At BOPPA, one of our studio values is PROFESSIONALISM. Not only does that mean that our teachers will be a model of professionalism in the classroom -- it also means that we aim to educate our students on how they can be their most professional selves, as well.
So, for this week's blog, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the behaviors that will help our students take class like professional dancers! Share these with your student to help them reflect on how they can step up their professionalism this week:
1. Be On Time
The beginning of a dance class is crucial to setting up the class for success. From taking attendance to warming up, the beginning of the class is when we focus our energy and get ready to work hard together. There are certain things that every dancer can do to ensure that they are able to be on time, such as getting their dance shoes on before the class is scheduled to start, reminding their parent or guardian that it is important to be prompt, and reviewing any choreography they need to know before class begins. This is a great way to get into the right mindset and prepare to take class like a true professional.
2. Resist talking when the teacher is talking
It might be unreasonable for me to ask dancers to resist talking for the entire duration of a class. After all, dance is supposed to be fun, and I want each dancer to enjoy their time in the studio. However, it is very unprofessional to talk while the teacher is teaching a combination, giving corrections to another dancer, or providing any other kind of instruction. Not only will the dancer miss the information that the teacher feels the class needs, but it requires the teacher to stop what he or she is doing, ask the dancer to stop talking, and then get back on track with the lesson. Instead, the dancer should hold their questions and comments until their is a more appropriate time to share. This will ensure that everyone stays focused on the lesson and maintains the upmost professionalism.
3. Use every minute of class to your advantage
Dance teachers are not only working when we’re in the studio teaching a class. We also put a lot of preparation in before class to design lessons that will challenge and excite the dancers, choose the right music, think about the best ways to teach particular skills, and use the class time as wisely as possible. I’m always very disappointed when a student asks how much time is left of class or makes a point of watching the clock throughout the lesson. When students are being professional, pushing themselves, and working to do their absolute best in class, the time flies by! So when a student makes me feel as thought the class is torturously long, not only does it prove to me that they aren’t working their hardest, it also makes me feel as though they don’t really want to be there. Let’s break this habit! As a teacher, I promise to do my best to fill the class with challenges, and I hope that my dancers will do their part by using every moment of class to the fullest like a true professional.
4. Take on all corrections, even when given to another dancer
BOPPA students are great at accepting critical feedback and responsive to corrections when given to them directly. However, I think that our students could be even more professional in class by listening to all corrections, whether given to the class at large or given directly to another dancer, and taking the time to apply that correction to themselves, as well! Imagine how much each and every dancer will learn when they take it upon themselves to listen to every piece of feedback given in class and reflect on how they can use that information to advance their training. They'll be training like a professional in no time!
5. Keep dancing, no matter what happens
Many dance students have developed the bad habit of stopping in the middle of a combination once they have made a mistake, either because they are flustered and forget the combination or because they are frustrated and give up. A true professional knows that the show must go on -- they will recover from their mistake, get back into the combination, and maintain their best performance quality the entire time. Those are necessary skills on stage, so it is best to practice them while in the studio, too!
Now it's your turn, we challenge you to work on and develop these 5 Critical Habits of Professionalism this week and beyond!
Team BoPPA x