studio director do to promote authentic movement and dance when parents have an idea in their minds of what a recital should look like? There is so much competitive dance out there.  Winners and losers. So many commercial approaches, expensive costumes.  Even pressure to dress up children beyond their years, with make up and revealing clothing.

I think children should be entitled to be children.  That creativity and imagination are precious commodities.
Dance is misconstrued in our culture by many people, who have preconceived notions based on what they see in the media.
I was not attracted to dance because it was “hot” but because it was a place where I could invent, discover and express.

Is there another phrase besides “Gotta Dance” that we can promote?  Like “Creativity First”?

What’s a good basic description we can share with parents?  “Dance is movement and shape, in space and time,  expressed through action and emotion.”

Everything else is style, genre.

At our studio, we emphasize each of these components in conjunction with relating to one another, imagining, expressing, discovering how we think, feel and see the world.  The macro ideas. We also address motor control, coordination, rhythm and phrasing. We use three languages: words, music, movement.

One of my students told his grandma, “When I’m in dance class, I don’t worry about anything.”

What a nice compliment.  A safe exciting place, worry-free!

Let’s aim for that!


June 19, 2011. Recitals.

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