The other night, my daughter came home to tell me she was “off her game” and that she had received a number of corrections in her Pointe class. As a result, she wanted to know if she could take an extra Pointe class later in the week to apply those corrections before her next formal class. While I gave the usual warning about juggling time and making sure homework would be done, I had a certain affirmation of “look how far we have come”. I remember when she took her first Modern class, and had come home in tears because she felt her teacher picked on her the entire class. Oh, we had experienced those moments before: “I think my teacher hates me, she’s always fixing my feet, my arms…..etc.”, but this time there were actual tears and an announcement that she didn’t want to go back. We had the first of a speech that would be repeated again and again about constructive criticism and learning how to embrace that your teacher is doing her job…..teaching:
1. Your teacher doesn’t hate you. Your teacher doesn’t hate your dancing. Your teacher wants you to dance your best, so he/she is teaching you how to become your best.
2. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. Yes, the entire class is now focused on you. They are learning too! Someone else in the class is making the same error as you, but you teacher caught you first, so by fixing the error with you as the model, the rest of the class is learning as well.
3. Lot of corrections doesn’t mean you are a bad dancer. Be grateful that your teacher is taking the extra time to share her expertise with you. Believe it or not, someone in the class wishes they were in your place!
4. Don’t just leave those corrections in that class. Apply them, practice them, and show them off in your next class and on stage!
5. Keep trying. Sometimes the corrections don’t take the first time, or the second time. keep practicing. Set your sites on improving on what you have been taught, make it a goal to reach. You’ll be proud that you did.
6. Take the lesson of dance corrections outside of the dance studio. You English teacher just marked up your essay with suggestions for improvement, go at it with the same gusto as your dance corrections and make it an A paper! You boss at work just gave you some corrections on your customer service skills? Try it out on the next customer & see how much they appreciate your help! Learning to embrace corrections is a great skill to learn in the studio & to practice in real life.