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Nov 05

How to support your dancer, part 3- Preventing burnout

By bsdadmin | Uncategorized

It is Baltimore School of Dance’s #TipTuesday! So you may have noticed there was no tip last week. I was very sick. I had felt it coming on for quite a while and ignored it. That was a very bad idea. However, it did give me a good idea for our Tip Tuesday series for parents! I firmly believe in the “lemons to lemonade” approach to life. So the topic today is preventing burnout.

Burnout can take many forms: fatigue, illness, depression, anxiety, irritability, apathy, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness and in extreme forms mental confusion. The causes of burnout vary. I know when I experience burnout, it is usually when I feel overwhelmed and bombarded with work and problems from several areas in my life at one time for an extended period of time. We all experience times in our life when we feel like we just cannot deal with everything being thrown at us. At these time, we need to ask for help, which can be very difficult for some people, so a good support system is a must. Sometimes that can be as simple as having someone just listen, without judgement or advice offered. So parents, just listen to what is bothering your child without trying to “fix” it.

Other simple things to help someone who is burned out is to:
1) Ask what you can to do to help. When someone offers to help, it is a little easier to ask for it. Most people don’t want to bother others by asking for help.
2) Offer words of encouragement or a compliment. When a parent or student goes out of their way to compliment me on my work, it reminds me why I do what I do and makes the long hours of hard work and personal sacrifice worth it.
3) Give a favorite treat. It is amazing how well a little chocolate works to lift my spirits.
4) Get the person to take a break to enjoy their favorite activity. Sometimes getting a little distance from a problem can give much needed perspective.

Rest:  Dancers and other high level athletes need more rest and sleep (8-9 hours) than the average person.  The body needs time to repair itself on a daily basis and so does the mind.   Getting enough sleep helps prevent disease  and mental illness.

Relax:  I find it very helpful to relax and pamper myself when I feel burned out. I get a massage or sit in a hot bath or sit by my pond in my garden and just watch the fish, birds, and insects do their thing. I can’t tell you how many times an answer to a problem or inspiration for choreography that I was stuck on has come to me when I finally quieted my mind and stopped thinking about it.

Eating:  I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat well to combat or prevent burnout.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with anti-oxidants and nutrients which are essential to helping our bodies heal from injury or everyday training, combat or prevent disease, and provide energy to go about our day.  Fast food, processed food, etc. are lacking those nutrients and have chemicals in them that can actually make you more tired, depressed, etc.

Spirituality:  While it may not be for everyone, my strong Christian faith keeps me going when nothing else does.  I have achieved goals, endured tragedies, rose above difficulties because of my faith in God.  It gives me comfort and the motivation to keep going when all I want to do is give up.

I hope this is helpful.  If you have any tips for preventing burnout please share in the comments below.

 

Nov 04

How parents can support their dancers, part 2, conquering favoritism

By bsdadmin | Uncategorized

From October 22, 2013:

It’s #TipTuesday! Today we are continuing our series for parents on how to support your dancers and today’s topic is -conquering-favoritism. Some favoritism is natural. Dance teachers naturally gravitate to students who enthusiastically want to learn. Are you/your student doing things in class that are off-putting without realizing it? Check out our post from last week about etiquette. Click below for an article by Pointe magazine on how to deal with favoritism in the classroom.

Pointe magazine-Conquering favoritism

Nov 04

How parents can support their dancers, part 2, conquering favoritism

By bsdadmin | Uncategorized

From October 22, 2013:

It’s #TipTuesday! Today we are continuing our series for parents on how to support your dancers and today’s topic is -conquering-favoritism. Some favoritism is natural. Dance teachers naturally gravitate to students who enthusiastically want to learn. Are you/your student doing things in class that are off-putting without realizing it? Check out our post from last week about etiquette. Click below for an article by Pointe magazine on how to deal with favoritism in the classroom.

Pointe magazine-Conquering favoritism

Oct 14

How parents can support their dancers, part 1.

By bsdadmin | Uncategorized

As part of our #TipTuesdays on Facebook, we are doing a series of posts on how parents can better support their dancers (in addition to the wonderful acts of driving them to class, paying for tuition, etc.). Here is last weeks’ post:

It’s #TipTuesday! This one is for parents per fan request and will be addressed over several weeks. How can a parent support their dancer? Do your research and educate yourself. Their is a ton of info online for parents of dancers. Let’s look at studio selection. Choosing a studio just because it is the closest or cheapest is not the way to go. Unfortunately, anyone can open a dance studio, there are no certification requirements, so you need to investigate carefully. You are entrusting your child’s body to whomever you choose so choose wisely. Does the studio have a sprung floor? this is an absolute must. You wouldn’t let your child learn gymnastics on a concrete floor with no mats, so don’t let your child dance on one either. This can cause joint damage, stress fractures and other serious injuries and sometimes permanent damage. Next, look at the director/teachers. They should have studied not only dance but pedagogy as well at a reputable school. They should have had a performing career. They should also be involved in some sort of continuing education to keep up on the latest trends and teaching techniques, injury prevention, etc. Most of all they should love working with children. With that said, not all dance teachers with a degree or professional dancers with a great career make good teachers. Some of the best teachers are ones who struggled and had to work extra hard to become dancers.
We want your questions and feedback, so please ask/reply in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

Sep 12

It is not too late…

By bsdadmin | Uncategorized

It is not too late to register for classes or audition for student company. You can register and pay for classes online. Please email the director ( amy@baltimoreschoolofdance.com )if your student age 8 and up is interested in joining student company and/or competing.

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