“Gritty people have a growth mindset and they don’t give up.” This quote comes from Angela Duckworth, an author who popularized the word ‘grit’ with a famous TED Talk about the powers of grit and how they go hand in hand with passion and perseverance. While she wasn’t talking specifically about the world of dance and the performing arts, the wisdom certainly applies to those arenas.
It’s important for children to develop resilience and use that resilience to learn from their experiences, to grow and advance. At Backstage Dance Studio, we value determination and tenacity because we believe these are important qualities to have in life. Whether in or out of the classroom, these qualities will prove beneficial. Is grit something you can teach to students? We believe the answer is yes. In the performing arts, we want our students to know that we care and want them to succeed. At the same time, we want to hold them to growth-standard challenges. That means high standards which require hard work and a focus for achievement.
Dance and the performing arts present plenty of challenges. Maybe your step doesn’t look quite right yet. Your body may get sore. You may audition for something but not get chosen. Allowing students to just walk around from these challenges will only teach that student that hard work need not apply. That’s no recipe for success, however, and persevering through those challenges teaches students to bounce back from setbacks and build a work ethic.
Will these lessons in grit be hard at times? Absolutely, but that’s not a bad thing. There will sometimes be frustrations, but that won’t stop our teachers and staff from encouraging students to reach their full potential. We have amazing students who will go on to persevere through tough exams at school, work through conflicts and disagreements with friends and colleagues, or bounce back from a job they didn’t get. Amazing kids grow into amazing adults and at Backstage Dance Studio, this message is very important. We work to coach the best out of our students, each and every day. We use dance and the performing arts to teach them to be grittier, ready to tackle new challenges and work hard at achieving goals, empowering them for a successful future.
Hear Angela Duckworth talk about the power of grit.