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Why We Need Gritty Kids








Gritty people have a growth mindset; they don’t give up.

This paraphrased quote is from author Angela Duckworth, who popularized the word “grit” with her famous TED Talk about the power of passion and perseverance.  She wasn’t talking specifically about dancers, but she could have been!

Children need to develop resilience in order to learn from their experiences and grow into their full potential.  This is why we value determination and tenacity so highly here at SDC, because we know these are beneficial qualities to have in life, in or out of the dance classroom.

In dance class, we want our students to know we care about them and want them to succeed.  But we also want to hold them to high standards that will require their hard work, practice, and focus.

Dance, like life, can present challenges: the step might not look correct yet; your body might be sore or injured; the audition answer might be no; you might actually, physically fall down every now and then!  Allowing a child to simply walk away from those challenges (or give up on them) only teaches them that hard work need not apply.  Persevering through those challenges, however, teaches them to bounce back; to build the work ethic they will need throughout their childhood and young adult life.

These lessons in dance will be HARD at times; it’s inevitable.  As parents and teachers, we know there will sometimes be tears or frustrations.  But that can’t stop us from encouraging these kids to push themselves. And that’s key to their success, that the push comes from within.  We can pull potential out of them sure, but if we’re doing all the pushing, how can a child really benefit?

Our dancers are becoming amazing kids who will go on to persevere through a tough exam at school, bounce back from a college rejection, move on from a job they didn’t get, or work through a strained friendship.  They are amazing kids who will become amazing adults because they have been challenged by failure and fueled by success.  They are amazing because of their motivation and their buoyancy.

At SDC, we want you to know that this message is very important to us and close to our hearts.  Through dance we’re teaching them how to be grittier and in turn, empowering them for the future.

– Ms. Julie