Doing it like a teacher would

From the time the pandemic began in March of 2020, I immediately jumped into creating new content for audience of children (mainly) and adults, and really, for anyone who could access the Internet and who wanted to learn about dance and movement via my platforms.

I read dance-themed story books for children, taught weekly Instagram Live ballet barre classes, recorded for about 3 hours per week so that I could publish 90 minutes (3 classes, 30 minutes each) per week of dance classes for kids on a paid platform.

I honestly didn’t even really think about being afraid of being on video constantly. I didn’t want to be live all the time, and I didn’t want to charge for my live classes (…I didn’t want people asking for refunds if my iPhone was knocked over by the wind, or if their kid couldn’t hear my instructions over Zoom because the wind outside, in my outdoor studio, was too loud, etc.). But I got pretty comfortable going live weekly on Instagram.

But somewhere along the way in 2021, I lost momentum. I started overthinking things that I had been doing regularly for months and questioning which direction I should take next.

Though things were opening up, despite the pandemic continuing, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable going back to “business as usual.” And, besides all of that, I was building an entirely new brand, with a new virtual audience, new social media accounts, and really finding different ways to showcase more of my talents (…my previous audience was mainly 3 to 7 year olds and their parents…) in different ways. I was also using different talents (like building a website that was essential for the business . . . building a brand from scratch . . . using social media marketing to actually market instead of just as kind of a re-cap of what we were doing in dance class the previous week or the following week and as a newsletter to keep families updated).

Well, today, it’s been months since I’ve gone on live video and even longer since I’ve taught anything on Instagram live! However, I’ve had the urge to go back, and I feel like it’s finally time.

Also, I realized that one thing that I believe was stopping me from going live and that was causing me to feel unprepared is that I had forgotten one of my for certain skills: writing curriculum and planning a class like a teacher.

I kept thinking to myself that I didn’t have the charisma or desire or motivation I had in 2020. I believed that my personality had fundamentally changed. I don’t know if that’s true (okay, actually, it’s not true – I’ve been the same person since I was like 4 years old), but I do know that I was forgetting about the one aspect of my live videos and even the videos that I recorded each week for my on-demand classes that kept me feeling safe and secure and like I was on top of my game: MY PLAN! Even when I only had 3 bullet points and a Spotify playlist, even when I’d only just made up a tap combination in the shower 20 minutes before doing my Instagram Live, or even when I felt like I wasn’t very GOOD at the step or movement I wanted to do in class, I had a planned written in bullet points in my phone somewhere or written in a composition notebook somewhere, and that made me feel secure and gave me enough confidence to do what I needed to do.

So, as I approach my upcoming live videos (I’m planning on going back on Instagram and also even trying out TikTok!), I’ll have a simple, short, and sweet plan in place. It might be something about the way in which I’m choreographing that is tying the movements together, it may be a focus on the way in which I present the information to others. Whatever the case, I’m glad I remembered that, when I’m teaching – virtually or in person – I need to do it like the teacher that I am!

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