How does a mom decide what sort of extracurricular activities, lessons and classes to enroll her child in?
Have you ever thought of this decision from a European, or white cultural perspective?
Taking an authentic European dance class which emphasizes not only a true and strict form of the art but also a lesson on, and experience with, your child’s heritage can enrich your whole family culture.
Here are some points to consider…
1. Choose a European or White American Form of Dance.
Ballet, Irish Dancing, Waltzing , Polka, Spanish (Spain), Tap, Swing, Clogging, or Country/Western.
2. Look for an Instructor Who Uses the Native Terms for Dance Moves.
For example you want a ballet teacher who uses “plié” and “tendu” as opposed to “squat” and “point.” Bonus points for a teacher who uses the native language to count off repetitions or holds.
3. Look for a Studio Which Uses or Displays European or American Art or Cultural Pieces, Decorations and/or Props.
Does the studio hang pictures or art work from the region the dance form is from? For example, does your Irish step dancing class post an Irish flag, map of Ireland, or pictures of natives dancers? Do they use these pictures or other cultural props to educate the students holistically?
4. Seek Out an Instructor Who Insists on Native Costuming for The Specific Form of Dance You or Your Child Are Studying.
Avoid studios with lax clothing requirements, it shows a lack of respect for the true dance form as well as the culture it comes from. Is everyone wearing T-shirts and yoga pants even during performances or parades? Or do they instead take the time to embrace and honor the dance’s origins even if they practice in T-shirts from time to time?
5. Don’t Let Finances or Small Town Life Stand in Your Way
If you cannot afford a dance class or you cannot find one, YouTube has hundreds of amazing, and really professional videos that can teach you and your child a traditional form of dance. I like to use a stretching video first and then I go on to practice with a dance video. A few minutes on Wikipedia can educate you on the dances origins and culture so that it becomes a mini homeschooling experience.
Every choice we make for our child can either strengthen or weaken their sense of cultural pride and heritage. Choose wisely traditional momma 😀