Teaching Dance This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I have had the good fortune to be spending three hours of my Saturday morningsteaching dance to 45 young girls between the ages of three and eight. Thisexperience has taught me how intuitive and creative young children can be. I havealso noticed how easily they allow those who are older to become role models.They mimic almost anything I do, wanting to stand near me and holding my hand.Witnessing children who are this impressionable has made me realize the impactthat our example can have on young children, especially girls.

I haveobserved that the youngest ones most look up to me, their teacher. They starteach lesson a little shy, however, when encouraged, they develop the courage tobe open and expressive. The kindergarten class is the most outgoing, alwayswilling to try any activity and encouraging others in the group. The girls whoare in the first and second grades, I believe, are more self-conscious. Theandrogyny of the younger ages has disappeared and their awareness of being femalehas taken its place. They are more conscious of body types, poise andabilities.

My role as their dance teacher has been to help each becomfortable, knowledgeable about dance moves, and to feel freer to movecreatively. It has made me realize that being a role model and teacher of younggirls is a very important and difficult job. I must offer encouragement andpraise, give kind advice and finally, my approval. Teaching dance really involvesteaching these young women to develop and maintain their confidence and self-esteem.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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