The Top 3 Reasons Why a Student is Retained in Their Dance Class Level

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We’re reaching the end of another fantastic dance season! It is the time that we get excited about performances or recitals as well as summer training. We also, get excited about time off, am-i-right?

In some schools, students will be informed about their placement for the upcoming school year at the end of the current season. In others, the decision will be made at the end of the summer, before fall enrollment begins.

If you’ve received notice that you will be repeating a level, you might be wondering why you’re in this situation. I promise you that in 99% of the cases the reason is not, “The teacher doesn’t like me.” Let’s get into it.

Reason #1: You’ve missed a lot of classes.

If you aren’t in class, you can’t learn the skills that you need to advance. This should be pretty straightforward, but sometimes we lack self-awareness. We don’t realize we’ve missed as many classes as we have or we don’t see how far our peers have progressed ahead of us. Faculty also have to consider the time commitment of a higher level. If you haven’t been attending classes, it isn’t likely that attendance will improve when given the promotion.

Reason #2: You haven’t mastered the skills required by your current level.

Let’s say you did attend all of your classes. Unfortunately, even the most dedicated students may need to repeat a training level. You may simply need more time to absorb the information that is given. Furthermore, teachers want to place you in a position to succeed. You’ll need mastery of your current level to attempt the skills of the next level.

Reason #3: You lack maturity.

You may lack physical maturity or it can be the maturity of your character. If you lack physical maturity, this means that your body hasn’t developed the physical strength to take on the demands of the curriculum. This could include pointe work, the movement vocabulary, or stamina for the expected number of hours in the studio.

When we’re discussing character, faculty will be looking for qualities such as the ability to listen, respond appropriately, follow direction, receive and apply correction, preparedness, confidence and leadership. It may be more beneficial for you to be a shark at a lower level than a minnow in a higher level.

As dance teachers, it is our job to place you at the appropriate level for your development. This means that you might not continue to dance with friends or at the level you believe is right for you.

Rather than getting angry, prove us wrong!

  • Review feedback from progress reports or FHCs (Frequently Heard Corrections). Set your mind to accept the corrections even if you think they’re incorrect.

  • If you don’t understand a correction, ask for more explanation after class. Don’t have mom send an email. You are responsible for your classwork. Approach your teacher respectfully.

  • When it is within your control, limit your absences. You have to show up every time classes are offered to succeed!

Your persistence, dedication, and patience will pay off. We all develop in our own time. Resist the discouragement that comes from comparing yourself to others!

Sound off below! Have you ever been retained in a level? How did you breakthrough?

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