Forum: Highland / Highland - Teachers Only

Highland - Teachers Only
Keeping it Fresh
By shannonsdancers Comments: 12, member since Tue Mar 19, 2013
On Mon Apr 21, 2014 08:20 PM

Do any other teachers find spring a difficult time to teach? I find I'm getting tired and the dancers are getting tired, yet, it's the busiest time of year with competitions, Championships and Highland games and an added pressure this year, the Canadian Championships are in Richmond, BC (I'm a teacher in BC).

As a teacher I'm feeling like a broken record and keep working on the same things over and over. If I have to see another beginner 4 step fling, lilt or flora again I just might snap!

So, as both teacher and dancers are getting tired, how do I keep it fresh and keep my dancers focussed and working hard as we move into the late spring/summer?

Another question for teachers, do you or do you not believe in a summer break? On one hand, I think a mandatory summer break gives the dancers a rest and makes them excited about coming back. On the other hand, teachers spend most of September re-teaching steps (or dances) and building stamina. So, what's everyone else's "take" on it?

Looking forward to reading everyone's comments!

1 Replies to Keeping it Fresh

re: Keeping it Fresh
By rosalinde Comments: 1981, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Wed Apr 23, 2014 01:59 AM
Oh, I know the 'slump'!

I too find it hard to keep dancers motivated: they know their dances, they know the mistakes they need to fix -- and I get frustrated when they don't fix them!

Maybe you could introduce a fun project? Every year, around February, we start working on something fun. This year it's a new Broadswords for all levels (Beginners feel awesome dancing with the Premiers, the Premiers can have a go at teaching plus work on basics). Last year we collaborated with a group of Irish Dancers and went to the Irish Open Championships to do a choreography competition with them (and placed 2nd - the crowd went nuts for the Highland Dancers!). This project adds a little fun to the training.

As for summer break, we don't really have one, but when the schools close for summer, class attendance becomes less strict. The Primary, Beginner and Novice dancers have summer off (unless they have a competition, but those are rare around here, so this usually only happens when they go to Scotland on vacation and do a Highland Games while they're there), so only the Intermediates and Premiers come to class, unless they choose not to.