Ever think about teaching?

Yeah, I know I probably wouldn’t be qualified.

But a drive to Native American festival yesterday had me thinking what if.

I took a tour of an old cattle drive town with maybe about 1,000 people. The friend driving showed me an old abandoned high school gym that was built by a public works program in the 1930s.

After a new school was built, an actress bought the building and ran a community theater there. She’s since passed on, and the building remains vacant except for community reunions and such.

Then we drove out to the nearby Navajo reservation, and talked about the poverty and the lack of programs there.

I guess, in a sense of a dream, I thought wouldn’t be great to offer dance classes for free at some place on the reservation or at the old abandoned gym?

I might could at least teach barre, and maybe some centre, and offer classes for all ages.

But I wouldn’t know how the idea would fly since I am … you know ,,, a middle aged adult dancer approaching the age of 50.

That’s not what people would think when they think of someone teaching ballet in a small community.

Of course, it would keep me involved, since the nearest dance studios are really about 70 miles away, and I can’t seem to make classes consistently.

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4 responses to “Ever think about teaching?

  • asher

    I know these feels. For what it’s worth, I think that you have the basis for an amazing project, there — and you’re right, you might well be able to at least teach barre!

    I mortified myself by mentioning off-hand to one of my teachers that I would be essentially teaching barre for beginners at Burning Man this year, and to my great surprise she was immensely supportive of the idea (I figured she’s probably say, “OMG, what a terrible idea! You are complete unqualified!”) It turned out to be very doable.

    Reading your blog, it sounds like you actually have a pretty solid ballet background at this point in your life, regardless of when you started — and with a little creativity, I would bet you could put together a sound basic program for a group of people who definitely don’t have access to any ballet classes right now, let alone classes led by someone thoughtful enough to recognize his own limitations as a potential teacher (which is a lot more than can be said for some of the ballet “teachers” out there).

    Would it be possible to get some mentoring on teaching basic technique at your local studio? I don’t know if they’d be as receptive as my teacher was, but it could turn into a great thing.

  • JustScott

    It would be an interesting and worthwhile project, but there really is no local studio to help. I really wouldn’t know where to begin.

    • Naomi

      I am an older adult training for 3 years at a suburban Chicago studio with a good adult program. All the teachers have something to offer. You have a lot. The director/founder of my school has been teaching for 40 years. She may very well give you some help in getting started. If there is interest, it is never too late to learn and go as far as one’s physical ability permits. Ballet training provides a mind/body/earth connectedness the people of the reservation may find nurturing. There may be someone there, like me, who wishes she or he could learn. Go for it…basic barre and simple center steps. If you’d like to contact the director, let me know.

  • mercietchatons

    I’m trying to teach! I think if you’ve been properly trained and have a mentor to help you put together a class you could definitely offer.

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