Kansas Ballet Blog
By: Amy Reazin, Head of Young Dancer Division
On any given day at our studio, you may find yourself walking past our littlest dancers. These students spend a lot of time lined up eagerly in the hallway, waiting to start their class, and staring in awe at the ‘big kids’. While it’s true that their sweet smiles and tip-toe walks are lost on no one (how can you not have a better day after seeing them?), these young dancers have even more to offer us all.
When I began teaching at Kansas Ballet, I was assigned our very youngest dancers. This meant 3-6yos, and I was more intimidated than I’d ever been. I did my best to prepare for my very first classes; shadowing experienced teachers, reading and re-reading every creative movement article I could find, buying up children’s music, stickers, and stamps and practicing “Butterfly Bounce” stretches in my living room with my spare time. I was prepared (if one can be prepared) to teach these little ones, but I was not prepared to learn from them. I was surprised, changed, and blessed by the things they taught me class after class, and I’d like to share some of that with you.
My first lessons were simple, useful, stark facts;
- Glitter really does make a difference (in costume, sticker, hair, etc.)
- Ice cream is an event to discuss in and of itself
- Potty-time is contagious
These useful life facts aside, the lessons that changed my heart forever happened through quiet observations of my students. Over time I started noticing the little things that came natural to them, the little things I wanted to have more of in my own life.
- You can do something just for the joy of it. Yes, you really can.
- Friends are easier to make than you think
- Family is better than any gift (each holiday, my students tell me far more about the time they get to spend with you than about the items they receive as presents)
- When someone is sad, a hug and a friend can turn things around
- The best experiences are shared with loved ones (i.e., did you see me? Look what I learned!)
I’ve had hundreds of young dancers as students over the years, and each one has contributed greatly to my life and my heart. As our KBA family considers how we can show respect to each other this year, let’s remember our youngest dancers. Never forget that a ‘hello’ and a smile as you walk by can go a long way to welcoming these dancers and bringing them closer into our family. We have a lot to learn from them!