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7 Tips for Motivating and Inspiring Your Students


Teacher article


Dance Teachers

Motivation… so many books have been written about it. It is that age old question. What motivates people? What inspires people. If some of your students seem under-motivated, then it’s likely that one or more motivating factors are lacking in their work.

Here are 7 tips to help light a fire under your students

1. Tracking Progress

If you don’t know where you’ve been, how will you know where you’re going? Tracking progress for students allows them (and you) to see how far they’ve come. It is easy for students to forget that last year at this time they were only doing a single pirouette now they are doing three. We like for our students to keep a book and track where they have improved.

2. Giving Praise

A simple but often overlooked way of rewarding students are words of encouragement. Learners crave praise and recognition for a job well done. Positive comments are free and students are noticeably motivated when teachers acknowledge their successes or even share their great work with their classmates.

3. Define Objectives

Without clear guidance and expectations, students can easily become frustrated and disengaged. They crave the ability to know what’s expected of them and it helps them stay motivated to improve on their technique. Make sure to clearly lay out the technique and various studio expectations for each level to remove any ambiguity or confusion for your students.

4. Create A Safe Learning Environment

Creating a safe learning environment will allow students to thrive, experiment, and take risks without feeling judged. Learners naturally attempt to fulfill expectations that have been set by their teacher – try to focus on positive reinforcement to keep students motivated and feeling safe in their learning environment.

5. Encourage Student Self-reflection

Have your students take a look at themselves by reflecting on what they’ve done, if it was successful or not, and what they want to accomplish moving forward. Defining goals and considering achievements will empower students, making them feel like they are in charge of their learning journey.

6. Know Your Students

Students want to know their teacher cares about them. Show a genuine interest in making sure they succeed. Get to know your class by using some fun team building exercises and other engaging activities. Your students will appreciate praise and feedback much more when they know it’s coming from someone that knows and respects them.

7. Share Your Enthusiasm

If you’re excited, chances are your students will be too! Your energy and enthusiasm can be a great way to motivate your students. Keep in mind to inspire your students you need to stay inspired. That is why we developed Dance Teacher Web. To give you instant access to resources, videos and lesson plan ideas. Use it as one of your tools.

Here’s to your success!

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Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Steve is co-founder of Dance Teacher Web the number one online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide.He is Co-Director of the very successful D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Center in Fairfield, CT for the past thirty plus years. His students have gone on to very successful careers in dance, music and theater. Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He has appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, He has also co-authored two books one for dance teachers and one for studio owners in the "It's Your Turn" Book series. He is available for master classes, private business consulting and teacher training development

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