Sunday, October 9, 2011

the push...

Oireachtas season is upon us.  For all of you unfamiliar with Irish dance jargon the Oireachtas is the regional championship.   Our region, the Mid-Atlantic Region, is one of the toughest in the US because it consists of all of New York state, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.   There are a lot of dance schools in this region.  

Last year was our first year participating as our own school in our regions Oireachtas.  We had 4 dancers compete last year.  This year we have 8 dancers.  Each year it will keep growing, adding more solo competitors and hopefully some teams.   Each of the 8 dancers are on a strict practice and drill regiment both in and out of class.   We work with them each week to be sure they know what to go home and work on and without their efforts at home what we teach them in class is useless to a point.  

So, what do you do when a dancer you are spending specific time with doesn't practice?   How many times can you ask them the question of how bad they want to go, or tell them that without their extra effort they are wasting time.  

I have this dancer.  She is close to me because I give her extra lessons on a regular basis and feel that I have a good relationship with her parents.  She also reminds me of me as a kid...but only to a point.   I'm not able to understand why she won't make time to do the practice regiment I gave her.  I'm not able to understand how she just doesn't want to work hard for this, how she is strictly dependant on my instruction in class and her own talent to get her through.  How she doesn't want to push herself to see how far she can really go.    Maybe this makes me a poor teacher.  Maybe I'm looked at like I'm trying to live vicariously through my students by pushing her when she won't push herself.    She is SO talented, and made it this far on purely her own talent; it breaks my heart to see her plattue simply because she won't push herself.

Then again, isn't that why we teach our skills?  To push dancers to be better than us?  To teach our legacy?

Have you ever had to push someone farther than they think they can go?  Where you successful?


  1. Man, this sounds like such a frustrating and difficult thing to deal with. I guess you can't force someone to do something they don't want to do. Sounds like a really difficult situation. Wish I had some great advice but definitely haven't experienced anything like that before. Maybe all you can do is keep at it and keep encouraging her to take the time to practice. xx

  2. i guess it all comes down to interest.