Moving Up a Level Doesn’t Mean Front Row Center
Being in the dance studio industry over the past 5 years – I have heard horror stories of students, parents, team members etc.
I can honestly say that our dance parents are some of the best. While we do get the occasional complaints of being moved to the next level, prices, performances etc, it is still 9 times out of ten a VERY supportive and positive growing community.
One thing I really do appreciate is that our families trust us in our judgment of students moving to the next level. We try to explain this as much as we can but moving to a higher level doesn’t mean what parents think it means.
From a parent’s perspective – their son/daughter is usually the one who leads the class, knows all the routines with her eyes closed, has been at the level for a while and is usually one of the students that have a lot of front row stage time. Hence, they want their son/daughter to “move up” without realizing what that truly means
From a dance teacher’s perspective (and to be honest – this is the only perspective that really matters in the classroom) – it is a time of starting brand new. Basically, you are a new student being introduced to this class.
Essentially – it means that students have to start all over again AND face more challenges to earn her spot in the class.
There’s a saying in business “new level, new devil”. That is also true as it applies to dance classes.
If little Susie is a superstar at Level 1, it means shes mastered the skill set necessary only for LEVEL 1. She needs to learn and expand that skill set, hence she moves to level 2. However, Level 2 is going to be moving at a faster pace, have harder routines, and more intense practices. This transition is a time for her to observe others that are farther ahead than her, learn techniques that her new peers may already have ingrained in them, and learn challenging material at a faster pace than she’s used to.
This is not a time for her to shine – it is a time for her to take a backseat and LEARN. It is a time for her to put her head down and be surrounded by others that quite frankly, are better than her, so she can be motivated to put in the extra work to be better.
There are stages of growth and its so important to acknowledge that growth often warrants starting from the bottom at every level.