Mentor Spotlight: Becca
Becca reflects on her time as a virtual dance teacher and mentor for Ballet & Books Princeton chapter.
My time working with Ballet and Books as a mentor and ballet teacher has been so meaningful and rewarding. I remember being a bit apprehensive before teaching my first Zoom ballet class, because I had never taught a dance class over Zoom and was worried it would be difficult to keep the students engaged. I could not have been more wrong! The kids came every week with such great enthusiasm and focus; they really brightened my Saturday mornings. I would teach the students a new, more challenging “step of the week” each ballet class (e.g. pas de chat, pique turn, sissone) and they would really have a lot of fun and show so much progress with these steps. I would know that these steps really stuck with them when they would remember and show me their “pas de chat” the following week!
Serving as a dance teacher and mentor has helped hone my leadership skills and endowed me with a greater understanding of both the challenges and triumphs of both dance and literary education. I grew in my ability to command a room in an engaging and positive way. I found ways to form meaningful bonds and connections with all my mentees and dance students — a crucial piece to a healthy and effective education. For example, I made a habit of asking my mentees about their week (“did you do anything fun this week or are you looking forward to anything fun later this week?“). Eventually, one of my mentees would start asking me about my week before I even had a chance to ask about theirs! I felt honored to serve as a supportive role model with which my mentees could chat (about anything!) each week.
I was challenged as a teacher to break down concepts in the most effective way possible and try to put myself in the shoes of a young child.
I was even reminded how difficult various reading and writing skills are to young children. We can easily forget how hard it is to first learn how to read and write. I was challenged as a teacher to break down concepts in the most effective way possible and try to put myself in the shoes of a young child. It is always an enlightening, insightful, and humbling experience to take a step back to view the world in a new way — including from the perspective of an 8-year-old student! I am incredibly thankful for all the opportunities, interactions, and experiences that Ballet and Books has provided me!