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Beyond the Demonstrator - Day 4: Trust, Reset Triggers, and Playing to Win

So I’ve been teaching now BEYOND THE DEMONSTRATOR for awhile now. I’m returning back to the same students who I know, at the studios where I am familiar. And I walked in…. knowing I was going to kill it.


Photo: Dave Moore Photography


Make time to Prepare

I practiced some of the techniques I’ve been preaching. I choreographed two beginner MT and Tap numbers off the top of my head without actually doing them. I identified appropriate songs that I thought they would like, broke down the lyrics, and applied the dance skills we were working on, and used my imagination and my inner dancer to make sure it feels right. And with any luck, it went really really really well. It takes some time to practice this way of thinking/choreographing dance - but somehow I think it's really efficient starting with analyzation verses pure muscle memory and instinct.


“New Girl in Town” - Hairspray Transcription

8 counts to start


Hey look out for that moving van Driving down our streets

- Squat – hands out,

- stand straight hands over mouth,

- R hand point from LtR

You better lock up your man Before he meets

- R hand Snap on “You” over head

- Pivot R, front and back

- R Run in place 8

The new girl in town

Who just came on the scene

- RL step touch forward,

- R jazz square

The new girl in town

Can't be more than sixteen

- RL Step Touch

- R Hip Bounce x4 – Both hands point up to down x4

And she's got a way of makin' A boy act like a clown

- RL Grapevine

- R 3 step turn

Wo-oo, wo-oo, wo-oo, wo-oo

- pony RL


We don't know what to do 'Bout the new girl in town

- RL Step touch, RL hands out

- Hands on thighs Squat on “do”

- Both hands rainbow out slow to hips, R Hip bounce x2

- R Run for 8



Patience/Trust/Pixie Dust

I prepared well. Part of which means anticipating potential challenges and having the adaptability to make the time to fix it. And know that, especially in a class setting, it’s not about the result. It’s about the process, about overcoming challenges, about choosing to dance – over and over again.

And a lot of that comes from shedding your skin of ego, of your own self-awareness. Accepting the conditions/rules of the game of which you are living – and play to win.


The only hiccup was a repeat issue of the one younger student surviving another private ballet class and into another hour of Jazz/Tap. She’s 8. She’s tapped out. The other students are just getting started. It’s a hard transition at 8 years old. And I’m not a great discipliner. I think it would involve a conversation to the student and parent about using some ...


Reset Triggers

- Bring a snack

- A water bottles (bizarre I know, but the children don’t know about water being an asset to class)

- Take a Walk around the building

- Take 5 minutes to color a picture?


Something to reset the brain away from all the physical activity. She had brought a book, but was reading it…in my mind…at inappropriate times (when we should be dancing). What I should have done. And am doing right now. Is acknowledging for her, this book was her reset tool. And that we should have a conversation about how to use the book and when to read. And if she doesn’t want to read, and be distracted by her friends that's fine. We just need to acknowledge that together – student and teacher.


Accepting the Rules of the Game

At one point, she needed to go the bathroom during class (classic). And was scared to go in there due to “something” in there. Walking is a little bit of a haggle for me using my crutches so I tried to converse that it was still fine, or to go talk to another teacher to go check it out. She refused. So pushing passed my ego, my lazy self aware inner eye, and I got up to go check out the scene. It was just some construction, with a family restroom right next door. After she got her adventure kick and got me to move out of the room, she accepted her fate as using this family restroom. Why would I create conflict? Nobody likes conflict? Especially coming from the superior self-aware egotistical always right teacher. You play the game. We both got to go on an adventure, and instead of dwaddling over the situation back and forth, solved the problem together, and was able to do what I wanted as well which is move on.


Overcoming Challenges and Choosing to Dance – Over and Over Again: Process.


The more you believe in yourself – and push past the pity party of your recovery, accept the rules of the game, the more you and your students can get back to the business of growth.


Had I not been in this condition I might not have had the perception to really digest what was happening in my class. Not because I wasn’t prepared before, but because I was more laissez faire, not fully awake or aware. And now I’m taking time to actually reflect. And that mindfulness will help you breath, expand, and participate in a new and exciting world with new rules. Will you play to win?

- Jordan Woods

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