Interview with Dr Lisa Ellis – the ideal dance parent.
This week I was fortunate to chat to Australian dance educator Dr Lisa Ellis, the creator of Dance Prescription, about what she considers to be the ideal dance parent. You definitely won’t want to miss what she has to say! But before we talk about that, let’s learn a little more about Dr Lisa and her training program Dance Prescription.
Dance Prescription is an audition only entry, 12 month program based in Melbourne Australia. It has been specifically developed so that likeminded-individuals can train together, enhancing their technique, artistry and skills, challenging each other and themselves to be the best dancer they can be. The focus is on building strength and confidence simultaneously in order to create dazzling dancers with bright futures. Some of Dr Lisa’s assistants are even lucky enough to travel the world with her, assisting with workshops worldwide. Dr Lisa likens Dance Prescription to a Maths or English tutor for school work. It is designed to run in conjunction with the dancer’s regular dance school training, not to replace it. Dr Lisa is not only a qualified dance coach BUT also holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Hons) and is currently working as a junior doctor in Melbourne. This makes her uniquely positioned to draw on her extensive knowledge of anatomy, muscle physiology, childhood development and psychology and combine this with her experience teaching dance. The result is Dance Prescription, a program uniquely tailored to increase a dancer’s technical ability, artistic vocabulary and overall health and well-being, as well as to educate dancers about injury prevention.
Can’t make it to Dance Prescription? Don’t worry! Dr Lisa also holds a range of fantastic workshops all over the world! In fact, there are some
Interview with Dr Lisa Ellis
Now, onto Dr Lisa’s tips for the ideal dance parent.
“Oh man it’s so hard to narrow down all the advice I have for Dance Mums into one single gem! That’s one of the hardest questions I’ve ever been asked! But if you threatened me with my puppy’s life, I guess it really comes down to one simple message: be your child’s mum. At the end of the day, your child has many dance teachers, they have many friends and they have a few mentors too, but they only have one Mum. The best thing you can do for your child is to do your job as your child’s mum and love them, look after them and try to teach them skills that will help them thrive in life. These are jobs that only YOU can do. You are paying someone else to teach them how to dance, let them do their job. It is their job to give your dancer a thorough and valuable dance eduction, to give your child corrections about their posture and performance and to decide which line to place your child in for the Jitterbug dance. If you don’t like the way your dance teacher does their job, find another dance teacher. After all if you didn’t like the job your plumber did, you’d find a new one wouldn’t you? It is YOUR job to make your dancer feel loved and appreciated. It is YOUR job to help your dancer learn life skills, such as how to win gracefully, how to deal with disappointment and how to be a valuable member of the classroom. You have to teach them how to eat properly and sleep properly so they can perform in their dance classes (and also at school, and at swimming lessons or flute lessons, and later on at work too). We need you to teach them how to take pride in their appearance and come to class well groomed (and bathed, with their teeth brushed and their uniforms clean). You can help instil in them a good work ethic, an understanding of commitment and the benefits of regular physical activity. These are things that only YOU can do; no one else will ever be able to know your child as well as you or to do any of these things better than you. Your job is to be the best mum you can be and I promise you later on when your child miraculously turns into an adult, they’ll thank you for all of it.”
I’d like to personally thank Dr Lisa for chatting with me and sharing her tips for dance parents. When it comes to advice I don’t think you can go past remembering to simply be a mum, a crazy dance mum maybe, but at the end of the day, still a mum.