Princess Dance Week 2011

I had the pleasure of teaching Princess Dance Week in our Randolph studio from 9 to 11:30 every day last week. With 8 kids, all very quiet for the first hour of day 1, I wondered how I would get through such time. I had the whole week’s activities planned out but at 10am on day 1, I threw away my plans, put the girls in a circle, and asked them what they liked and wanted to learn. From that moment on time flew by with a studio full of joy, smiles and laughter.

In addition to teaching dance, I brought Barbies for the girls and we had a dolly dance party – something I never would have thought of had I not had conversations with the girls. And of course it wouldn’t be “Princess Week” without make-up, so I taught them about lip stick and eye shadow and we played dress up. We had “Show and Tell”, played with the toys they wanted to bring from home, and listened to CD’s they brought in. Games, sing-a-longs, arts, crafts, and of course dancing! Adding these “electives” to the week was beneficial for all of us. It helped us truly enjoy dance class and build community within the studio, which is something that Dance Workshop has emphasized for more than 35 years.

I guess that the most important thing I’m trying to convey in this blog is this: As an instructor, dance class is much more than just dance education. We are responsible for creating a positive environment for the kids to learn and develop as dancers, and we bond with them inside it to surround them with a positive influence. It should be an environment that is social, open, polite and respectful.

I am happy to let parents know through this blog that dance teachers are an extra set of eyes for your children. We are protective of them as if they are ours. We listen to them, and guide them with you, because it’s a beautiful and rewarding experience to have a positive impact on a young child’s life.

One of the most memorable moments for me was when a sweet little princess opened her lunch box and inside was a picture of her mom with the words “I love you” written across. Her mother had put that there for her. I was so touched by it, because loving and kind children absolutely come from loving and kind parents. It is truly a pleasure to work with children AND their families. Thank you, to those of you who share your children with us – you made my summer!

About Miss Hilary

Hilary MacDonald is an instructor for Dance Workshop in Randolph and Easton. She started dancing with Dance Workshop at the age of 5, and has been teaching there since 2005. In 2010, Hilary completed the Women's Studies program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a focus in Women in the Arts. In 2006, Hilary performed on the UMass Dartmouth dance team. After transferring to UMass Amherst, she founded her own competitve Hip Hop dance team. The team performed at 10 events per semester and was nominated for Best Choreography at Starquest Dance Competition in 2009. That summer, Hilary was cast as a dancer and singer in a musical production at Six Flags New England. After college, Hilary coached Dance/Color Guard at Center High School. Her background also includes 15 years of gymnastics training and 5 years of instruction. She is a beam and floor exercise choreographer and will begin teaching dance at Spectrum Gymnastics Center this Fall, in addition to coaching. As volunteer work, Hilary performs 30 minute dance performances at elderly living communities all over the South Shore.
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