My dance friends are my best friends.
My teens tell me this all the time.
If you work with a group of people towards a mutual goal year after year, you’re going to bond. But it is a lot more than that.
Unlike school these students are together as a group because they all love something. Dance. No one has to be here. They are here because they love dance. The movement, the self expression, the creativity and the challenges give them joy . They love working on mastering dance skill. That joy and love spills over into supporting and encouraging others in the class to do well.
When the goal is to perform a dance with excellence, everyone steps up. The leaders in the group help those struggling. And those struggling know they can depend on the support of others to pull them up.
For our little dancers the hugs they naturally give each other before and after class are not just adorable. It is giving them a chance to know what real friendship feels like. It will help them avoid the bullies and overly controlling children in school. Because they will know that real friends are positive, accepting and supportive.
At our studio we have policies in place to maintain a positive, safe and nurturing space in class at all times. We train our teachers to encourage students to interact and get to know each other. Shyer students can always depend on the more outgoing students to talk to them and include them.
We have a zero tolerance policy on bullying. It is not acceptable in any manner at our studio. There is no excuse for allowing it at our studio.