Growth Mindset Teacher

If you are not growing; you are dying.

“Just because some people can do something with little or no training, doesn’t mean others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better), with hard work, training, and a great teacher.”

Growing up we are put into categories or labels, “that’s the shy one, the athletic one, the nerdy one…” and what most people don’t realize they are doing, is putting that child in a box, and submitting them to that description or that ONE label subconsciously. Without even knowing it, most children succumb to those thoughts, and few will choose to push against them and grow from it. Maybe the nerdy one has dreams of being in the NFL? Who are you to say… “sorry you just don’t have the right coordination to do that… maybe you should consider Chess, or Math Club?”

When I was just about to go into 8th grade, I was put into one of these boxes. I was labeled the shy one with bad feet, and too lazy and quiet to succeed as a dancer. I was told I had a lot of potentials, but just wasn’t living up to it, and was suggested I try other school sports, to find what I was good at. But I loved to dance more than anything! I was just in the wrong environment to make that passion flourish. Though my teacher at the time may have been coming from a place of kindness, as a kid, everything seems bigger in perspective and I felt as though I was being told I was a terrible dancer, and never going to make it in the dance industry. That killed my confidence even more… I felt worthless. I could have listened to the advice and tried school sport, or I could listen to my instinct that said, “but you really love dance…” That’s what I did, I changed my environment to a place where my dancing was nurtured, where it didn’t matter how high your leg was, but how full your heart was with the art form.

If you are a passionate dance teacher, you will always figure out how to make the impossible possible!

Tamra Chace

So really, hadn’t it been for that teacher sitting me down and telling me that; I never would have left. Leaving was the best thing that I did, it made me grow! I found a new teacher that inspired me to bigger and better things, that there is more to dance than the stigma! My new teacher said I could be anything, do anything, and have anything I wanted. She taught me if I work harder than others, I could be better. When others said it was a waste to go to University for Dance, she pushed me to pursue it. All of that, because someone put me in a box, and I chose to use that as motivation to work harder towards my goal as a dancer, instead of succumbing to school sports because I was “too shy” for dancing.

My point is, being a dance teacher means being open to working with anyone who has the passion and work ethic to follow through. Not selecting those who are “naturally gifted,” and passively letting go of those who have more challenges to overcome. A lot of dance teachers do this because it is more work for them to get those un-naturally gifted students up to par. They are going to have to put in more thought, more effort, and more time with those kids to make it happen. They also want the reputation of having the best dancers in town, and having to spend more time with certain students is going to slow that process down.

Kids and young adults are sensitive and fragile, and everything is a bigger deal in their eyes and perspective. Instead of thinking “can this kid really become a dancer?” think, “how can this kid become a dancer?” Don’t put your students in a box, every single one of them has the potential to be a professional dancer if they want it, and work hard enough for it. If you are passionate enough as a dance teacher, then you will figure out how to make that possible, and believe in them every step of the way. Teach them to accept their challenges as an opportunity to grow.

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