Would you believe me that coordination is taught, balance can be harnessed, and that “talent” is rather earned instead of a gift.
While we all have our gifts, in dance, the ONLY students I have ever seen in 30 years in the industry who are "gifted" are the ones who FOCUS and harness, craft, and develop their skills. It’s no wonder great dancers create great lives (I see this time & time again because dancers are incredible learners and never give up).
The ones who succeed in dance, (and Life), are the ones who are the first at the studio and the last to leave, the ones who keep asking why this is hard and work on it until it’s easy and natural.
There is no natural talent in dance because we are working with strength and physics. There is no way to cheat without injury, of course.
We start at age 3 teaching them the coordination to jump. While it may appear to be a fun exercise, these are the skills that are challenging to teach a ten year old who hasn’t learned to coordinate their arms and legs properly.
When adults tell me they didn’t have the coordination to dance, a red flag goes up for me as an educator. What you are really telling me is that your teacher did not know how to communicate coordination. Maybe they understood it for them, but they didn't know how to transfer and express it. Great teachers are great communicators. It's not just about knowledge. This is a tremendous gap for dancers. As a dancer, I spent about 20-30, and sometimes 40 hours in college learning, and listening. I did not have the same social life as other adults because I was quietly and passionately learning. Communication is not a natural skill for dancers.
The only way to be a successful dancer is to learn this skill of coordination, but often people do not learn it because the educators do not understand how to integrate it.
My first ballet teacher was Marina Levasheva, the daughter of Vladimir Levasheva, the director of the Bolshoi Ballet. She defected to the US and I trained with her for years. From beginner at 14, she taught me in 2 years to do 4 pirouettes on pointe and leap beautifully. I learned to do 50 fouettés on pointe in 2 years, beautifully, because I was taught coordination. Fouettes turns incorporate strength, endurance, balance, and coordination all in one and you'll often see them performed as a highlight at the end of a ballet.
I use and expand upon the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus because it teaches coordination starting at 3 years old and it flawlessly builds the foundation. I use 23 years of dance education to adapt and mold it to each individual class.
The point is that when your child is taught properly, they begin to believe in themselves and what is possible for them if they work intelligently. We believe in EVERY student. Everyone has the ability to develop if they decide to go after their dreams and what they want to become. The teacher helps to harness and facilitate the learning.
Who is empowering your child to challenge the status quo and to move through challenges? Who is reminding your child to believe in themselves AND giving them tools to succeed? These things get fostered right now as they grow. Now is the best time to foster your child’s intelligence, empowerment, and physical education.