why we don’t teach dance here
As a dance teacher with 13 years of experience, and as the Director of a 7-yr-old dance studio, you might be surprised to find out that we don’t teach dance here.
As a very young child I was WAY too energetic and fidgety for my traditional ballet class. I also had a curious mind and a penchant for asking a few too many questions. My childhood ballet career never really lasted. I couldn’t connect how standing still was going to help me dance.
Sadly, as a studio owner, I’m not surprised to hear from parents who say their 4-yr old was kicked out of their last ballet school for not being able to stand still or stay in lines.
In my tween years (before the word tween was invented :/) I gave dance another shot. I joined a new school and lasted about 3 weeks. During the time there, not one single teacher made an effort to give me any specific tips or hints to help me catch up. Not a single explanation of a foreign ballet word. Not one “try doing it this way instead”. I was overwhelmed, under-supported, and felt it was all my fault.
As a teen, I was consistently ignored in my classes. I lived in the back line. My teachers didn’t know my name. I thought it was my fault. And as the only ethnic girl in the class, I couldn’t help but feel that my appearance was linked to my experience.
As an early adult teaching dance, I remember being asked by an employer as she poked my quads
“Where did those come from?”….
If I weren’t such a defiant little thing I probably would have burst into tears right then.
“From my Italian mother and Greek father.”
I saved it for later instead. I won’t lie. This stuff still hurts me today.
The fact is, these experiences are not uncommon in dance.
But they are unacceptable.
So why don’t we change the way we teach dance instead??
Dance Domain is a place that breaks with tradition. We’ve packed away the judgment, the pressure and the disregard for our unique differences.
In their place, we provide a progressive and inclusive experience for ALL of our students, regardless of race, gender, sex, class, age, or physical and intellectual capacity.
At Dance Domain, we:
- cater to the child who may not be able to stand still yet
- enrich each class with a range of learning modes to ensure everyone has equal access and the chance to succeed
- support beginners and new students and give them the tools to succeed and dance with people of their own age (there’s no standing as a 13 yr old in a class for 8 yr olds here!)
- don’t look at bodies with a normative gaze that insists we all look the same way
- don’t push people away if they don’t fit the stereotypical and misguided view of what a dancer is
- don’t believe in forcing our students to fit the rigid and often oppressive expectations of dance
Anyone can dance. Everyone should dance.
We believe that by tailoring our teaching to the individual needs of each of our students we can provide an enriching educational experience that cuts through barriers, rather than creating them.
We believe that by praising difference, we can create an open-minded community of individuals with the courage and confidence to forge their own identity and to respect the identities of others.
Dance should be a joyful and positive experience.
After all, there is more to dance education than just dance.
So that’s why we don’t teach dance here.
We teach people, not dance.
This is dance done different.
Want to know more about how we’re disrupting dance education for the better?
Keen to be a part of the revolution?
Just get in touch by filling out the form below. We’d be honoured to have you as part of the Dance Domain community or you can find out more about us here