By Jennifer Wiesner, Director
Originally published by latin Colors Magazine on July 2016
Who doesn’t remember when in elementary school, the teachers would make us practice without rest, choreographies of folkloric dances to then be presented in the homeland’s festivities, sports activities, etc.?! At least that happened in my hometown Guayaquil when I was a child. It was one of the activities the public enjoyed the most.
I remember that moms would strive to confection our typical costumes up to the last detail to make us look good. Personally, I enjoyed it very much. Although that wasn’t the case for many of my classmates; for them it was the opposite. A painful experience. The nerves, the mistakes, their memory betrayed them. In a certain way, I clearly had an advantage, I had started my dancing career at 6 years old. I won’t deny that in the beginning, it was an intimidating experience, but with the instruction of my teachers I could assimilate it.
This experience is just what we try to teach in my own dancing school called “Studio Arte”. On June 19th, in the “Quick Center of the Arts” of Farfield University in CT, we celebrated our performance called: “Elemental”. More than 160 students of all ages participated in it. It was an unforgettable evening, the students were happy to have done such a great performance, parents were proud of their children and us, the teachers were very satisfied of all the work we accomplished.
But all this could not have been achieved without the instruction of the teachers, just how my teachers did with me. Now I will mention certain points about why the importance of performing on stage:
Performing on stage is what justifies all the hard work we do in the class room, for teachers and students. For the students it’s a moment of luxury where they can shine and for teachers is a moment of complete satisfaction to see our students in action. Students get the feeling they have reached their goal, that they have achieved something, that they finally made it, which is very important for their lives outside of the stage.
The performance completes the reason of why we dance. The lights, the adrenaline, the audiences euforia are things that every artist needs to feel. That feeling becomes memorable for life.
Parents can appreciate the progress of the student, and at the same time feel proud of their children.
For some kids, to perform is natural, but not for everyone. The truth is that it’s not that easy; it requires a lot of preparation. As a dance teacher, I make it so the student feels secure of his choreography, that he practices until he or she finds the necessary confidence to say: “I can do it”. This sentence does not apply only for those 5 minutes on stage, but also in their life. They’ll find themselves in circumstances in life where only self confidence, ability to work under pressure, importance of teamwork, passion and love for what they do will help them say: “I CAN DO IT”<