Turning to Technology
By Melissa Roxey I want to preface this by saying I am not a fan of screens! As many of you have witnessed I do not sit or stay still for long. These past few months have been a huge transition for me, both mentally and physically. So for all of you out there that do not want to learn from a screen, I hear, feel, and understand you. However, what I want more is to continue to do what brings me happiness and contentment and this is teaching dance and bringing a smile to everyone’s face. So I turn to the screen and technology to continue moving forward with what I love.
We all know we do not have options in how we are instructed. The only option is to dig deep and turn to technology to continue to learn and grow or stop. I choose and hope you choose to be unstoppable. I also know this too will pass and when it does I want to come out brighter, smarter, and stronger than before and with a greater ability to adapt.
As parents it is my hope you will help your children see this. Their minds are not equipped to make these decisions. Their minds are equipped to make a decision based on how they feel in the moment. Engaging in conversation on learning and growing during this time by asking questions and creating space for your child to share their feelings will empower them to keep going. Change is not easy and especially with little notice. For our youngest students I welcome older siblings and parents to participate in class with them. We know actions speak louder than words. We also know class on a screen at home is quite different from an in person class at a separate location! All is good. From parents and siblings joining in, to the special appearance of pets, to the exposure of our very well lived in homes, to the mishaps with technology we are all learning and growing in ways we would not have prior to #stayathome.
And now for the white elephant in the room...But are virtual online classes worth it?
Now more than ever children need to be connecting with friends, peers, and their teachers. Keeping them connected to their community through virtual lessons is key to helping them get through quarantine emotionally sound. While your child may not be advancing at the speed of light when it comes to virtuosity by practicing their grand allegro (big jumps) they are benefitting in many other ways. Teachers are giving students more creative exercises through improvisation and unique choreography. Students are also instructed to dance smarter by executing simpler combinations in efforts to develop correct muscle memory and better execution of positions and lines. Students are able to reconnect with peers and teachers that have relocated. However, the most important skill they are acquiring is the ability to adapt at a high level. This is what we teachers at the Mill Ballet are committed to. It is through these lessons during this unprecedented time that our students and your children will develop the tool to zoom through life whatever life shall bring!