This week I start a new adventure (I know! Another one). I am taking on the role of being a tap teacher! Never in my life would I think that would ever be something I would do.
I took tap class when I was younger but quit around thirteen years old. I hadn’t done any tapping other than a random time step or two since then. This last June during recital time, I committed myself to learning my class’ tap dance a week before the recital. I was not wonderful, but it was fun to get back into it.
While my teacher was working out the fall schedule this summer, she realized the only way she could teach the boys tap and tumbling class would be if someone else taught the two youngest age groups their tap portion of class, and she would teach their ballet when the boys were done.
Since my life was taking a big change with my hubby changing his job, she thought it would be a great way to help her out as well as offset some of our dance cost.
After committing to do it, I woke up many mornings thinking….I CAN’T DO THIS! What was I thinking?? I just got back in to tap class this summer. Why would I be able to teach it? I’ve never wanted to be a teacher like that. Even though it’s the little kids, what if I don’t know what to do?
All the “I can’ts” were running through my head until I realized a few things that I needed to fight against them.
1. Positive thoughts and prayer
Thinking about all the things that I can’t do or am worried about would not be helpful. Every time I thought something negative, it made the knot in my stomach get worse. Saying a prayer and thinking about all the things I can do would be a lot better for my mind and my stomach.
2. Confidence (even if it’s not your own)
My teacher thinks I can do it. That’s enough. She has seen me dance, has taught me to dance, so she has complete confidence in my abilities. She wouldn’t let me or ask me to do it if I didn’t have what it takes. There will be some things I will have to learn, but she knows that I can do it. I have to use the confidence that she has in me to boost my own.
If you decide to have confidence it gives you what you need to move forward. Maybe your mom or dad, your husband or wife, or your kids will give you the confidence that you need to take the first step. As you see that you can do it then your confidence will grow.
3. Plan of Action
Part of the problem was that I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to be doing. I knew that as soon as she gave me the lesson plans then it would take care of a lot of my nerves. I also participated in the last class of the summer to get a feel again for how she does it.
If you sit down and write out or if someone else needs to write out a plan for what you are going to do then that takes away a lot of the unknown. You have a way to move forward because you know the next step. If you are starting a business venture or a creative business (wink wink), put your ideas on paper or an idea board to show yourself that you have a plan. Seeing it written out shows you that you just have to take it one step at a time.
You can do so much more than you think. You just have to start. Just try it and see. You might be surprised that all those “I can’ts” are actually “I cans.”
So I taught my first tap class. It wasn’t a complete disaster, but…I will just be the helper from now on. I learned that I can do anything, but sometimes, I just shouldn’t. So how do you know when you shouldn’t?:
1. You try and it’s obvious it’s not for you.
Sometimes you don’t know until you try. You may not think you can do it, but you won’t know if you don’t step out and give it a go. I learned that I could do it, but I would have to work really hard to make it good. I don’t want the girls there for tap class to have to put up with me all semester so I can learn to do it better. They deserve more.
2. Someone else is better suited for it.
My helper was AMAZING. She was so much better at teaching the girls than I was. She related to them well, and they all seemed so much more excited when she was leading. The energy level dropped when I was in charge. It came alive with her! I knew that she would do a better job, and I needed to step back so she could do it well.
I am glad that I tried. It gave me opportunity to learn more about myself. I am so happy to be able to assist, and I have so much more respect for my teacher and the others that teach at the Studio. It takes a lot of energy and a special kind of person to teach these sweet girls.