The conference was held in Arizona, which is an incredibly beautiful state- and really, the heat was not that bad! It was so nice to step into a completely new environment, get away, and focus on rejuvenating my dance spirit. The conference was jam-packed with classes relating to all aspects of the dance world. Most days we had classes from early morning to late evening. Non-stop dance information central! Also, there were a great amount of vendors to learn more about. Of course I loved visiting the costume vendors- so many cute costumes for little ones! And it was interesting to see different dance competition/performance options, clothing vendors, curriculum providers, marketing options, and more. I fell in love with the Magical Kingdom of Dance Company and Twinkle Toes Dance! They taught classes to us teachers incorporating their methods and props. It was so inspiring and I learned bundles of new things to incorporate into my classes- especially for the little ones. I've already tested out my new ballet resources with preschool-kindergarten age dancers and I think it will help greatly with remembering ballet terminology and proper form, in a fun kid-friendly way!
In addition to the crazy amounts of new hip hop, tap, jazz, improv, etc ideas I learned, I gained so much in regards to why I do what I do. I always knew I loved being a dance educator for much more than just teaching dance moves, but this conference helped me rekindle that spirit. I love teaching dance because I get to make a difference in the lives of young people- every single day. I get to be a role-model and influential presence in the lives of developing youth. Teaching dance is the secondary aspect, first and foremost I am a mentor and a leader. Dance is an incredible opportunity for youth to learn to express themselves, gain confidence and friendships, to learn responsibility, teamwork, goal-setting, perseverance, and hard work. Dance class is the venue, but the skills developed will surpass any dance career and help serve young people as they blossom into leaders of tomorrow.
I am so excited for the new dance season to begin soon so I can further my role of mentor, leader, teacher. :)