Tonight, two of my children performed at the band shell in Williamston, Michigan.  On Thursday nights, this is where Williamston showcases area talent.  This evening, they had a live band playing summer-y tunes, so they asked our dance studio to perform to the music.  My son was performing a partnering piece with a beautiful dancer who was Clara this past year in the Nutcracker.  My daughter danced to another song with her ballet class.   I didn’t go and watch them though, because my teacher had told me the guest instructor for my ballet class was HER teacher, who I have studied with a few times before and absolutely adore.

I was running late, arriving at the studio to see the class already starting their warm-ups as I frantically changed into my skirt and slippers.  The two girls who were leading the warm-ups were senior students who had just graduated from high school.  I assumed, as I took my place at the barre that the guest instructor hadn’t arrived yet – but as the class moved along I realized that these two girls were running the show.

I was a disappointed, initially, as I was missing my children’s performance  for these girls.  However, a long time ago I saw the merit in embracing wholeheartedly new learning opportunities.  I have watched these two girls perform for several years now, and I can tell you they are worthy of study.  The two of them are different in their approach to dance, at least to my own eyes – so having them trade off a class was wonderful, because it is obvious they worked from their strong points.  I can fully understand some of their nervousness, after all we are dancers who need to be taught with a firm hand (said in a deep voice) but they did an amazing job.

I actually learned a lot from them tonight – for it wasn’t just about going through the movements.  I know from my own experience, that when you first start teaching – you are likely to learn more then the student.  We are in an advanced class, so we didn’t need them to break down the movements too much – but I felt that if we had demanded or asked them to, they would have in a heartbeat.  By the end of the class I felt I had a great work out, I had danced to let go of my worries, I was completely drenched in sweat, and I was smiling with joy.  I hope these girls feel good about the class tonight, because they did a good job with what can be difficult students.  People can get so difficult at times, trying to put others in their “place” or making them feel inadequate because of lack of experience.  I have to give huge kudos to my fellow students tonight for working hard out on the floor – for we were slightly out of our element too.

I urge you, the next time you walk into a situation where you think you might not learn anything – stay awhile and give it your all.  Give the instructor the benefit of the doubt and work with them to make yourself better.  I can’t say that every time it will end up being wonderful – but there will be those times that it is simply amazing, yet unexpected.