Everyone understands the value and importance of extracurricular activities in a child’s life. The dance studio is an integral extracurricular option, and by participating in an arts based extracurricular activity (such as dance), children gain:
- An increased sense of self-worth and self-confidence
- Generally higher grades in school
- Creative thinking/understanding
- An extended social network
- Understanding of time management and goal prioritization
- Heightened physical fitness
Within the infrastructure of dance studio programming, students have the opportunity to work independently and in teams, set personal goals, and experience success and failure in a variety of ways. An abundance of life skills are experienced and taught within the dance studio environment. Such skills go beyond a student’s dance training and can be applied in school, college, and career.
But…what if a student never has the opportunity to fully experience the process of discovering the skills and values obtainable via dance? What about the student that tries dance for a few weeks and quits? Have they had an opportunity to become part of the process? And, what if you discover that this child has also quit gymnastics, basketball, soccer, music lessons, and art? What does that say about our societal culture?
When is quitting okay? Are we becoming a society that generally accepts unfulfilled commitments? Of course, there are exceptions to every situation (moving, finances, situation beyond familial control, etc.), and, ultimately, dance will not be the preferred activity or best fit for every child; however, experiencing the process of an entire season is integral in making an educated and informed decision about the extracurricular.
As studio owners and instructors, we need a period of time to share our art and make a positive impact on our students. When the extracurricular relationship is prematurely severed for no comprehensible reason, we feel shortchanged. Our goal is to inspire each and every child in some way, and parental support, dialogue, and reinforcement is imperative in creating and building a goal and experience that lasts beyond a child’s time in the studio. Our purpose is to create successful, life-winning citizens, in and out of the studio, regardless of whether a student dances for one or ten years. That is our legacy as dance educators; but, unfortunately, quitting interrupts the process.