I had this moment yesterday. It happened while I was teaching. The kids were making up a combination based off of these ballet flashcards I had given them. I emphasized wanting them to work together as a unit to create this combination. I sat there dilly dallying waiting for them to finish when I started listening in on them as they worked their magic.
How many balancés should we do?
Let's just go until we are all together.
Well, I think it would be better to have a set number so then we are dancing in unison.
How should we incorporate the pas de bouree?
Don't forget to use the correct port de bras!
They were being little 8 year old grown-ups. Little grown-up ballerinas who were applying the copious amounts of ballet technique I've tried to cram inside their growing brains for these past 9 months. In that moment my heart swelled
a little a lot.
You see, there are lots of days when I feel like I'm not the best teacher. I worry that I'm not doing a good enough job at sharing the appropriate amount of ballet knowledge with them. There's just so much to teach and how does one even begin to fit it all in?!
How can I do my students right and teach them all the things they need to know?
But in that moment listening to them apply their newfound knowledge, listening to them remember little tricks of the trade (so to speak) from these past 9 months I realized that something is going right. Maybe they don't always turn out from their hip. Maybe they don't lift through the upper body as they're doing plies, but they're picking up on the true meaning of technique: not how many pirouettes you can squeeze out or if you can kick your leg to your forehead in a grande battement, but how you properly perform each little part of each movement. How your body is in line before you even think about performing a movement.
And in that moment I thought Man, I love getting to teach these kids. Because they have managed to cram in a whole lotta of teaching me in these 9 months.
Now...go read some blogs that aren't sappy on a Friday and that don't overkill on the ballet talk.