We have all seen those signs on the edge of the playing field “These are children and the officials are volunteers” or signs of that nature, encouraging parents to keep perspective around the competition during children’s sporting activities.
Did you know that Ausdance actually publish a Parent’s code of behaviour specifically for dance. (I know right, it’s a pity they had to!) I like to think that many of these guidelines don’t need to be spelled out to dance mums, but you and I both know a few “dance moms” who need reminding of this every now and then. So here are a few of the guidelines to be mindful of when it comes to your child’s dance training. You will find that many of them align well with the values we have at PMPA.
Taken from: Ausdance Professional Business Practice Factsheets 2012
-Eliminate focus on winning, instead focus on child’s efforts and performance rather than the overall outcome of the performance, examination or audition.
-Encourage children to follow rules and be a cooperative member of their dance team.
-If you disagree with an examiner, adjudicator or critic, never raise the issue in public or in front of your child, you are doing more damage than you know.
-Remember, children are dancing for their enjoyment, not yours.
Some of the guidelines I love include;
-Encourage dance students to see live performances as often as possible.
-Help children set realistic goals based on their individual experience.
-Remember that children learn best by example so practice what you preach.
-Always applause good performances by all performers.
And my favourite:
-Teach children (as we do in class) that honest effort is as important as victory, so results of each examination or performance are accepted without undue disappointment.
What we teach our dancers through the arts education experience is much more than just steps. We are teaching them resilience, how to deal with life decisions, how to prioritise, how to work with others and how to be an important part of a team. We hope that all of our dance parents will join with us in providing a wholistic education through dance at PMPA. Thanks to Ausdance for their factsheets and guidance for dance parents all over the country.