44years....yes thats right 44years of trying to give my students the best and all i can. It does get disappointing when I have to spend more time to do paperwork, accounting and what is called “administration”, yet that word refers to, not a staff of 10 people but one. And unfortunately that is me...I am the Administration. So when things aren’t done, or phone calls remain unanswered or emails get overlooked...the soul person to blame is myself. (On top of the constant complaints that I have to make to our phone service provider for the countless times the internet dosent work and the phone line is compromised) That together with trying to teach, choreograph, cut music, plan shows, examine, organise performances and then still be a mum to my family is harder than anyone will ever know. It is always easy to point and finger and blame, yet not that easy when you step in another’s shoes. Plans are underway for a better dance system that will satisfy even the harshest critics, patience is needed to understand what goes on in the background.
When i commenced RVDA back in 1980 it was to teach, to pass on knowledge of this beautiful art form of dance, but today its become more about “paperwork, internet and social media”.
Over the years i handed out newsletters, information, whatever they needed to know and kept all our families up to date (which people would say was ‘too much information’) now with the same information being ‘on line’, people dont have time to read or to ‘find’ what they need to know. So it becomes a double edged sword. For something that was meant to make life easier has in reality made it more difficult. I had a month of no internet or phone due to water in the lines. I lost emails and phone messages which were unretrievable, so of course blamed for no response. Good old plain communication via personal contact is still always the best, so when you lose the ‘going with the times’ technology you are cursed to be blamed.
I run RVDA on my own, no partner, no company Ltd. I dont have the luxury of office staff, a book keeper, a phone receptionist, a councillor, a class co-ordinator or an arms length of people to plan, produce or put the long hours into the shows that i want students to experience. I am though, blessed with the best group of teachers and staff for classes that i entrust with my precious cargo of such wonderful students. Pedagogy of dance teaching has evolved so much, I pride myself in the professional development courses, the learning to further grow with the times and how technique, safe dance practices, child physiology comes more into our world. I still despise the plethora of dance studios/schools that are under non trained dance teachers. (Yes, you can open a dance facility without any dance education.)Those that care and are really a true dance teachers will take the care and years to really study. Its not about having a dance studio to make money. It should be about what matters the most: teaching with absolute and profound correct ways.
This is why for me to be bound to desk work is like chaining me to a post. Parents no longer have patience to see what i do behind the scenes to bring quality to the students. I am far from perfect, I am an artist, I was a ballerina and I am a great teacher. I just have faults, I do not understand technology, but I am learning and hopefully as we roll into 2019, i will be able to satisfactorily appease the ‘demons and hours of ‘deskwork’ to be around more where I should be: “The classroom studio” instilling that amazing essence and spirit of movement “Dance”.