A Student of Dance

When I’m not busy at TCR I can often be found dancing. My husband and I have become enamored of ballroom dancing., with the tango being our favorite. Had you asked me a few years ago if this would have been the case, I probably would have laughed out loud. And yet now, the tango has filled many hours of my nights and weekends. It has taken me over a year to even begin to understand it and to get my body to go along with the rhythms. We have gone to lessons, workshops, and competitions to hone our skills. We go to classes and then come home and practice. We listen to music to decide if it is right for the dances we want to do. Then we practice to it. We critique our work, looking in mirrors as we twirl around then practice yet again. We learn a new step and then practice it. We begin to master new things. Then we test out to the next level and begin the whole process anew. In short, we have become students.

The questions asked of our dance lessons,– “What will I learn in this lesson? How can I understand all this new material? Is it at the right skill level for me? Will it capture my interest?” — are the same questions that students can ask of any lesson that comes from our books.

After the questions comes the practice — be it for dance, multiplication, or handwriting. Then there’s a whole new set of questions: “Do the lessons have meaningful practice? Is there enough practice for a specific skill? Are the standards being met?” The list of comparison goes on, but the lesson that I have taken from this is that my being a student has informed my work as Editor in Chief in an educational publishing house.

It’s not the dancing, which is great fun, but the process that I have to go through, just like any child in a classroom, that has brought a new dimension to dance. It is rather exciting to realize that something that I’m enjoying so much has brought me to a new level of thinking about our books. The lessons in our books need to continue to reflect this process so students can continue to learn at the highest level possible.

2 thoughts on “A Student of Dance”

  1. Tom Ranieri

    I could not agree more. I live in Costa Rica and work as a guide on student trips and dancing is a must when it comes to each trip. It offers the kids a chance to learn about the culture. In Latin America the kids are born dancing and it is not something that they are afraid to do infront of a large group. You go to a wedding or family function and everyone is on the dance floor when the first song comes on. It is a great social event and also an incredible way to allow kids that dont speak each others language to interact with eachother. I feel dancing should be more a part of everday curriculum in US classrooms. If everyone did classes kids would start to do it more comfortabely. So many dances to try and learn and only two feet to do it leaves a lifetime of learning!!! Enjoy your classes!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>