I mean, it is a dance we all get to get out and move to, right? Yes, it is!
In our society, we are constantly told to sit down, be quiet, and not “mess” around. I think this is a complete failure.
I think this is because as dancers we are told we are to be the only people in the room and should be “one-third of a whole.” This is a great idea of course, in an “all-inclusive” environment, because only someone who is very social-minded can be social with everyone.
But what does this teach our children?
One student from our class, a child who loved to dance with other kids and was a great student—she had been with her family dance for years. My daughter’s friend, just starting out, came with the new group, and my students were shocked by her new attitude—it seemed totally different to the others.
And this is happening at dance.
You know what I’m getting at?
This culture of “let’s all get together and have a good time” is damaging to those who come from a different background.
Our children don’t want us to be the only people in the room that day. They don’t want to “woo” their friends as they walk up and down the aisles with their feet, or dance around them—we are not the only ones in the room.
They want to be in the mix—at the table, not the sidelines—and to dance to a song they will love and share with the rest of us.
What I’ve been working to teach my students at school is that dancing is not a “game” for everyone. We don’t have to be perfect on a given night, or for a certain number of partners to succeed. There is no “elimination,” no “win,” and no “failure.”
In addition, our children need to learn to be comfortable standing and sharing the dance floor with other people.
In our world, there is no room for social-minded people like that in our dances. And my children who are dancers need to learn that social dancing is not our thing. Dancing is so much more than just having someone to share with, or dancing to a song.
How do you help your children feel welcome, confident, and just happy to be alive?
My parents taught me how to
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