3-D Compliments

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Action is the first principle of Moving Mentoring. Action means focusing on doing things, trying things out, and getting stuff done! It's about bravery, joy, and choice-making.

3-D Compliments articulate the actions someone has taken--their dancing, speaking, and moving--not an outside image. Here's a PDF file you can download and use in your studio.

3-D Compliments

Growth Mindset

Why does this matter? In education you hear the term "growth mindset" this means that teachers and parents should focus on a student's hard work, not an intrinsic quality. In other words, you say to your daughter: "Great job taking notes from that research book so you could write a smart paragraph with citations." NOT: "Wow honey, you are so smart."

Same thing in dance!

If you say "Great work pushing off your back leg and bravely reaching into space then even landing with a smile!" Your dancer connects praise to her hard work and she works harder.

If you say: "Beautiful dancing" and leave it at that, then when things get too hard she things, "but I thought I was a beautiful dancer? I must not be any more." And she quits or goes into a negative spiral.

Likewise if you only say: "You need to reach your front foot more and stop scowling when you turn and you need to strengthen you rotators..." she'll connect your attention with negativity and lose the joy of dance.

I know you are already giving 3-D compliments and up next I'll have more teacher templates for you. But this week, I want you to get all your teens giving each other 3-D compliments. Use the attached tear sheet, cut into thirds, and have your students quickly articulate what they see their team, company, or class mates dancing. This helps them support their fellow dancers and develop their verbal skills describing dance.

To be sure everyone gets a compliment, I recommend you distribute them at a break in the middle of class--after barre in ballet or before across the floor in contemporary is a great time. Have the dancers grab a partner. Then explain the 3-D compliment. It's about ACTION not freeze frame! At some point in the rest of the class, dance in 2 groups so one group is watching and writing a 3-D compliment, while the other partner is dancing. Then swap!

If you think your dancers will struggle with this, come to class with a poster board full of great dance words so dancers can grab ideas. Or do the opposite: Bring a blank poster board and fill it with the awesomeness you have generated in the class!

ashley thorndikeComment