by Lucy Vurusic Riner
There is a lot of talk that typically surrounds the plight of the millennial. Did their parents raise them to be self-sufficient? What sort of work ethic do they have? How do their values and morals play out in today’s workforce?
And, for me as a teacher, how do I impart my “Gen X wisdom” on them in dance class?
I wonder about this each day as I watch my students come into class. They really do toggle back and forth from being complete perfectionists and go-getters to being completely entitled and lazy. As a parent I wonder when their character will begin to take shape and how much influence their own parents have over the kinds of humans that are walking into my dance class each day. As an executive director of a dance company I wonder if I would hire more than a fraction of them upon graduating from college.
Attitude matters these days.
Teaching high school dancers (and I believe this extends well into college as well) is challenging in that most of our students are setting goals that are superficial; or what I like to call surface level. They read the syllabus or the rubric to see what they need to do to get the A or get cast in the role and then they simply do the bare minimum to make that happen. There is a preconceived notion that if you’ve done all the work, you now deserve the job. Period. The problem is that a lot of them can do the work. A lot of them can even do the work well; but there aren’t enough jobs for the amount of dancers we’re cranking out these days.
We need to teach them that doing the work is standard. It’s status quo. It’s the bare minimum expectation. It’s what happens after you’ve done part one that leaves an impression. It’s more than just bringing your skills and talents. Attitude, character and work ethic matter. [Read more…]