The teenagers who have grown up at my studio are different than other teens. They have a strong work ethic, they are respectful, team players and driven. Now, I am not saying they are the only teens in the world that are exceptional, but I coach a dance team at a local high school and I can tell you from experience…my teenagers are different.
I have thought a lot about what we do that makes such a difference and I have come up with 2 theories.
1. My teachers and I lead by example. We respect each other, we respect other studios and teachers outside of the studio, we respect the studio parents and we respect our dancers. We don’t post crazy party pictures on social media, we only share pieces of our personal lives that model what we want our dancers to grow to be. We take our jobs as role models very seriously.
2. Dance teaches poise and manners. The dress code, turning towards the barre in ballet class, performing a reverence, thanking your teacher at the end of class, posture, applause and bows at the end of a performance and not talking in class are values that produce a young adult who is poised and polite.
I don’t know if parents understand the future benefits of dance when they are enrolling their 4 year olds. Parents of these exceptional teenagers may not even realize the impact dance classes have made on their kids; but it did. The lessons that were taught at the barre have spilled out of their hearts and have shaped these kids into really cool people who I adore being around.
Not many people can say that about teenagers.