This dance season has been like no other, and we wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to YOU, for believing in the transformative power of dance. Through thick and thin—through the unpredictable nature of living through a pandemic—you have allowed your child to dance; to soak up the benefits of movement, self-expression, teamwork, and social-emotional growth. We are grateful for you!
When so many parts of our dancers’ lives were inconsistent, you kept this door open for them. You were willing to take the necessary steps to make dance possible, whether it was changing up your schedule, wearing masks, waiting in your car, adapting to an outdoor classroom, or going virtual. We know these are not small sacrifices! But we are thankful beyond measure that we have been able to continue to serve your family.
As the months ahead still remain a bit uncertain for our world, we know that because of your support, dance can continue to be one thing that IS certain. Whether we see your dancer once a week or for several hours, know that teaching them is the best part of our day. Dance teaching is a joyous profession and our students bring us so much joy!
We hope that you, too, experience joy from your child’s dance experience. We often hear about dancers who put on their own performances in the living room or choreograph to their favorite tunes. Some parents tell us how their child will teach steps to other family members or shyly demonstrate what they’ve learned in class. In whatever way it happens in your house, we hope you see the same spark in your child that we do.
The Dance Corner is proud to uphold high standards of dance training, but the most special part of our work is watching our dancers develop into amazing human beings. It may sound cliché but it’s true: Dance has proven time and time again to help our students become stronger, healthier, and more confident in themselves. And now especially, it’s provided a boost to their resilience, showing them just how buoyant they really are; that they can learn and grow in dance class, no matter what the class looks like.
So thank you, families, for your belief in us—for understanding the benefits of dance and seeing the advantages in the whole health of your child. Thank you for making it possible for us to keep our doors open (even when our facility doors had to be shut). We appreciate all you do.
Dance lessons can be an awesome way to encourage your child’s personal growth! At The Dance Corner, we’re not just teaching dance steps in our classrooms—we’re developing curious, compassionate young leaders and equipping them for success.
We know that it can be a challenge sometimes to know what to do to offer support and encouragement for your dancer—especially if you are still new to the world of dance! Here are four of our best tips for making the most out of your child’s class experience at The Dance Corner:
Talk about dance at home
Although many of our young dancers take just one or two classes per week, dance is usually on their minds every day! Read dance books together or listen to music and try some dance moves in the living room. This helps keep your child’s mind engaged about dance in an extra-fun way—because they can share it with you!
Ask your child to teach you what they are learning
Since dance lessons are built on structure and repetition, teaching someone else can be a fun way to practice. Even if your child is still working on remembering their steps, this can help exercise their memory! (Plus, it can be pretty cute.)
Find out what your child likes best about class, or what they find challenging
Gain insight into what your child loves about dance—and what they think is hard—by asking them about their class. Do they have a favorite step? Have they made some new friends? What do they like about their teacher? These answers can help you understand what your child’s experience is like.
Voice your support
The way you praise your child can be very useful in helping them get the most out of dance class! Use phrases like, “I love watching you dance!” or “I can tell you’ve been working hard.” or “Did you try your best? That’s what’s most important.” Your child’s confidence and enthusiasm will continue to grow with this kind of encouragement at home and at class.
We hope these four tips come in handy as your child progresses through our dance season and of course, we’re always happy to help with any class curriculum or programming questions you might have. We’re so thankful you’ve chosen The Dance Corner for your child’s education in dance!
Just a few decades ago, as competitive dance emerged as a leading influence in the dance community, the structure was virtually the same across events. There was one level of competition and three possible outcomes: first place, second place, or third place. First place would net the winner a trophy, while second and third place winners sometimes received ribbons … or nothing at all.
Gradually over time, competitions began feeding into the growing societal mentality that most, if not all, participants should walk away with some kind of special recognition. Awards grew beyond gold, silver, and bronze to include descriptions like “titanium,” “platinum,” “high gold,” “elite,” and more. It became harder to discern which award, exactly, meant “first place.”
In order to make every child (and parent) feel good and want to return to the event, competitions were diluting the value of winning. Out of this shift, we now see a pretty confusing set of categories and awards across events! And it’s becoming more and more common to see a waning work ethic among young dancers, who don’t see any reason to work harder if they’re just going to win anyway.
At The Dance Corner, we know that real life is NOT like this! We know that life beyond dance competitions is different. Not everyone will get into their first-choice college; not everyone will get every job they interview for; and not everyone will succeed in every relationship. Everyone doesn’t always win at everything … and that’s actually OK, because there is always something to learn.
We understand that as dance educators, if we don’t push back against the “everyone gets a trophy” mindset, then it will have a negative impact on our students. It’s important to us to teach them that even though they may be recognized at a competition, those results do not equal their worth or potential as human beings. They are so much more!
Our philosophy on competition is that it provides an incredible performance experience for our students, allows them to work towards a goal, and exposes them to unique scholarship opportunities. We LOVE providing this outlet for our students! But we also want to emphasize that “winning” is not the most important part, because winning at many competitions means something different now than it used to.
Success, at The Dance Corner, is all about hard work. It’s about making your best effort, bouncing back when something goes wrong, being a good friend, treating others with kindness, and building teamwork. We believe that a commitment to dance develops all of these qualities, which is a personal reward much more fulfilling than any triple-platinum, high gold, elite plastic trophy can ever accomplish.
It’s a common question to hear from dance parents and students alike: What purpose does the dress code actually serve? We’re glad you asked! The Dance Corner’s dress code was established for a few very important reasons:
The number one factor in establishing a dress code is for all students’ safety in class. A basic leotard and tights, along with hair pulled back and the appropriate shoes, ensures that there are no extraneous clothes or jewelry that can become hazardous. The dress code also helps teachers see that students are using the right muscles and alignment in order to learn the correct movements in class.
At The Dance Corner, we want every student to feel good about trying his or her best in class. Following the dress code helps us make sure that everyone is appropriately covered … but not so covered that their movement is restricted! We know that kids can sometimes feel self-conscious, and we want to encourage their confidence by helping them feel comfortable with what they wear in the studio.
A dress code is one way students show respect for their peers and their teachers. It demonstrates an understanding of how a dance class operates, with minimal distractions and the ability to move easily for any combination of steps or choreography. It shows that the students are prepared to learn and are willing to save their fashion statements for outside of class.
Because leotards and tights also often serve as a versatile base layer for costuming, it makes sense that students become accustomed to them during class time. Just as swimmers wear swimsuits and basketball players wear jerseys, dancers wear leotards and tights to have the freedom of movement required to practice correctly and efficiently.
Everyone benefits with the dress code in place: dancers can learn comfortably and instructors can teach efficiently! At The Dance Corner, we take pride in our dress code and are happy to help you with questions at any time.
The dictionary defines gratitude as an expression of being grateful and showing deep appreciation for a benefit or kindness. What it doesn’t say is that gratitude itself is a gift! In fact, here at The Dance Corner, we believe there are many gifts that gratitude offers—to yourself and to others.
For example, did you know that showing gratitude actually benefits your health, both physically and emotionally? Research has shown that for adults and children alike, being consciously thankful can ease stress, improve sleep, boost self-esteem, and offer protection from negativity.
And gratitude propels you to pay it forward. If you’re grateful for your friendships, then in turn you are kind to others. If you are grateful for the food you eat, then you feel compelled to share. If you’re grateful for the joy of dance, then you lift up those around you with your joy!
Gratitude is an endless gift, because you can both accept it and give it away, over and over again. It is an awesome power. So during this season of giving and beyond, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing the gifts that being thankful brings, and to let gratitude guide your heart.
Has your child ever come to you and said they want to quit something? Maybe it was a board game or a homework assignment, or a project they started and weren’t motivated to finish. Maybe it was an activity you signed them up for after school; maybe it was even dance.
Although it tugs at our hearts when a student says they want to quit dancing, we know there are bound to be moments in any educational environment when a child feels frustrated or wants to stop. In dance, they might feel like they’re not catching on to the steps quickly enough, or they think they’re behind because their attendance has been erratic. Maybe they express boredom or say they’re “too tired.” Occasionally they may develop anxiety about something very specific, like the way their shoes fit or how they feel shy around their classmates. Any of these situations can make a young dancer want to quit, but we believe that more often not, quitting is not actually the answer!
Quick disclaimer: Before we give you our dance-related advice, it’s important to note that sometimes the feelings your child expresses about quitting are indeed a symptom of something deeper. Because you know your child best, take stock of whether those feelings might require a check in with your pediatrician. We always want to support what is best for your child’s health.
Now when it comes to our experience at The Dance Corner, when we encounter students who express a desire to quit, it is often because they are feeling challenged in a new and unfamiliar way—perhaps in a physical way or an emotional way. Your child may need extra support from us and from you in order to figure out how to move past the discomfort and persevere. An extra dose of optimism, too, can reassure your dancer that they are capable of overcoming whatever speed bumps get in their way!
With dance, quitting rarely solves the challenge at hand. A child who feels behind in class or wants to improve a skill can often make improvements by expressing their feelings with the teacher, getting advice for practicing at home, or even scheduling a few private lessons. Just being heard can be a catalyst to change! A child who expresses boredom may be better-suited for a different class or different dance style, or the boredom can sometimes signal an unwillingness to work hard—a challenge that must be answered with effort. And a child who says they are feeling anxious should have the opportunity to work through that rough patch with a combination of personalized tactics and steady support.
When you think about the challenges your child will encounter as they grow up, you want them to have the stick-to-itiveness required to succeed at anything they desire, whether it’s dance or anything else. At The Dance Corner, we’ve seen countless students over the years gain more skill, more maturity, more self-respect, and more joy after facing an obstacle or a frustration, and choosing to overcome it.
We want you to know that our doors are always open to you and your child so we can problem-solve together. Quitting may not be the answer, but asking for help is always welcome. We’re here to make sure your child’s journey in dance sets them up for success in all aspects of life!