As a dance teacher, you might find that you often take on the role of unofficial or even official mentor for many of your students as they grow as dancers. This is great because it shows that your knowledge as a dancer and a professional is valuable and useful to your students. Because of this, it is important to take your responsibilities as a mentor seriously and make sure that both you and the students you mentor get the most out of your relationship.
Know Why You’re Doing It
Being a teacher doesn’t necessarily make you your students’ life or career coach. Make sure that, before you commit yourself to mentoring tasks like career planning, you know that is the role you want to play in your student lives outside of helping them develop their technique and skills in the studio. Mentoring can be a very rewarding process, but only if it is something you want to do. If it isn’t for you, it’s ok to take a step back and direct your students elsewhere for guidance as they look into what they will do with dance in the future.
If you decide to mentor one or more of your students, organizing your tasks as a mentor is incredibly important. This includes setting aside time to discuss your mentees’ strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Your job as a mentor is to help your mentee process and evaluate their progress and answer questions that will guide them forward, so having a schedule and a game plan is key.
Connect with Your Mentee
Not every mentor and mentee will be compatible. This can be because you have a different understanding of their goals than they do. It can also, of course, come down to incompatible personalities. Make sure that you develop a relationship with your mentee that benefits both of you. If either of you are stressed because of it, then it might be best to part ways.
Being a mentor helps you share your success with young dancers that want to grow and find their own footing in the dance industry. You have plenty of valuable information that could guide them forward! So, if mentoring is for you, jump in and find out how you can help your students reach their goals outside of the studio.