As a dance teacher, you’ve likely felt pressure to push your students ahead too young and too quickly. Whether the pressure came from students themselves, their parents, or your studio owner, here are the reasons you should stand your ground, and move at the pace you know is right:
#1: If someone gets hurt, they will blame
I know a young teacher who received pressure from her studio owner to get her students performing aerials quickly, in order to stay competitive with a neighbouring studio who already had an established acro program. The result: a student broke her arm in three places, and that student blamed her teacher for pushing her too fast.
#2: When your students plateau or develop “holes” in their training, they will blame YOU.
When I was a young teacher myself, I jumped ahead to teaching front and back walkovers without first breaking down important progressions like bridge recovers and rolling through the spine. I was impatient, and wanted my students to get tricks fast. I learned the hard way when they all had bent knees, and couldn’t recover through the spine, and no one could do variations: It’s way harder to go back and “fix” skills, then to just take your time and get it right the first time
#3: When your students are injury free and develop beautiful technique, they will THANK YOU!
I can think of a particular ADTA member teacher who does an amazing job of this: a few years ago she was questioned by her studio owner, and received pressure from students and parents to “push ahead” and work on harder skills. But, she paced herself and insisted on taking the time to build a flawless foundation of technique in her students. Even though she was a new and young teacher, she knew that it was HER reputation that was on the line. So, she progressed slowly using our system and trusted her mentors, and now her students have flawless technique and are injury free. AND, guess who her students, studio parents, and boss credit that to? HER!
Please don’t ever succumb to the pressure to push your students ahead too young or too quickly – your students will get there faster and safer in the long run if you take the time to build a strong foundation FIRST. Trust your own instincts, and the rewards will come!
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