Friday, October 29, 2010

SillyBanz and other rewards

Rewarding dancers in the studio is a constant challenge for dance teachers. What's the best way? Praise.

One thing I've learned is the single greatest reward you can give is praise - direct praise with the child's name. "Nice plie' Brooke" or "Great leap Blake", those words go a long way to keeping your dancers motivated. It's easy to start generalizing your praise to the whole group - how many times have you said, "Nice work ladies!" Sorry, but that doesn't cut it for individual motivation. You have to be direct and at the time of implementation. When I have a little one that has really worked hard, I'll walk out to the waiting room with my hand on her shoulder and tell her mom or dad - "Abie worked really hard today, she's doing just great in class." Try that sometime for a huge smile from both parent and dancer.

As teachers, it's easy to get lost in direct corrections and sometimes hard to remember to praise even when they don't get it perfect. Remind yourself often that the words that come out of your mouth are like pieces of sweet candy! The more they hear them the more they want! And the harder they will work to hear it.

For special holidays, I do usually give out candy treats and on most nights a sticker to the little ones- this year for Halloween I ordered the ART themed SillyBanz online and they were a HUGE HIT! I decided that I'd set a healthy eating example and skip the candy, no one complained, they love collecting the SillyBanz.

Releve' Dance Poster sample

Releve' Dance Poster sample
sample of poster