Tuesday, 5 February 2013

My journey to Dance Teacher

Promotional performance in China for Mamma Mia
“Let us first teach little children to breathe, to vibrate, to feel, and to become one with the general harmony and movement of nature. Let us first produce a beautiful human being, a dancing child.”- Isadora Duncan

Before becoming a dance teacher, I was a dancer. For 25 years of my dancing life, dancing was all about me. How flexible I could become, how hard I could pointe my feet, how high my arabesque would go, how many pirouettes I could execute without stumbling. 

When I think about it now, I realise how obsessed I was with myself as a dancer and becoming a better dancer.  I learned early on that competing against others was ugly and pointless and that competing against myself would only make me a better dancer. There is enough room on stage for every dancer that is good enough.
After dancing as a professional for years, I was given the role that I had strived for and desperately wanted,  and that was Dance Captain in Mamma Mia.  I got to give warm ups, take notes, keep the show looking as it had been choreographed, take charge of choreography for promotional television performances, and take understudy rehearsals with the director. It was my dream job, or so I had thought! 

Promotional performance for Mamma Mia in China

Strange how you strive to get to a place, then when you get there, you realise that you aren't really there yet, that this was only another step in your journey.
Little did I know, that being that Dance Captain would spark something in me and give me the courage and confidence to become a dance teacher. 
As a dancer, I was sure of myself, and if I went wrong, it was only me that I was responsible for.
It took me years to have enough confidence and wisdom to take on the responsibility of nurturing the dreams of children.

As a dance teacher you are not only responsible for teaching the steps, but of inspiring a love of movement, of rhythm, of creativity. That love that has to be strong enough to withhold years of training, of sweat and tears. 
I was very lucky to have some wonderful dance teachers in my youth, and I realise how much of an effect they have had on my life, not just as a dancer, but as a human being. Now that I am teacher, I realise what an important job I have taken on. 
I loved performing but it was all about me, as a teacher it's about lots and lots of little people and their big dreams. As a teacher, my heart is full.

Love Nicola x
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