Things are always evolving. In the words of Edward Burke, “Nothing in progression can rest on it’s original plan. We might as well think of rocking a grown man in an infant’s cradle.”
So to, has been the evolution of NY Dance. What started off for me as a dream to teach dance and bring joy to as many people as possible, has little by little, evolved into something that I would never have had the courage to envisage.
From a little school of 42 students, the studio has grown into the hundreds as people found the school they were ‘looking for’ either because of our point of difference, they loved the energy of the school, our friendly faces or a myriad of other responses which have humbled me and make me feel so very grateful to be surrounded by such positive activity and people in our day-to-day studio life.
The school has evolved now, to a point where the teaching team and I have turned our focus to delivering the best dance experience possible with regular team training, reassessing our curriculum and furthering our own education.
We have developed programs in-house such as our Tiny Dancers (aged 9 months to 7 years) progressive classes, where students dance skills are taught in sequential order right from Move With You to our Sub-Junior levels, and beyond to guarantee that by age 8, they are ready to hone their dance skills at a higher level.
We’ve added programs from outside sources such as DanceStep, our Student Teacher Education Program, which aims not only at the training of future dance teachers, but gives our teens much opportunities for personal development, gain confidence and feel important.
Which leads me to my next point…. DanceStep for me, was something marvellous to offer our teens, but the number one surprise for me was finding out that a good number of these students had ambitions to ‘be a dance teacher one day’…. this was not an outcome I was expecting or prepared for.
So what to do next? It is obvious my responsibility to these students is going to lead us to travel another path. These students will now need teaching qualifications (in the future) which has led me to research dance examination associations to ensure that I can offer everything these students need, whether it be the entire group of twenty or just two or three of them.
We are thrilled to announce that we are now working with and teaching the ATOD (Australian Teachers Of Dance) dance syllabus throughout our Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Classical Ballet classes, with the jazz syllabus soon to follow.
What does this mean to parents and our students?
For one, there’s no drastic changes to your child’s classes, but there will be new work learnt, new ideas flowing in our classes and more fun things to learn.
I’ve been teaching the new tap curriculum for a couple of months now and the students are simply loving the challenge of the new work.
Following an exam curriculum is your guarantee that your child is being taught dance work at an appropriate level given their age and ability and for any of our students who may well like to follow the dance teacher career path, it means that they will be able to gain the qualifications they need by fulfilling the exam requirements.
Personally I see this another step in the evolution of NY Dance and it’s a step I’m really excited to be taking.