In anything in life, your input is going to directly influence the output/results of any goal, project, or experience. Hard work, perseverance, tenacity, drive, and sometimes failure, are required to achieve goals. Often, it seems as though these underlying values of success are falling by the wayside and are being replaced with expectations for immediate success and instant gratification.
It is so important to reiterate to our students that hard work is required to achieve success. If you have not done everything in your power to work as hard as possible for a particular goal, should you be upset if you do not achieve it? Typically, if you have worked as hard as you possibly can, you will feel at peace with the outcome, and, generally, success prevails as a by-product of the hard work (of course, there are always exceptions, and life is not always fair). The challenge in motivating students with this philosophy is parental reinforcement; the parent(s) have to commit to supporting this train of thought, too.
This philosophy is relevant for our students in the studio classroom, but it also applies to our businesses and work as dance educators. Are we investing everything we can into our work to make sure that we are seeing the results we want? Are we being the best role models possible for our students?
Think about it. How can we improve our culture so that this philosophy reaches every student? Work ethic is everything, and it is an important skill that students can transfer from the dance studio to academics, career, community, etc. Input will always influence output, and we have a special ability to convey this life skill and message to our students. At the end of the day, our job is not just about building great dancers, it is about building great citizens.