What I Aim For

Whenever I go on photoshoots of any kind, whether it be for landscapes during hikes, portraits, or street photography, the one thing I really try to aim for are sensations. I want people to feel something when they see that photo or when their photo is being taken. It might be sense of fun, lightheartedness, or confidence that they wouldn't otherwise feel on a daily basis. I always like to make jokes during portrait photoshoots, so that I can get a natural smile out of them that reflects on the camera, not the usual command of smiling, because at the end of the day it can look pretty tacky and shallow.

When I teach Dance, some of those same rules can be applied, but now I aim for my students to learn and continue to enjoy learning, not be force-fed information they don't want, because you get nothing out of it. Like with photoshoots, I aim to create a very fun, and enjoyable environment, and by doing so allowing them to grow in confidence of their own skills, and learning what they probably didn't know they could learn. I always make sure my students are safe and aren't in a position that they feel they will never get it. There is a saying that I live by, I don't care if you aren't the most technically skilled dancer, if you perform and make your audience feel SOMETHING , then you've done your job. 

I myself am not the most technically trained dancer, but people always come up to me and say how much that piece meant to them, or how my dancing/choreography made them cry, laugh, or excited. This is because I give my soul to a performance. I make up my lack of flexibility and technicality and replace it with strength and soul and that is what I expect from my dancers. Most of the people I teach have had no training whatsoever, but what they do have is the heart to learn, and I aim to nurture that and use it to my advantage. If you can show me how dedicated you are, I will pick you over the one who can do 30 turns in 1 min, because at the end of the day, a regular audience will not focus on such things, they will look at the whole picture. They will want to feel something, just anything.

When it comes to crunch time though, my classes tend to turn tense and very focused. I push them hard enough that they will push themselves to be better, but not to the point where they give up. I never ever want my students to feel that way, if they do, thats where I fail as a mentor and teacher. There will always a point where they feel as if they are too tired to continue or they feel they will never get it, that's when I stop practice and talk to them, connect with them, and reenergize that confidence that they temporarily lost. This being said, I am not the perfect teacher, I still make mistakes, but as long as my students are comfortable enough to tell me what I'm doing wrong without being disrespectful, that is all I ask for. Criticism is what will force you to grow. Without it you will never learn.

If there's anything to be taken from this article, it's this, everyone has the capacity to learn, no matter their circumstances. Even if you've never done it in your life, if you have the will to learn, then you open yourself up to a world of endless possibilities. I promise you that. 

If you want to check out one of performances just click here. Keep in mind that majority of the people dancing are not trained dancers of any sort.

Published by Catrece Ann Tipon


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