Here we are at the end of Term 2. It’s cold and the whole family are very tired. Getting the kids to school and their activities has been challenging at times. Suddenly while eating breakfast one morning your child says that they want to give up dancing. You stare in disbelief, shocked and don’t know what to say. Think. Don’t react. Take a moment to compose yourself. You don’t have time to discuss this with them now. There’s work, shopping and everything else that needs to be done. Tell them that you will discuss this together tonight so that they can explain their feelings to you. Maintain a calmness on the outside while you search your mind for the signs that you may have missed.
Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration but wasn’t it a fun way to visualise this possibility. Everyone suffers from the Winter Blues.They can suck the energy right out of you. As you can imagine there are many reasons for the Winter Blues, some easy to fix and others may take a bit of work and negotiating to solve. You will have questions flying around in your head about commitment to other activities. Why the change of heart? How can you solve this without your child resenting you? Your list is like a mind full of snakes trying to send you batty. Here are some possibilities and solutions to consider if you find yourself in this situation.
“I’m bored! We are doing the exam stuff and I don’t like it. Dancing isn’t fun anymore”
Do any of these comments sound familiar?
There are some children that lose interest in Dancing and really want to try something else. There are some children who just want to do what their friends at school are doing to be part of the group. Some find their classes difficult to master and others may feel that they aren’t challenged enough. Children substitute the word bored for different emotions so you will need to do some detective work to get to the bottom of this one.
If you find the reason is that the class is too difficult or not challenging enough chat to the teacher and office staff about options you may have. We have so many styles available that they may just need to join another style or another level. This should rekindle their love of dancing.
If the reason is due to exam work you may find that encouraging them to continue is the best solution.We focus on exam syllabus in many of our classes during Term 2. It’s easier to encourage the students participating in exams as they understand that they need to know the work. Those students not participating in the exams need encouragement and reminding that it will help them become better dancers. Our teachers always mention this in class but you may need to reinforce this at home. Just like at school, doing these exercises every week will make you a better dancer. As we sit our exams at the end of Term 2, you can assure your child that concert preparation begins as soon as they return to class in Term 3. We strive to end each the class with a fun activity during Term 2 but the syllabus is very important to their progress as a dancer.
Take a breath kids as the concert excitement is about to begin!
Anxiety and Awkwardness
Although these are different issues they often result in the same emotional experience. Students sometimes hang at the back of the class & don’t want to participate in combinations or routines when completed in pairs or small groups. This could be due to anxiety or awkwardness but will in both classes leave the student feeling very anxious. Teachers approach parents under these situations to find out the underlying issue.
Awkwardness requires encouragement at class and at home and the understanding that it will become easier. We have many tools available to assist so check in with your teacher or the office and together we will devise a plan to help your child overcome their awkwardness.
Anxiety both social and performance related may require the teacher, parents and director to assist the student. Each student will respond differently but they need to be supported to work through their anxiety. Dancing can be liberating for them as long as they are nurtured.
If your child comes to you with the Winter Blues and wants to stop dancing, don’t panic.
Stop, breathe and take some time to find out the cause. Be patient. Don’t throw the towel in. There are solutions available as long as you are willing to explore them.
We have found that most issues can be worked through with support. We are here to help.
Before you know it you will have your passionate dancer back, twirling around and practicing their concert routines at home. Dancing requires commitment and sometimes that commitment needs some extra support from a grownup.
Don’t forget the concert is less than 4 months away. Let the fun begin!