This post is part of circle time over at Dance Advantage!
Sometimes my students say “Miss Maria, where is your tutu?” My answer: “It got lost in the laundry!” Then we giggle and that’s the end of that. They don’t ask often, but when they do I make sure they know it’s just fine that we look different. I encourage this between students too. I don’t have a dress code for my students, and if it’s up to me, I never will. I believe every student is different and therefore they should wear something different. After all, we are artists and that is one way we can express ourselves.
A while back I saw a job posting for a teacher in a Facebook group I belong to that said this:
“Dance Studio seeking dancer to be our Ballerina Princess to teach 2-4 year olds on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Must be upbeat, energetic and wear our Ballerina costume that we provide.”
Ok, this post made me crazy upset. Ballerina costume? Sigh. I hope I can put my feelings into words about this without making any of you mad at me. I just think it’s insane that a teacher has to be a “princess” and wear a costume just to teach this young age. Whoever this person is would be blown away by what my 2 year olds can do as I teach in my sweat pants and bare feet. I am confident about your students too.
I know people have different opinions on this, so I don’t want too ruffle many feathers, but I do want teachers to think about what it is they are role modeling for these young students while being a “princess” and teaching in a tutu. As you can probably tell, my students dance about real life as much as we can. Meaning, they can take the dances and ideas and apply them to the real world. I know other teachers have other philosophies and that is the beauty of it all.
While I mulling over writing about this, I was trying to compare this to other art forms. Would a music teacher dress up as a ummm, clown? or instrument? Would an art teacher dress up as a paint brush or crayon? NO WAY! They wouldn’t dream of it! So why would dance teachers dress up as a “ballerina princess?”
The best example I can give to what I wear to teach in is, I get dressed in the morning, teach 6 classes and then go out to dinner with my husband all in the same outfit. Ok, sweatpants are not the best dinner date option, but it works for me.
Does this bother anyone else as much as it did me? What you wear is what you wear and I respect that, but I do believe what you wear should not be a substitute for your teaching.
Just be a good teacher and what you wear matter. Right?
There, phew! So happy to get that off my chest! Thanks for listening! 🙂
How about you? Have anything to say or share on this topic? I would love to hear and discuss it with you! xo