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Role models can be a powerful force for learning and realizing your potential. They’re not only important for future study or career choices but for achieving fulfillment in everything from the workplace, institutes of learning, sports and yes, even in the dance studio and stage. Researchers have concluded that children and teens that have good role models learn to be motivated learners. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” By introducing children and teens to role models for all aspects of their lives, you are nurturing their imagination. Importance of role models in a child or teen’s life can help to promote high expectations for themselves and work to achieve goals; but choosing a good role model is important.
Dance instructors in your local dance school prove to be excellent role models because of their dedication and experience in their own preparation for their life’s work and the adversities overcome during their own development, whether in the studio or on stage.
Elite dancers, dance instructors and dance coaches learn early that if they want to achieve that flawless performance, they have to put the work in early and often. The time a dancer spends stretching, learning and practicing technique, rehearsing, overcoming the physical pains such as muscle strains and injuries and the mental strain remembering each technical aspect of choreography takes the dedication of many hours a day, sometimes up to three or more hours of dance class each day. Dancers spend many hours a week just dedicated to rehearsing for performances for stage or competition not mention traveling to and from various venues requiring the dancer to be flexible not only in body but in mind. Dance students who see their studio’s elite dancers, dance instructors and coaches learn to mimic the work ethic that it takes to become a successful dancer. Researchers have found that those children or teens that role model successful athletes on the playing field or in the dance studio find that this dedication and work ethic modeled by these students not only benefit their athletic endeavors but carry into the elementary, middle school and high school classrooms as well resulting in a high achieving scholar as well.
Having a healthy role model such as a elite dancer, dance instructor or coach can also help a student to develop good habits. If a dancer has a desire to succeed and become like their role model, they will develop those habits necessary to achieve that goal. Dancers with good role modeling are more likely to stay away from harmful things like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco that with hinder their goal and embrace those like healthy eating habits, good sleep habits and body awareness and respect.
Development of self confidence is also a result of good role modeling. Young dancers can see the confidence of more experienced or professional dancers when in the studio, rehearsal space or stage and this sense of confidence is then learned by the child or teen showing how important it is to believe in themselves and those around them.
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, role models can inspire a dancer to dream big. Often circumstances make dreams seem impossible. A dancer that has no role model cannot imagine overcoming. A child or teen whose role model has achieved can inspire a dancer to work harder and achieve their own dreams. Those who often find success do so because they had a role model who spurred them on to bigger and greater things.
Louis McKay is President of North County DanceArts, Inc. located in Carmel Valley and currently trains 400 students from ages 3 to 93 years of age. Louis has performed and taught Master dance and musical theater classes in 42 of our 50 states and Europe and South Africa. In 1980, Louis McKay opened Louis McKay Dance Studio, later to become North County DanceArts, Inc., which is a teaching facility that is best known for its professional teaching staff and quality dance training. Dancers from beginning level to professional are taught technique, terminology, and discipline in a nurturing and fun environment. Louis currently lives in Carmel Valley San Diego with his wife Tanya and is the proud father of four grown children and two grandchildren. Louis and Tanya McKay also own DanceHearts, a 501 (c) (3) Public Charity called Bells of Freedom Program, serves military men, women and their families by providing emergency care and support, back to school backpack program, vehicle donations and the annual “The Big Thank You” Military Holiday Event.