Response AbilityWith the hustle and bustle of the exciting and chaotic Christmas events creeping up, this time of year is a very special time for dance schools across our country as we prepare for our annual productions. It is also this time of year that is easiest time to succumb to stress and this is where our communication skills can become somewhat unrefined and possibly reactive.
Communication is one of the most important skills any educator must have refined in order to effectively tutor students in dance. The more response-ability a teacher has, the more they are able to effectively coach students. The more reactive a teacher is in their communication, then there will be less than optimum dance outcomes.
Everyone has their own unique language and communication code. When it comes down to the principles of linguistics every person will have certain meanings with certain words based on their life experience, upbringing and values. For instance a particular word can trigger a nervous reaction in one person because they may associate that word with a negative experience in the past and that same word can be inspiring and uplifting to another person that may have a positive association with that word. The way we can monitor if our language and communication is effective when teaching our students, is to watch for cues in either their body language, verbal response or mood.
Below are 4 Key Communication Principals to help you bring awareness to other components of teaching in order to get the best out of yourself and your students;
1) Communication is more than simply talking. It involves listening and knowing how to communicate to the individual’s level of awareness.
2) Successful communication is only as effective as the reaction of the receiver.
3) Our presence and states of mind are powerfully affected by our beliefs, ideas, memories and imaginations which filter the way we communicate to others and interpret what others are trying to communicate to us.
4) Everyone simply wants to be heard, understood and validated.
Good luck with your end of year concert’s and remember to breathe and have FUN!
© Copyright Kate Histon 2008.
Kate Histon is an international consultant and facilitator in the field of human behaviour & potential for performers. She is the owner and director of Dance Dynamics Theatrical & Performance School in Byron Bay and a certified ballet teacher through the Royal Academy of Dance For more information on Kate’s services visit

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