Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. I'm so excited to be launching The Dance Barn and I'm incredibly grateful for all the interest we've had so far. I can't wait to get started!
I started dancing at the age of 3. Growing up I can't say I was one of those girls who always wanted to be a dancer, I was actually quite shy and tended to give up on things if I found them intimidating. My gymnastics career lasted one lesson (I was surprised I had to go upside down) and swimming lessons suffered a similar fate when I couldn't get the hang of breathing whilst doing front crawl. But I always felt very comfortable in dance lessons and so they stuck.
I was lucky enough to be quite good which is probably one reason why I carried on, but as I’ve grown older I’ve realised that the other reason that I continued was because my dance school was such a fun and nurturing place to be. Not only was I able to try out many different styles of dance and push myself to get better, but I was able to do it amongst like minded people who quickly became some of my best friends. We often hear that school days are the best of your life but those of us who grew up belonging to a dance school would probably put these times at the top of our lists.
There are so many activities for parents and children to choose from, but here are just a few reasons that I think enrolling a child in a dance school is such a good idea.
Skills for life and without even realising
We hear all the time that dance lessons develop qualities in children such as confidence, self-discipline, leadership and teamwork and from a young age children at dance schools are putting these skills into practice in lessons, workshops and performances. The development of these skills is not unique to dance but I believe it is easier for children at dance school because they are amongst people who share their passion. It happens incredibly naturally and as a teacher it’s wonderful to see these skills and qualities blossom in the children - and for it to happen whilst the they are having too much fun to notice.
I can honestly say that the relationships I made at my dance school have been some of the most significant in my life. Even now when I meet up with people I used to dance with we laugh about the costumes we used to have to wear, how excited we were when we were allowed to wear leotards with thin straps and the anticipation we would feel when the latest show video was ready to be given out (yes - I did say video). Most children start dancing from an incredibly young age and the friends they make in dance lessons see them at their best and their worst. They make lasting memories both in and out of class (we dancers love a post show pizza) and parents never forget the journey either.
Caring and inspiring teachers
For most children their dance teacher is their first encounter with the world of dance and many of us will have a lasting impression of a dance teacher from our own childhood, whether it be for admiring their ability to stretch their feet or for a random item of clothing we had never encountered on the high street. But the role of the dance teacher extends far beyond just teaching the steps. Every child who comes to a dance lesson does so to express something about themselves and a good dance teacher should see this and seek to develop it. I’ve had some wonderful teachers along the way who have all seen something different in me both as a dancer and as a person. A dance teacher worth sticking with is the one who sees not just physical potential such a coordination or flexibility, but a whole child who wants to be inspired and deserves to have their relationship with dance enriched.