From a young age I always knew I wanted to be a dance teacher, with my own school. My childhood dance teacher was an inspiration and showed passion for what she was teaching. Always fair but firm and she respected her students as much as they respected her yet she was still approachable. I spent 5 evenings of the week with her and she watched me achieve- she made me achieve! When I grew up I knew I wanted to be just like Miss Shipton.
At college the standard of teachers was through the roof and you could not fail to be impressed. Each one with their own image making you want to be a better version of yourself. Their knowledge was your fuel. You wanted to impress them so the blisters rubbing, the sweat dripping and the throbbing muscles were secondary to the task at hand. These teachers influenced and shaped my personality, career and future.
In the performing world, in the past there has been a stigma attached to dance teachers as ‘people who couldn’t make it as performers’. Having been a performer, I don’t believe just anyone can become a teacher. Teachers need to have interpersonal skills, anatomical knowledge, the creativity to inspire and the education and qualifications to support what they’re teaching. I still attend classes to maintain my skills and courses to ensure correct and safe methods of teaching. There is a responsibility to give students a rounded education and not just teach by numbers. Each personality and physique needs careful attention and nurture to not get injured or scarred. We have to inspire, show passion for performing, give them a purpose for coming to class each week.
Since becoming a teacher I’ve laughed so hard, learnt so much, and have been challenged beyond belief but I welcome these challenges. They’re my students lives that I am influencing, shaping and hopefully creating fond childhood memories that they will recall as I do with Miss Shipton.