Passion or Arrogance?
Passion and arrogance, don’t confuse one for the other. Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion. Arrogance is a sense of superiority, self-importance or conceit. How can these two ideas be confused for each other?
When someone is passionate about something, it controls their whole life. Dance is my passion. I love it. I have pictures of dancers in my office, at the dance studio, on my notebooks and coffee cups. There are figurines of ballerinas in a cabinet in my ‘dance corner’. Books on the shelves are dance books, as well as almost every dance movie ever made. Dance, dance, dance, dance – all day, everywhere.
This passion for dance has become my job. As part of teaching children to dance, I hope to pass on this passion and enthusiasm for all things dance. I get excited when I see my students get joy from dance. I love it when they say they love to dance.
Passion means always dancing
Dance passion translate into wanting to dance all the time. Students who are passionate, are always dancing. This maybe in their rooms at home, in the playground at school or the aisle of the supermarket (yes this happens quite often – beware of twirling and cartwheels when next you shop). I have students who have home studios set up with mirrors, barre and dance floors. These get used constantly.
When you are passionate about something, you just can’t get enough of it. You what to know all you can and experience as much of it as possible. It may mean watching Swan Lake for the 10th time and still loving it. Maybe it’s never listening to music without choreographing a dance to it.
Watching other Passionate Dancers
Enthusiasm for your art means you will want to see as much as possible. Instagram and U-tube are wonderful ways for young dancers to watch other dancers. It is so accessible and constant. But there is nothing that beats going to see a live performance.
I just went to see the Bolshoi Ballet Company perform. It was a production of “Jewels”. There was no story line, just breath-taking dance. I was excited to see it and it did not disappoint. It was just beautiful to see such a wonderful company live. I just wanted more.
Learn all about your Art
When I teach, I am always teaching my students not only steps, but the history of dance. Where things have come from and why we do them, is just as important to learn. I love history too, so this adds to my passion for all things dance and it’s origins. The occasional eye-roll is easy to endure when you are passionate.
Sometimes my passion can come across as insanity. I apologise to any one who has a mental illness, but I can act a little crazy about dance. Strange looks are not uncommon, from students or any non-dance person nearby. Dancers are not ‘normal’, as I often tell my students. I mean that in a very good way of course. Who else can do one thing with their feet and legs, something else with their arms and head, count the music and remember the steps and smile while doing it? Who else would want to?
They want to do well
Passion for one’s art means you want to do it well. You work hard at it, because you love to do it. It takes up all your spare time. You just can’t get enough. If you ask a passionate student if they would like extra classes, they will say yes every time. If you aren’t keen to dance, you won’t want to be dancing anymore than you have to.
Dance teachers love passionate students. They are like little sponges who soak up every little thing you tell them. They are keen. Always the first to class and last to leave the studio at night. These are the students who do go home and practice their routines. They stretch every day. Students who are passionate usually have an abundance of dance wear and always want more. When you have a passionate dance student, they are so easy to buy gifts for – dance things – easy.
Some see this as Arrogance
Wanting to be good at something, doesn’t mean that you think you are good at it. Passion can be confused for arrogance quite easily. Just because someone is always at dance doesn’t mean they think they are better than those who only come to class once a week. A dance student in the competition team, is there because they really want to have a chance to dance more. Outsiders (and some insiders) may see this as arrogance. “They think they are so good because they do competitions”, “Just because they got a place, they think they are better than the rest of us”. These are the sorts of things people who don’t understand the passion will say.
Harsh Self Critics
I find that those who everyone thinks is conceited, are those who are the harshest self-critics. They will always want to do better. They work harder to improve, because they want to achieve their goals. The best dancers are those who don’t really know that they are good. They just put their hearts and souls into it and try, try try.
Jealously is a motivator for those who don’t really have as much passion, but feel that they should have the same recognition. If you put the work in, you achieve more. Dance is hardwork. There are those who dance for fun and those who dance because it is their life. When it is your life, you put everything you have into it and get better and better. Those who have other things in their life besides dance, may not accept that they may not get the same results when they don’t put in the same effort as the passionate student.
A passionate student will always get the attention of their teacher. As a teacher, you can tell they really want it. It is difficult to motivate someone who doesn’t want to be there. You don’t really have to motivate a passionate dancer, they do that themselves.
Who is Pushy?
Pushy dance Mums will get the blame for students being obsessed with dance and it taking over their lives. I find that usually it is the student doing the pushing. If you love it, you push yourself. The most motivated students don’t need their parents to drag them to class. They are there early and as much as they can be. Dance Mums with passionate kids will be looked on as bad parents. Their dancer is always at dance. Don’t they have a life?
I have a student, whose parent is a school principal. He may not be happy when she misses school for dance comps. She even told me that she forgoes homework to practice dance. I don’t really know how this goes over with the principal, but he is an awesome supportive dance Dad. She is passionate and loves to dance. Thanks Dad.
Just recently I had a student who had missed learning the comp team routines because she was overseas. We had another student away for a few weeks prior to an eisteddfod and had to replace her in one of the dances. The other student was so keen to be part of the routine for that comp, she took a video of the dance home and practiced it for 2 hours to learn it. She did an awesome job and was great in the routine. That is passion.
Show your Passion
In our comp team we have a number of students who say they really want to be part of it, but sometimes we just don’t see that. We have some who show us every day they really want to be there. It’s the passionate, hard-working students who end up in the front line. They are the ones who get the solo or special parts. They work hard, they want it and they deserve it.
Dance with Passion
This can cause jealousy. But if you don’t show your passion and you don’t work hard, it just doesn’t get handed to you. Though this is what many people, sometimes parents, think. It isn’t who you are, or what your parents do, that gets you were you want to go in dance, it’s what YOU do. Work hard, listen to your teacher, practice what you need to and be passionate. Above all, if you are passionate and the haters want to take you down, raise above it and just be yourself. Anyone can do the steps, but a those with passion, Dance.