8 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed at Folklorico Dancing
#1. Take your child to Rehearsal.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! The only way your child will ever become an exceptional Folklorico dancer is if they attend all practices on time. Practice ensures that your your child will develop the muscle memory required to excel in folklorico dance. Practice makes perfect! Because Folklorico practice is so short, it's crucial for your child to be on time in order to get the most out of rehearsal.
#2. Trust your Maestros.
Rely on the Meastro or Meastra to guide your child for success. They can help your child see his/her strengths and areas of improvement. Encourage your child to be realistic about his/her progress (See #6 Be Realistic). Help them understand the importance of constructive criticism, remember, we are only here to help.
#3. Encourage your child to be more independent.
Folklorico quickly builds your sense of responsibility and independence. The professional world of Folklorico requires dedication, accountability, preparation, and self-reliance. A way to set up your child for success, would be to buy them a calendar. This calendar will serve as a reminder and a way for them to keep track of their schedule. Have your child to keep a checklist of everything they need for rehearsals and shows. Encourage them to do their own hair & makeup and learn to dress themselves during performances. I promise that they will thank you later.
#4. Check in regularly.
Ask your child about what he/she is learning in class. What are they struggling with and how can you help them succeed? Ask your maestro/maestra if they mind you recording some of the rehearsals. There are dancers that like to reference video in order to practice at home.
#5. Stress positive behavior.
We should aim to create a positive and safe learning environment for our dancers. Create this space by encouraging your children to treat their folklorico peers with respect and to show gratitude for what they learn. Teach them to appreciate other's performances, say thank you to their teachers and to follow directions during class.
#6. Be realistic.
I have been teaching Folklorico to children and adults of all ages and levels for several years now. If there is something that I've learned it's that, everyone learns at their own pace. No child is the same and no adult is the same, everyone learns and retains information differently. You shouldn't compare your child to other dancers in class. If your child is not ready to perform, help them understand that more rehearsal is needed before they can go on stage. You want your child to feel confident and shine when they perform. It is important to remember that everyone was once a beginner, it takes time and practice, you have to learn to walk before you can run.
#7. You never stop growing.
Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone. I believe that you can grow a lot as a dancer when you feel uncomfortable. Once you feel comfortable, it means you're not learning anymore. Have your child ask questions and pay attention to detail. Your child should strive to constantly be improving their performance.
#8.Let them know that you're proud of them no matter what.
Praise your child for his/her accomplishments and remind them that you're there to help them during their high's and their low's.
I'D LIKE TO THANK ALL THE FOLKLORICO PARENTS WHO DEVOTE TIME TO TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR ROOTS. IT'S BECAUSE OF YOU THAT OUR CULTURE AND TRADITIONS ARE STILL ALIVE IN THE U.S. GRACIAS.