Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reflections from students

A lot can happen in four weeks..... there was so much growth and change for the students at the NYSSSA School of Dance program.  We finished our dance conditioning program by creating three day conditioning plans combining elements of cardiorespiratory, plyometrics, physioball, weight training, stretching and relaxation and injury prevention -- each student looked at the exercises/tactics we learned and what their bodies need to create one especially for them. 

Here's a photo of our entire group during our last class:

We also ended with a conversation on some of the body work we had completed the day before -- when we work with a partner to go through a range of motion of our muscle groups (flexing and extending, abducting and adducting, and rotation of our joints) without using our own muscular strength... our partner did the heavy lifting for us.  We found some easy relaxation -- I think it was some of the students favorite days! 

I asked the students to complete a final write-up, for me mostly, to see how our summer had gone:

I asked several questions and I was truly moved by what the students had to share with me, feedback on the summer and what they learned from our class.  Here's a few samples of what the students had to say:

This summer I learned...
  • About the body and how to keep my body healthy while doing a lot of intense work.  
  • I learned not to beat myself up about my body type.  There's a reason I find my cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance to be so poor and it's not something that I've done wrong.  I now know what I can do to get myself stronger.  
  • I learned not to be intimidated when I walk into a gym and see guys benching 150 lbs. or more. I have my own specialized workout for me to focus on improving a "dancer's" body.  
  • This summer I learned... so much!  All the information about fueling my body/about my body, how to present myself in front of an audience, how to push my body/mind farther...
  • I learned a lot about injury prevention and nutrition.  It was interesting to learn how crucial carbs are to a dancer's body when they're training.  
  • This summer I learned that working out is not dreadful, it makes me feel really good about myself.  
  • I learned that I can accomplish anything if I set my mind to it and am willing to take risks.
And when the final question asked the students if there was anything else they'd like me to know, some wrote....
  • You are amazing. This class taught me so much. I hope we stay in contact. I notice from what we have done in class my energy has improved and stamina for dance pieces has been much better. 
  • I loved spending these 4 weeks with you! 
  • This class was amazingly helpful and so inspirational.  Your methods (teaching) and attitude make everything enjoyable. 
  • Your class has been beyond helpful and I would like you to know you have impacted my life in a positive way. The things learned here will be carried along for the rest of my life!
  • I loved this class! It was a nice pick me up when I had a difficult day.  
  • You were a really wonderful, supportive teacher. Always smiling and engaging, you encouraged everyone to do their best.  I felt comfortable with you and feel like I learned a great deal about body conditioning.  
I was so moved by these comments and it helps to reassure my desire to share this information with the dance community -- young and old!  I have to thank the students for their openness and trust in me -- it shaped the success of our summer.  We supported one another while investigating new information about ourselves and health and wellness related to dancers. 


And this blog will continue on as we continue on..... keep in touch!

1 comment:

  1. Marisa, I love reading these comments from your students They are so very lucky to have you!! :) go you!