While his fame may have been sacrificed, Ponce de Leon might have had better luck finding the Fountain of Youth staying in his native Puerto Rico mastering La Bamba and teaching it to others, rather than sailing on his historic quest in 1513.
The Fountain of Youth; the mystical spring that restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Look around. Observe those who have a passion for dance, the quest for continuous knowledge and self improvement, and the joy to share their gifts by teaching. They seem to have a spring behind their studio. They simply do not age. Yet it would be wrong to say time seems to stand still for them because they have progressed with the times, even pioneering new ground.
Feeding your mind and challenging your body over the summer can provide rejuvenation for your entire upcoming school year. As summer approaches it is a perfect time to challenge yourself to find a workshop, seminar or multiday conference that offers classes or seminar topics that inspire, reinforce technique or challenge you to push beyond your comfort zone. Your students will benefit as you teach the new techniques you have learned, or merely modeling the heightened energy you seem to posses.
Dance teachers are fortunate to be exposed to such a bountiful community filled with workshops, seminars, online resources and continuing education opportunities. As a studio director or master teacher, continuing your education is a wonderful example to other teachers and students. Perfecting your craft shows commitment to your students and your studio, whether that craft is mastering technique, running a studio, or producing a recital that seems effortless.
Some tips on finding the right fit for you;
Develop a list of 20 things that you'd like to accomplish through a class, seminar or conference. (Go beyond what you want to learn. Is it important to stay local, or travel? How much time can you commit? Do you want to be exposed to as many teachers as possible or an intimate group? Is an Expo with vendors helpful? Which master teacher would inspire you? Don't settle for 10, push for 20 even if the last 5 seem farfetched, you might surprise yourself how golden those last few nuggets are.)
Rank those you feel are the top 5 must haves from the list. Use this as your guide to research your options. It will help narrow down the choices.
Talk to friends, colleagues for recommendations.
An all encompassing conference often inspires beyond the core class or seminar. Interacting with teachers sharing tactics, pursuing costume collections or simply taking in a different setting can spark your next recital theme or marketing scheme…while having fun in the process.
We all must find the drive and passion inside of our soul. Once found, there are so many resources that can help us continue to drink from the fountain - providing education, inspiration and the ability to grow as professionals. Cheers, to remaining AGELESS!