Dance Ed Tip # 50:
5 Things Dance Teachers Should Do While on Break

December 19 - Olivia Mode-Cater

 
Winter break is almost here! Huzzah! We have made it through 4 long months of teaching, choreographing, coaching, mentoring, performing, and dancing. It is now time to celebrate the holidays and spend time family. I also see winter break as an opportunity to do all the things that I don’t make time for during my normal schedule. This includes doing things for myself, my body, and my teaching practice. Here are 5 recommendations for you during this holiday break:
 
 
1. Take a dance class.  
 
We teach so many dance classes each week and rarely make the time to take one for ourselves. Take a break from being the leader in the dance studio and go back to when you first fell in love with dance as a student. I often find that taking class inspires me to teach something a new way or give a correction that I’ve been forgetting about.
 
2. Do something for your health.  
 
Go get a massage, take a yoga class, meditate, see a counselor, or get coffee with friend. You DESERVE you time and you are the only one who can give that yourself. My grandmother, a yoga teacher for over 40 years, always says “only you can take care of you.” The older I get, the more these words resonate with me. If you can’t dedicate a full day to yourself, try an afternoon, a morning, or even 1 hour. I know it will do you a world of good.
 
 
3. Listen to new music.
 
Winter break is when I have time to listen to new music. I look for some interesting playlists on Spotify and I let myself go down that rabbit hole for a while. This will often result in new inspiration for choreography. If you want a suggestion, I’m currently vibing to lots of 90’s hip hop, like Lauryn Hill and the Fugees.
 
4. Attend or sign up for a professional development workshop.
 
During the school year, I never have time to plan things for my personal and professional growth.   Therefore, I usually attend or sign up for a workshop during winter break, so that I have something to look forward to. It also prevents me from saying that I’m too busy later on because it’s already on my calendar and has been paid for. Doing this forces me to take time out of my busy schedule to work on me.
 
If you’re looking for some professional development opportunities, we have an amazing online course on how to improve your students’ technique. It’s called “Building Technique Progression.”  We are also doing an in-person workshop on February 24th in NYC on how to safely teach partnering and lifts. You can find out more by clicking here.
 
 
5. Spend an entire 24 hours not thinking about or working on dance.
 
Dance is our life. It’s our passion, our career, our paycheck. It is literally our everything and we definitely need a break from it once in a while. Yesterday I was trying to get so much grading and planning done and I felt so overwhelmed. I needed a break, so I turned off my phone and my computer and told myself that the world could wait until tomorrow. And, guess what? The world didn’t end, I still had my job and everything is just fine. I needed to allow myself that separation so that today I could go back to everything with a clear head and do my job even better.
 
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and rest! Cheers to a wonderful new year!
 
Olivia