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Nationals 2024 Recap

We are back in town after an amazing week in Destin at Platinum Nationals!

What a week we had! Our girls were surrounded by an insane amount of talent at this competition and were blown away at the dances we got to witness. Attending Nationals provided us with more than just an opportunity to showcase our talent - it was an extraordinary opportunity for growth, learning and inspiration. As an educator, this event left an incredible mark on my teaching philosophy and approach. Here is a reflection on how this experience has enriched me, and how I plan to bring this inspiration back to our students at PDC.

One of the most valuable aspects of attending any dance competition is the opportunity to learn from our judges critiques, choreographers and fellow educators. Our girls had the opportunity to participate in master classes and workshops this week and loved every minute. Each session provided them with educational opportunities into various dance styles, and they loved learning from new teachers. We value the convention experience at PDC just as much as we value competition, and we were so thankful the girls were able to participate in classes over the week!

Watching dancers from different backgrounds and training was an education in itself. The diversity in movement, expression and interpretation was profound. It reminded me of the beauty of dance as a universal language and the importance of encouraging my students to find their unique voice within this art form. It also reinforced the idea that there is no single path to excellence; instead, it's about finding and nurturing individuality.

Competitions can be tough, with high stakes and intense scrutiny. However, the feedback we received from our judges was invaluable. It highlighted areas for improvement, provided constructive criticism, and offered praise where due. This balanced feedback is something I plan to integrate more deeply into my teaching, helping my students to see critique not as a negative but as a pathway to growth.

Nationals also provided a platform to connect with other dance educators and professionals. There were two other studios from the Tallahassee area in attendance, and it was great to share the space with those studio owners. Beyond this, each staff member from other studios I interacted with throughout the whole week were kind, encouraging and full of love for dance. From Sharing experiences, discussing challenges, and exchanging ideas with peers helped me feel part of a larger community. These connections are not just about networking but about building a support system where we can learn from and inspire each other.

After returning home and having a chance to rest and reflect, I am overflowing with ideas and enthusiasm for PDC. Here are a few ways I plan to use this inspiration into my teaching, and our studio:

  1. Advancing techniques and styles: I am looking forward to continued growth in all of the genres we offer at PDC, and am excited to discuss ways we can grow and improve in our staff training as well as through our classes at the studio. This includes the involvement of our master educators that are visiting this summer, as well as continuing education for my staff members.

  2. Enhanced feedback mechanisms: Providing more structured and constructive feedback sessions with our students will help them understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

  3. Encouraging individuality: Promoting the idea that each dancer has a unique story to tell will empower our students to express themselves more authentically through their movements.

  4. Community building: Though I feel this is one of the areas in which PDC is the strongest, I am going to continue to work toward fostering a sense of community within our studio where students feel supported and inspired by each other.

Attending Nationals was an enlightening experience that has enriched my love of teaching and rekindled my passion for dance. The lessons learned and gained are invaluable. I am excited to share this journey with our students and watch them grow as dancers and individuals.

Outside of watching and attending competition, we were able to go to the beach, celebrate a birthday, eat a LOT of ice cream, hit up the arcade, shop at the outlets and spend a lot of time with friends and family creating memories that will last a lifetime.

P.S. Did I mention our Micro Minis were crowned NATIONAL CHAMPIONS?

Here's to season six, more competition experiences in 2024-2025, and endless opportunities for learning and growth!

Ms. Lindsey

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