A fear of failure is commonly prominent amongst children when they are exploring something for the first time. As a teacher I often experience children mentally withdrawing 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 can 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 teaching practice.
Every child needs a space where they feel they can trust those around them, explore themselves free of judgement 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/ made mistakes or hit a creative wall, that this is part of the learning process. IT'S OK TO FALL OVER AFTER A PIROUETTE (SPIN), YOU ARE HALFWAY THERE WHEN YOU GET BACK UP AGAIN!
When children turn to us for guidance we can often be tempted to give them 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, the child is capable of finding a solution and discovering the answer themselves. By discovering the answer for themselves the child increases their sense of autonomy and as a result is more confident to explore in the future. Therefore, we find that redirecting the question to see if they can find the answer themselves is a valuable tool for encouraging independent thinking, problem solving, and creative confidence.
For children to make their minds more flexible, it's important for them to know there is flexibility in life. Allowing them to lay out all the options, list all possibilities and explore different avenues and ways of approaching things can help them to explore their creative thinking on a deeper level.
Catering for children to develop creatively and celebrating creativity is an essential part of education and life. We 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