I have a Senior level competitive student, Carly, who is in her last year of high school and therefore, her last year of dancing competitively at my studio. Carly only started dancing a few years ago, so her dance experience at my studio has been very different than many others.
I know for a lot of 17/18 year old kids at studios that dance obviously plays a very important role in their lives or they wouldn't be there! By that age, kids can decide if they want to commit to competitive dance, or if there are other relevant things in their life that demand as much of their attention. Most kids that age also have part-time jobs in preparation for University, or find themselves very bogged down with school work and extra activities at school. I remember how hard it was at that age to balance my dance life, work, my social life, and school work... and all with a lot of pressure from my parents to succeed at everything in preparation for the "real world". It's hard to balance your life at this age, and do it with integrity, so I have no problem ever helping out these students with anything they need.
Carly has very recently started writing her own blog, which I think will be really great for her as she grows and learns about herself. She only wrote her second entry this week, but I had to share it with everyone. I knew she worked at a community centre several times a week with children, but I had no idea how much her experiences there were effecting her outlook on everything. My number one concern about kids her age is their inabilities to see beyond themselves and their actions and understand how it effects others. After reading her blog, I am confident to say that I know Carly will be leaving my studio after this year with a strong sense of self and others.
I think I will read this entry every week before I go to work and especially on the night when I teach my Recreational Junior Jazz Class... and realize that not only I am helping to shape their lives, but their helping to shape mine!
Check out Carly's Blog, titled Inspiration!
Nice to know that not only can we help to create really great dancers, but we are also helping to shape really great people.
Super proud dance teacher here!