Dance teachers and studio directors are supreme multi-taskers. In fact, they are the kings and queens of juggling and adapting. Here is a small sampling of what your child's dance teacher/director is doing...all the time.
1. Putting in extra hours. Your teacher is probably at the studio every Saturday and Sunday working on choreography and setting dances. Even if they did have a weekend off, they're probably at home choreographing in their living room that doubles as a dance floor.
2. Finding and cutting music, for like hours and hours. Dance teachers and directors look for music nonstop. If you ever hear someone asking Siri in public, "Siri, what song am I listening to?" it's probably a dance teacher. Originality is a driving force for choreographers and that includes their song choices. After a song is found, time and energy is put into editing. Your child's 2:20 minute solo didn't come that way. Music has to be cut and edited carefully. If you haven't done this before, it can be tricky and take several hours.
3. Adapting classes and skills on a daily basis to meet every dancer's needs. In a perfect world, every dance class would be filled with students who are the exact same level, have the same physical capabilities and have zero bad habits. This just isn't the case. Great teachers are capable to teach to an entire room full of diverse dancers.
4. Costumes, costumes, costumes. Dance is a year-round production full of sequins, rhinestones and pizazz. We measure, sketch, order, return and curse costumes. We make sure the costumes are age and family appropriate because we are mindful of body image. We wake up in a cold sweat panicking, thinking we may have forgotten to order that extra costume. I'm stressed out just typing this!
5. Loving your dancer as if they were family. Dance teachers care, a lot, about your child. Their well-being is at the forefront of dance classes. Our job is to instill the love of dance in young people, not belittle and badger them mentally and physically until they are injured or quit dancing all together.
6. Making a mental effort to remain positive and encouraging. I see unhealthy negativity in many teachers and directors too often in the dance world.
7. Putting in LONGER hours at competitions and dance conventions. By the time you roll into competition, chances are your teachers and directors have been there since 7am and they will be the last ones to leave. Not to mention they were there the night before and will be there the following morning. Trust me, competition and convention weekends are LONG for us just like you. But we hang in there to make sure everyone has a great time and everything stays organized.
If you haven't thanked your teachers and directors in awhile, now is the time. Not only do you need us, but we need you too:)