Great Teaching is Universal

This weekend, I accidentally stumbled into a workshop for dance studio owners.  It was a full day workshop run by Dance Exec and it was incredible!  I originally went to hear a friend speak.  I was so inspired, that I asked if I could stay for the rest of the workshop.  Without hesitation I was welcomed and I am thankful I stayed! There was so much to learn and I am going to share the theme that I saw throughout the workshop!  

This Saturday, one of the first warm and sunny days here in NYC this spring, I spent my day at a workshop designed for dance studio owners.  Keep in mind, I am not a dance studio owner.  I am not a dance teacher.  As a small being, I danced for 9 years and that thought only came up once to me in the time I was in that room...which happened to be for 8 hours.  The answer is simple: Great teaching is Universal!

As I listened, I could relate almost every theme discussed to teaching practices that I use on a daily basis.  The consistent message I heard was function dictates form.  In other words, the underlying cause is where we should focus our attention, not the surface form (what it looks like).  At the start of the workshop, Michael Cedar spoke about dance being the form these teachers use to teach and asked them to think about Why they wanted to teach and run a studio.  He emphasized that the form of their teaching (dance) was not as important to having a successful business as focusing on why they wanted to teach (the answers varied here: to increase self esteem in children, to increase kids capacity to work hard, and to expand flexibility-these are just a few).  This same message was repeated by Miss Eileen Juric, when she talked about ballet technique.  She uses a variety of forms to teach body control, so that the function of each muscle can be understood by her students and combined to build beautiful ballets.  Again, she focuses on function (how does the body move) in her teaching and knows that will effect the form (specific ballet positions).  

The workshop overall was an example of the form being different (these teachers were using the form of dance, while I use the form of behaviors) and yet the function being the same (helping create small beings who thrive).  

Now, let's bring this message directly to you: Think of 2 forms of behavior that you really enjoy with your small being (coloring, eating popcorn together, dancing, running down the block, going to dinner).  Determine the function of these 2 behaviors (is there high quality attention, silliness, is it easy, does it feel good in your body).  Now come up with 1 way that you can apply that function in a new form....you have just increased the positive behaviors in your life!!  

I would love to hear what forms and functions you came up with...leave a comment below telling me all about!

 

Thank you Dance Exec for putting together such an inspirational day and reminding me that great teaching is universal!!