As mentioned previously the fear of failure is always prominent amongst children when they are exploring something for the first time. As a teacher I often experience children withdrawing mentally from the space when asked to put forward their own ideas and explore their own Ballet improvisations and creations. It is noticeable that there is a fear of not being 'good enough' feeling ridiculed, or not knowing where to start. This is a painful reality and realisation that children often feel such anxiety towards creative processes. Children often express such a lack of confidence that they appear to rely upon us consistently for answers rather than looking to themselves for a solution. So much so that nurturing creativity has become a fundamental part of my classroom, my ethos and central for my sense of self.
Firstly every child needs a space that they feel they can trust, a safe place to explore free of judgment and free of expectation. They need to know that when it comes to their own imagination that whatever they create is something, and that something is valued. They need to know that should they feel they have failed that this is part of the learning process. ITS OK TO FALL OVER AFTER A PIROUETTE (SPIN), YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE WHEN YOU GET BACK UP AGAIN!
When children turn to us for guidance we are tempted to give the answer, take control and guide them in the right direction. Guidance when needed is good, a child shouldn't feel abandoned when they seek help, but more often than not they are capable of finding a solution and offering the answer themselves. So redirect the question to see if they can find the answer themselves. This is far more valuable as not only do they get the answer but they have also gained from the experience of problem solving themselves.
For children to make their minds more flexible they need to know there is flexibility in life, allow them to lay out all the options, list all possibilities and explore different avenues and ways of approaching things.
Seemingly seeking to cater for children to develop creatively and celebrating creativity is an essential part of education and life. As a Ballet Teacher i feel very passionately about providing this opportunity and creating a space where creativity is at the heart of what we do and who we are.
Ballet is poetry of the body, may we let our verses run wild off the page and may our language endeavour to illuminate the reader