18 October 2019 01:13
RAD Awards Day 2019
The annual RAD Awards Day is always a truly unforgettable day for our graduates. On Monday 15 July, we had 197 students from 28 countries grace the Great Hall stage at Imperial College London. As the class of 2019 embark on their careers in dance teaching, Dr Michelle Groves, Director of Education offers 5 essential tips for those graduating.
Learning never stops
We all know that learning never stops, but some dance teachers feel that there “just isn’t time’ to undertake further learning. Being a professional dance teacher comes with professional responsibilities. Make time to watch other dance teachers in your own school or through different means such as online sources or guest teaching sessions. Think of Continuing Professional Development not as a chore but a gift towards on-going growth. Graduates who have had some time away from study often catch the ‘study bug’ after a year or two. As a Faculty of Education graduate you receive a fee discount if you continue with your studies with us at a later date.
When the going gets tough, the tough don’t go shopping!
It’s not always plain sailing when you’re a dance teacher. Work towards developing personal and professional resilience and tenacity. You may not always get everything right, but you will find that you will get more things right than you do wrong.
Be reflective and reflexive
As a Faculty of Education dance teacher graduate, you will know only too well the importance of reflecting on practice – the what and how of dance teaching. What can be overlooked by dance teachers are opportunities for being reflexive – thinking about your position within the cycles of learning and teaching. Take time to consider your personal values, beliefs and attitudes to appreciate how these attributes map into your professional self.
Connect with others
Many dance teachers can feel isolated as a dance teacher, falling into a routine of moving from one class to the next, from one week to another without ever speaking to another like-minded professional. Look for ways through which you can connect with other dance professionals and practitioners who work across arts education. Get involved in community projects or, if there is not a lot of dance in your communities, why not initiate a collaborative community arts project with others? From the beginnings of an idea come unexpected and fulfilling outcomes.
Be curious about yourself as a dance teacher, but perhaps more importantly, be curious about those whom you teach. Take time to speak with your students. Find out about their other interests and discover their hidden talents. Spark their curiosity in this wonderful art form, and encourage them to “Dance like nobody is watching.” [Mark Twain]