No, the girl in the photo is not floating by magic or receiving an exorcism...that's me doing aerial yoga!
What is aerial yoga, you ask?
I don't know the history of aerial yoga or really that much about it (sorry I'm no journalist), but from my experience I have learned that aerial yoga is like yoga done with scarves that hang from the ceiling. I didn't think I was going to be good at it, as yoga takes a lot of upper body strength (one of my weaknesses), but I was better at it than I thought. The only moves I really struggled with were ones where I was supposed to go upside down without holding on to anything, and I mostly struggled because I was too afraid of falling.
Flexibility played a key role in aerial yoga too, but not necessarily in the way you would think. Anyone who has previously read my blog before knows that I struggle with flexibility, but I felt aerial yoga is a unique way to work on it. A lot of the stretches we did in the class were not out of my reach, and made me felt even more stretched than I might after a ballet or other conditioning class.
I highly recommend aerial yoga to anyone, but especially dancers. It was a fun and relaxing way to work on both strength and flexibility. It is a unique way to stay fit and improve your condition for dancing. If you get a chance, take a class!
For anyone in the Bridgewater area, I took my first class at Juniko in Hanover, MA. Your first class is free at Juniko, and beginners are welcome!
Courtesy Photo from Bridget Buckley
Just about every college kid goes through some existential crisis but about not making it in their desired career path. Part of me has always had this fear, that I won't get jobs or at least a job I want. Regardless, I still have hope that someday I will get to teach dance and share my love of dance with others. However, the other day in one of my dance teaching classes (in case you're a new reader, I am dance and education major at BSU, so many of my classes are geared towards dance education), my class had an open discussion about what we're afraid of when we go on to teach. I have come to realize that while I am very set on becoming a dance teacher, I have many fears about my future career. Here are some of the things that came up in discussion. While I believe I will be able to conquer these challenges, and I have a good foundation to do so thanks to my dance education, here is what I have been reflecting on...
My students will get injured
Injuries are very common in dance. Fortunately, BSU's Dance Department has provided me with many classes and opportunities to learn about teaching proper alignment and technique, as well as applying anatomy to dance education. However, there is still this fear that deep down I will not warm a student up enough before a performance or let them dance en pointe too soon and will become injured. A certain amount of pain comes along with dance, but I never want to be the reason a student gets injured.
My students will be too focused on competition
While I would never hold a student back from competing if that is what they truly desire, I plan to create opportunities for my dancers that are more performance, and less competition, based. For example, if I were a studio owner in a perfect world, I would produce and direct ballet and theatrical productions to give my students more performance opportunities. However, competition is heavily emphasized in many studios, and I don't want my students to become so focused on it it's all they think dance is.
Parents won't understand
This is a lesser fear, but because of my dance education and personal experiences, I have learned to value different things in dance. For example, many people associate flexibility with dance, but from my own experience and undergraduate research, I have adopted a philosophy that students should only push themselves to be as flexible as they are physically capable of. I also believe that stretching and other related practices should be done with the consent of the student. I will never force a student to practice splits or physically push them into stretches. Because of my countercultural opinions on flexibility, I worry that someday a parent will think less of me and pull their students away from me because they don't feel their child is succeeding enough in dance.
My students will be uninspired
This comes from my own self-esteem in dance, but sometimes I worry that because I never had a professional dance career and am not one of the "best of the best", my students won't be inspired by me to dance. I have a long performance history, but nothing super special, and while I don't believe that is necessary to be a great dance teacher, I worry that my students will.
I won't get to work with the age group I want
While I will take any almost job teaching dance (especially early on in my career), my dream is to work with high school students. I love younger children and enjoy working with them, but I fear that that is all my career will end up being.
My technique classes will be ineffective
I have a good amount of experience teaching choreography, but teaching technique classes is still new territory for me. Sometimes I feel discouraged, especially when many of my peers have been teaching for years, that my technique classes won't be up to par.
I am most likely being overdramatic about many of these fears, and I will never let any of them get in my way, I think it's important to be honest about them. I don't want to pretend that the road to becoming a dance teacher has been all rainbows and butterflies. In just three semesters, I will be thrown into the real world where all of these fears will become front and center. Fortunately, I have had a solid dance education from BSU, and mentors and peers that support me endlessly. I have the skills I need, but only time will tell how I overcome these challenges.
Future/new dance teachers: what are some of your fears about going into a career in dance education? Seasoned dance teachers: what are your thoughts on these early on fears?
Feel free to comment below! I'd love to start a discussion about this!
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News & Events
9/18 Follow my new Instagram just for my dance things!
12/23 I was one of NDEO's Guest Bloggers this year! Read "Teaching is a Vocation. Not a Fallback" on their Behind the Curtain Blog!
9/27 I will be presenting my research at the National Dance Education Organization National Conference next week! See my research project by clicking the button below!
4/15 While working on PMA's production of The Addams Family, I got to combine my two favorite styles of dance (ballet and musical theatre) for "The Moon and Me"! Watch my talented students dance by clicking the button below!
2/20 I am choreographing PMA Theatre Guild's Production of The Addams Family! Come see these amazing high school students perform at Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen, MA April 13 & 14! Tickets available at the door.
2/20 I am stage managing BSU's Dance Kaleidoscope this year! Show dates are March 29-31 at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. Come see this student choreography showcase!
11/5 I will once again be dancing in a BSUDC concert! Tickets to WinterDance are now available!
8/24 NDEO's National Honor Society for Dance Arts has published one of my articles in their newsletter! Read an updated version of "Audition Advice" here:
5/16 Interested in learning about movement concepts? Visit Becca's new Educational Dance website!
5/8 BSU Dance Company's Dance Kaleidoscope 2017 is now on Youtube! You can watch my performances by visiting the VIDEOS page!
4/23 I recently performed for the residents of Allerton House in Hingham, MA! You can watch part of my performance here!
Amesbury Children's Theatre presents...James and the Giant Peach Jr, featuring choreography by me! Click for tickets!
2/8 My piece "Barefoot" is now available to watch online! Click to watch!
2/5 Happy to say I have been cast in BSU Dance Company's Spring concert Dance Kaleidoscope! I will be dancing in 3 faculty choreographed pieces, including excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty in which I will be dancing the role of Lilac Fairy! Show dates are March 31-April 1 at Bridgewater State University.
Click the button for more info!
1/15 Ballet with Becca is now on Facebook! Click to visit the page, and be sure to like it while you're there!
1/14 I am happy to say I will be attending artEmotion's summer intensive in June! I will be dancing in the one week artEmotion Adult Program. If anyone would like to join or audition for any other artEmotion program, visit their website!