All the World’s a Stage . . . 5 Life Skills Learned through Theatre

Beyond the various acting, singing and dancing skills that they will acquire, there are also numerous life lessons that students can learn as part of a stage production.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,”

William Shakespeare “As You Like It”

When Shakespeare wrote these lines, he was comparing the art of acting on stage to the in and outs of everyday life. As a teacher, this got me thinking about all of the important life lessons and skills that our students learn while they’re taking part in drama or musical theatre classes. Beyond the various acting, singing and dancing skills that they will acquire, there are also numerous life lessons that students can learn as part of a stage production. Check out our list of 5 life skills learned through theatre below.
Success Through Preparation
Drama students learn that there is a lot of work that goes into a performance. From memorizing lines to learning dance choreography, it’s important that they put in the time to prepare before opening night. Learning about the connection between preparation and success teaches a young person that their effort matters, and the importance of preparation versus trying to wing it at the last minute.
Accepting Disappointment – Bouncing Back
Auditions are a part of every stage performance. Preparing a song or a monologue, and performing it for the director and those in charge of the production is important in order to determine who will play each role. The reality here is that an actor will not always receive the role that he or she tried out for, and that is disappointing. It’s definitely okay to be disappointed when you don’t get what you were hoping for, but processing that disappointment, and then moving on is crucial to a young person’s emotional and social development.
Keep Showing Up – Even When Things Don’t Go Your Way
So, what happens when your child’s name is on the casting sheet, but not in the role that they were hoping for? Do they quit and go home, or accept the director’s decision, and continue to participate? Obviously, as a parent we want them to accept this change and still be a part of the performance. It’s important to learn that things won’t always go according to their plan, but that accepting this change could still be a good thing. It’s also important to accept the authority of the director as the leader of the production, and respect their decision and their
Don’t Let Fear Keep You From Trying Something
Stepping onto the stage to perform can be daunting for anyone. However, the thrill of working with others to entertain an audience is also undeniable. Facing their nerves and fears (What if I’m not good? What if I make a mistake? What if I forget my lines?) will help your child learn to tackle new things head on rather than running away from what scares them. Tackling their fears early in life will help them to courageously go after even bigger dreams down the road.
If It’s Not Working – Do Something Different
Productions go through countless changes and tweaks on their way to opening night. One day a director might ask for a scene to be played one way, but then ask for something completely different during the next rehearsal. Perhaps that high note in a song isn’t quite working, so it’s changed out for a whole new section, or even a whole new song. Flexibility and adaptability are key attributes that young performers need to acquire during rehearsals for a show. Resistance to change could slow things down, and also create more stress for the actor and those around them. Learning to adapt quickly with the changes will not only help to bring the performance together, but will also help them to roll with the many changes of our busy and constantly changing world.
We inspire confidence and joy through theatre classes, and we would love to show you how. Come try a class to learn more. Starting classes with us is easy. Visit http://www.dancepointe.org/get-started.html to schedule your trial classes with our introductory program. We can’t wait to meet you!

My Child Has the Flu – Should They Stay Home Today?

It’s winter once again, which means it gets dark at 5, you’ve got snow piling up outside, and it’s flu season. The flu virus causes upper respiratory infections, and can include symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. It is most often spread when a person with the flu sneezes, coughs or talks. It can be spread on surfaces, but this is less common.

If your child comes down with the flu, it’s best to keep them home from school and other activities for at least a few days. It’s recommended that you keep your child home for at least 24 hours after any fever has broken. This means that the fever has gone down on its own, and not with the aid of any medications. If they are still struggling with other symptoms, such as a persistent cough or runny/stuffy nose, they should also stay home until those symptoms clear up. 

It may seem harmless for a sick person to go back to their normal activities before they are completely well, but there are some for whom the flu could be quite dangerous. Children who are younger than five years of age, and those with asthma or other health disorders can become very ill if they contract the flu.   It can also be dangerous for pregnant women and the elderly. It’s important to remember who your child may come in contact with when deciding how soon they should resume their activities. 

We know that your children love their classes at Dance Pointe, and we love seeing them each week. However, if your child is sick please keep them home for a few days to get better. It’s important for them to get the rest that they need, and we’d like to keep our other students and teachers healthy. We’ll be excited to see them once again when they are well. Thank you!

Before we go, here’s a quick tip on how to properly wash your hands, which is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs and to stay healthy.  Follow the steps below to wash your hands right every time.

    • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold)
    • Turn off the tap and apply soap
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel

 

Skills from the Stage

Our lives are all pretty busy these days. So, when it comes to finding activities for your children, you want something that makes the most out of the time that your family is investing. One activity that combines a fun experience for your child with important life skills is musical theater and drama. Check out our list of five skills learned on the stage to see how your child could grow from this experience.

  1. Self-Confidence
    Preparing a performance for the stage gives a child or young adult the opportunity to be in front of a crowd and speak in front of others. Through practice, they gain confidence in their ability to express themselves creatively, and to communicate with their peers and the audience. The trust that they develop in themselves will encourage them to attempt other new ventures, and they will find success when they are confident in their own abilities.
  2. Flexibility & Problem Solving
    We all know that life doesn’t always go according to plan, and kids who can learn to roll with the changes will experience less anxiety and adapt more quickly to those changes. Improvisational games and other drama teaching techniques help kids learn how to think on their feet, and how to work through mistakes. Learning to move past how things “were supposed to go,” and solve the problem in front of them is a great life skill to learn early on.
  3. Teamwork
    There is nothing quite like the feeling that comes from performing together on stage. The weeks of preparation and the rush of performing creates a bond between everyone involved. Students learn how to work together, solve problems and listen to one another. It also creates strong bonds and friendships that last well beyond the final bows.
  4. Language & Communication
    Learning new songs, memorizing a script and practicing their lines can help children and young adults to develop their vocabulary, project their voice so that others can hear them, and articulate words clearly so that they can be understood. In addition, they can also learn how to use facial expressions and body language to convey their character’s thoughts and feelings.
  5. Concentration
    It takes a lot of focus and concentration to learn lines, and to remember to stay “in character” throughout practice and a performance. Kids can learn how to stay in the moment while performing, and to block out various other distractions. This ability to center themselves and stay focused will be a huge asset to them in school and other areas of life.

If your child or young adult is ready to take the stage, please join us for Shrek the Musical, Jr. This show is a fun and twisted fairy tale that is adapted for young performers featuring a host of over-the-top roles for an expandable cast. With colorful sets and costumes, songs full of laughs and familiar characters, this show is a great choice for young performers.

Ready to take the stage? Join us at Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, January 10th at 6:30 pm, or on Friday, January 12th at 6:00 pm to audition for Shrek the Musical, Jr. We can’t wait for you to join us!

Holiday Gifts that Last

As a new parent, I am so excited for Christmas! Watching my little one experience his first Christmas with all of the lights, music and gifts from loved ones will be a lasting memory.  Speaking of gifts, now that I’m a parent, I’m finding out just how many questions parents have when it comes to choosing presents for their kids. Will my little one play with and learn from this toy, or will it be forgotten in the corner? Will this stand up to all of his baby energy, or is it going to be broken in a month? With all of the baby gear and other baby must-haves filling up my home, I’m starting to wonder how it’s all going to fit!

When they’re young, children need toys and games to stimulate their little minds. However, as they grow it’s also important for them to acquire experiences as well as tangible gifts. These experiences can include family vacations, trips to local museums, sporting events and lessons designed to teach a skill and inspire them creatively.

One great experience that you can give to your child is the opportunity to learn to play a music instrument, dance or play a part on stage. As a dance teacher and studio owner for many years, I know the positive impact that the performing arts can have in a child’s life. Kids who participate in the arts perform better in school, and develop creativity, responsibility, and diligence.  They also form strong bonds with their teachers who impart so much more than the steps in a dance or the notes on a page. As their teachers, we watch them grow over the years, and work hard to help them achieve their goals.   Students can also develop strong friendships with their fellow students that provide lots of laughs, encouragement and camaraderie as they grow.

I would love for your child to experience the arts at Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center.  We offer a variety of classes in dance, music and drama, and I’m sure that you’ll find one that your child will love.  We are so grateful to work with each child to pursue their goals and discover new skills.

We’re currently offering a discount on class Gift Certificates for the holiday season, which will fit nicely into a stocking or a box under the tree. You can purchase these at the studio, or via the link below. This is a great way to provide your child with an enriching experience that they will carry with them through their childhood and beyond.

CLICK HERE to purchase class gift certificates on the Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center website.

Pile of Presents