Medal Ball season is right around the corner, and your teachers are going to start asking you about checking out of some of your dances! What an exciting opportunity! But surprisingly, some students get nervous about the checkout process. That’s crazy!
So, first let’s take a look at how the checkout process works.
There are three easy steps:
1. Dance your school figures to music with your teacher/dance partner.
2. Dance your school figures by yourself to music.
3. Dance your school figures with your teacher/dance partner at the freestyles checkout party.
And then… You’ve graduated! That’s it. Pinky promise.
And yet, there are some people who are still hesitant. We will debunk some of the mythical fears about checking out so everyone keeps moving on up with their dancing!
Myth 1: “I’m not ready.”
Well it’s just not true! And if you’re not ready now, you will be after practicing your steps on your lessons under your teacher’s well-trained eye. Your teacher recommend you check out for the simple reason that you are already prepared or close to being prepared. They wouldn’t throw you out onto the floor without total confidence in your ability. Trust them to guide you down the best path for you to progress.
Myth 2: “The teacher will fail me.”
That is a highly unusual circumstance. Unless the teacher asks you to dance Waltz and you instead do Cha Cha, you’re going to be fine. The Executive or Dance Director that looks at your dancing is looking for the following things: you know the steps, you’re on time to music and that you haven’t fallen through a window. You’re also allowed to mess up! They know you’re nervous and understand. They are looking for you to succeed, not reasons to fail you.
Myth 3: “I need more time.”
When your teacher says you’re ready, it’s because you’re ready! Of course there’s always room for improvement, but they’re not looking for you to dance your Bronze 1 as if you’re Bronze 3 – otherwise you’d be checking out of Bronze 3! There is a requisite skill set your teacher needs to see, then it’s time to take the plunge.
Myth 4: “I can’t dance my patterns by myself.”
Although that’s a challenge, it’s one you do all the time – in group classes! Every time you’re in a group class you are practicing your patterns by yourself, and everything works out swimmingly! This is an important part of your checkout because it shows us your balance, timing and independence as a dancer. Not, as some might think, to just make checkouts harder.
Now that these myths have been put to rest, make sure you let your teachers get a word in edgewise next time they bring up your checkouts. Come up with a plan involving lessons, group classes and practice sessions so you’re prepared and comfortable. The take a deep breath and do it! They want you to improve in all aspects of your life, so let them make the recommendations that have proven successful for more than 100 years.