Top tips for teachers on mental health in the dance studio

As Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 draws to a close, we hope that the resources we have provided have helped to stimulate questions and support your practice, but mental health awareness is not something that ends today.

Yesterday psychotherapist and retired professional dancer, Terry Hyde MA MBACP, joined us live on Facebook to answer your questions, and we have summarised his Top Tips for Teachers.

You are not a trained counsellor or psychologist, and Terry’s advice is that you should not try to be. But, if you want to take a more mindful approach to teaching and to create a positive and supportive environment for your students and their mental health, here are five of his top tips:

  1. Be mindful of what you are projecting on to your students, your mood, your positivity, or indeed, negativity, impacts them.
  2. Follow the rule of 10: 8 compliments to two corrections.
  3. Consider introducing meditation techniques devised specifically for dancers, into your classes.
  4. Don’t compare students to each other, or single one out as perfect – that runs the risk of isolating or alienating the student chosen, and lowers the self-esteem and confidence levels of the others.
  5. Take a mental health first aider course, or try this Educare online CPD course on Mental Wellbeing in Children & Young People.

To hear more from Terrye, watch a recording of his live Q&A below.