The dance industry has changed dramatically since I was a professional in the 90’s.
Dance magazines only came out once per month with images of our inspirational icons and you could count on two hands the professional performers that really ignited your passion for dance. Nowadays, thousands of dancers of all ages are famous! You can follow them, direct message them and even find out what they ate for breakfast in real time.
Social media can be truly useful with responsibility, skill and maturity. However, it can also exponentially increased the negative effects of our image-obsessed culture of competition, critique and judgement making it challenging for children to understand how to cultivate a healthy self-image and develop strong communication and relationship skills. And it's these missing social and emotional skills that give our children a genuine sense of community, connection and acceptance among their peers.
How do we counteract a cultural crisis of epidemic proportions?
In 2018, bullying, elitism, self-centered attitudes and exclusion are pervasive throughout our culture and we need to learn how to effectively meet this crisis head-on. Luckily, the concern for the emotional & mental health of our youngest generation has reached the mainstream - and the dance industry. We are not living in the dance world we grew up in. So we cannot teach the way we were taught. We need to add some new skills to our teacher toolbox if we are going to part of the solution.
We’ve got some inspiration for you this summer!
Come and meet me - Jessica Michaels, Global Program Director of Wingman for Dance - a social and emotional skills program of experiential activities created for the dance industry - and Ian Hockley, Project Director of Dylan’s Wings of Change. We’ll share how to inspire your dancers to be compassionate, connected, courageous young heroes as well as “7 Simple Steps to Dramatically Improve Teamwork, Inclusion and Positivity Within Your Dance Studio”
2018 Tour Schedule:
July 20, 2018, Norton, MA: Project Motivate - Special Guests/Seminar
Aug 7-9, 2018 - Toronto, ON: Dance Teacher Expo, Keynote Speech
Aug 10-12, 2018 - Chicago, IL: Energize, Seminar
Wingman for Dance is a program from Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation dedicated to the memory of Dylan Hockley, one of the first grade victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Dylan was six years old and had autism, and could be his best when those around him would be his Wingman. Dylan's Wings of Change is a part of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation,a 501c3 registered public charity.