There are a few common comments that are bantered around that always get a rise out of me. Usually it is something to do with teachers…..and their holidays….or the fact that we work from 9 - 3…..(Excuse me while I put down my computer, on which I was programming at 9.30 at night.) Sometimes it’s about early education and how in Australia we believe that it’s ok to send kids to school at age 4 (Even though Finland has been top of the educational ladder for countless years and don’t send their kids to school until they are 7)....As you can tell, there are a few topics that get me riled up…..Today, it was a new one.
I have had this discussion with numerous people but today’s conversation/argument really got my goat!
So we are sitting over lunch…..(That’s when most of these heated discussions seem to happen!) and we get talking about the upcoming netball season. Someone throws in a comment about soccer, another about AFL…..all of the team sports that their kids (either their own or their adopted classroom offspring) are playing this winter. Anyway, talk turns to the benefits of team sport and, silly me, agrees. “Yes, I love how Little Miss Not Another Supermum gets those benefits as well…..from dancing.”
A few knowing nods, a couple of surprised, yet thoughtful looks and then it comes…..
”But dancing isn’t really a team sport, is it.” Not a question…..a statement.
Anyway, the conversation that followed was….well, interesting.
“But they don’t really need to work together as a team in dancing.”
I’ll remember that the next time my daughter’s dance troupe is rehearsing for hours on end to get their fouettes in perfect unison. Or when they weave in and out of each other in a routine, completely aware of the position of every person on that stage, all the while without taking their eyes off their audience. Complete awareness of every other team mate on that stage, without even looking at them. I’ll remind them then, that they aren’t working together.
“But it’s not like when they have to go to team training to get their plays right for the game that weekend.”
No, of course not. The 4 hours a week of group rehearsal time (not to mention Syllabus classes) that these kids spend in the studio, plus whole day rehearsals leading up to performances or competitions is nothing like training. Spending the entire year with the same group of kids, working to perfect a routine or performance. Making sure every head, arm, foot or leg height is working in harmonious unison. I’ll remind them that they are not training as a team, when they walk out of the studio red faced and dripping in sweat, only to sit down and peel the band aids off their toes to re-dress the painful blisters that they just worked through. I’ll remind them of that when, whilst they are sitting in that sweaty, stinky foyer peeling off the band aids, they are still discussing the group routine that they were just working on and how they could perfect it even more.
“But it’s dancing….it’s not really a sport.”
This one I agreed with. No, dancing is not a sport. Dancing is an art. These kids train as hard (dare I say….harder) as footballers, netballers, soccer players. Strength, flexibility and endurance and then get up on stage, work together as one……
and make it look like art. Seamless and beautiful.
You’re right….Dance is not a team “sport”.
And it’s created by groups of artists that dig deeper than I have ever seen.
They work together to evoke a human emotional response in their audience and to leave people in awe of the beauty that they have just created.
Sounds like team work to me.