We took J- to her last hiphop dance class before the performance on Monday. It's amazing what lessons in life and leadership you can pick up from something like that.
We arrived early, so we watched the previous class. The instructor was a lively young woman who coached and cheered the kids through their dance routine. You should have seen the serious looks of concentration on the kids' faces as they tried to remember all the steps. They wanted to do well - and they certainly didn't want to be That Kid Who Forgot The Dance Steps.
After a rather subdued dance routine, the dance teacher called all the students together and asked them to say the steps out loud, just as she'd taught them before. Some of the kids hesitated. The dance teacher explained, "It's not just for you. It helps other people remember the steps, too!" At that, the kids perked up. I guess they realized that other kids faced the same problems they did, and that they could help each other. =)
The kids went into the dance routine with renewed energy. Some kids jumped straight into it, shouting their moves. Others were more tentative, whispering the moves to themselves. Seeing that, the teacher said, "I can't hear you!" By the end of the run, the kids were yelling their moves as they did them, and laughing at each other's antics.
"Great! Now during the performance, we'll whisper it, okay?" said the teacher. Several kids turned to her with worried looks. The teacher reassured everyone that saying it out loud would help them remember. "Pinky promise!" she said. Then--if I saw it right--all the kids clustered around the teacher, pinky-promising one by one.
Other people around us are trying to figure out the steps, too. We can help others while helping ourselves. That's why I like yelling out my steps, sharing what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. Who knows, someone might be going through a similar thing too! =) Sometimes, what we need to boost our confidence is that pinky-promise from someone that things are going to work out all right. I pinky-promise you: things will be wonderful.