3, 2, 1 and you are live! Karen left the room and in turn left 15 of her best students alone, armed with nothing but an iPad.
Meanwhile, there I was in a studio by myself looking down my iPad at a class of 15 dancers, silently panicking that this was about to go pear-shaped. My job was to improve each dancer in a way that worked perfectly for them as individuals. But was it possible to do that over a video call? Was it even possible to do that in a group class at all?
KCs School of Dance in Warragul is an extraordinary establishment. Karen and Carla have built a wonderful dance community and are constantly looking at ways to innovate in training and educating the dancers of our future. I was so excited to be invited to work on fine tuning some of their brightest prospects with the new Heal Yourself and Move programme and be part of Karen and Carla’s journey of creative new and exciting ways of educating their students.
Both tradition and innovation in dance education are tough asks for any teacher to navigate. What works for one student might have the opposite effect on another, and when young dancers feel pushed too hard or alienated from their passions they can often find themselves moving on to new endeavours. But if there’s one thing that always keeps people engaged in learning a skill, it’s the enjoyment of doing it.
This was my number one aim out of the video lessons I was taking the class through. Build confidence and foster the enjoyment of dance in these students. The first five minutes of the call we had a laugh and got to know each other, then we focussed on some relaxation and alignment exercises. By the end of the lesson the students were doing things they’d never done before. Within 45 minutes their technique and skill sets had improved tremendously and they were absolutely rapt!
Holly from KCs School of Dance showing off her improvements after practicing some Heal Yourself and Move exercises
The next step for me was to make sure they capitalised on this excitement while it was still fresh in their minds. We made a Facebook group for them to post their improvements every time they trained using the Heal Yourself and Move programme, and the confidence of the class simply skyrocketed.
The students became so encouraged by one another and so happy in seeing their own improvements, it was just so powerful to see the Heal Yourself and Move practices working on such a large and self sustaining scale.
In the 6 months I’ve spent working with them, these students have transformed from dancers with huge potential and talent into these incredibly passionate and self motivated dancers who are reveling in having dance as a part of their journey into adulthood. Nothing is more important than that to me. Having a blast doing what you love is what makes for confident and successful lives and is one of the core focuses of the Heal Yourself and Move education programme. It’s infectious, confidence. It spreads all those lovely sprinkles of positivity and brings people closer together.
I was lucky enough to work with only 15 of Karen and Carla’s finest, but I know that at KCs School of dance there’s a entire school of students who are happy, confident and constantly improving both their physical and mental fitness every day.
Hit the button below to find out more about Karen and Carla’s amazing journey with KCs School of Dance!