SRL’s core values are all about helping your dancer be G.R.E.A.T.E.R., and this week we’ve reached the second E, for Enthusiasm. This is a particularly important topic as we move into prep for our annual Showcase (Saturday, June 18th, mark your calendars and remember to buy tickets!)—enthusiasm is a huge part of showmanship and giving your all to any and all performances! But enthusiasm is more multi-faceted than that—it’s also a way of approaching whatever life brings you that can serve your dancer outside of the studio. Let’s explore!
First off, we want to make sure all our dancers are enthusiastic about dance! As dancers move up through the levels and Irish dance asks more of their time and commitment, we want to make sure they continue to love what they’re doing. But more than that, we want them to continue to have an enthusiastic attitude about all that dance entails: the hard work, the challenges of new steps and levels, the ups and downs of class and competition—always knowing it will make them a better dancer as a result. As a studio, we try to take the dancers’ opinions and preferences into account in class to help keep their interest and enthusiasm (i.e. make sure they have fun!), while balancing it with what they need to improve in their practice. While enjoying themselves is always important, instilling enthusiasm is also about facing the more difficult parts of dance with an upbeat and constructive attitude—not just the fun bits!
Because enthusiasm is above all, an attitude. That means approaching all people and situations with a positive outlook and gratitude for the chance to grow, rather than defeatist or resentful feelings. It’s always okay to get frustrated, be sad, or even angry—but the key is to not let those emotions be the primary ones they experience dance or life through. They have their time and their place to be felt and expressed, but approaching all life throws at them with enthusiasm (i.e. that challenges will help them grow as people and improve their lives for having faced them) can help our dancers bounce back from anything.
It can be hard and terrifying to put your all into anything—it’s a kind of confidence in yourself, in your abilities and your possibility for growth, that even many adults can struggle with. (There’s also those dreaded teenage years, where having too much enthusiasm for anything can feel deeply uncool.) By creating a safe space and community based around enthusiasm—where enthusiasm is the norm—the studio is helping model a positive attitude and appreciation. This has two sides: not only is it absolutely cool to care about something and give all you can to it, but appreciating the challenges you’re presented with is the best way to take care of yourself and grow in any aspect of your life!
Enthusiasm really can also be seen as a type of care—your dancer caring about their teachers, families, fellow dancers, and especially themselves. To care about yourself and others is to give your all to your experiences with them (and with yourself!), meaning changing the mindset around problems and difficulties. Rather than approaching a hard class, a bad test grade, a fight with mom or a friend, or not meeting a goal with only irritation, unhappiness, or antagonism, giving your all and caring about these people and situations means accepting those feelings and moving forward—in positivity. Learning from hard experiences and growing from them is the key to enthusiasm, and will help our students not only in school and later work, but to better develop their interpersonal relationships (and relationship with their self and self-confidence!), as well.
As we said, the Showcase recital is just around the corner, and performing can be an anxiety-inducing time—especially for our newest dancers! As a studio, we appreciate the help our parents give us outside our walls to instill enthusiasm about hard and scary new challenges with their dancers, knowing it will only help build their confidence and form their outlook on life. We look forward to seeing all that enthusiasm up on stage in just a few short weeks!
This post is part of a series. Read our last core values post, all about Transparency, here. Check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
Find all of our latest news on our Scoil Rince Luimni Facebook page!