As we work with the student over the years, we definitely see the growth of the individual to a teen and adult from a child who walks in the door timidly. The dance demands such a discipline that the students automatically understand character, control, attention, hard work, team work, deadlines etc. But we are attempting to create individuals with a much greater sensitivity than that. One that attempts to understand one's own self and use dance as a medium to connect to the greater force.
We are not a school that emphasizes that all students outwardly show their respects to the Gurus and be in fear or awe of them. We also do not expect them to hold their thoughts and not discuss them with us. We are secure in our own sense of being and about our dance and want all our students to shine. There is no need for us to hold back any student who is dancing very well. We are glad to provide them teaching opportunities, to spread their wings and fly as far as they can and want to. In fact, we are glad to be the wind under their wings. There is no question of being partial to one child over the other.
If we are to be proud of our work, we need to build trust not only with our students but also their parents. We interact with parents most closely at the arangetram stage. Arangetram is such a time and resource consuming process that it puts a lot of stress on the relationship. If we come out of that feeling like we really like each other, we should be very proud of it. From Within's success depends directly on the quality of dancers who emerge at the end of this process and how many of them choose to remain loyal to the dance class and carry the work forward.
Ideal progression of the student:
- Joins at four years old at the beginner level
- Dances for two years, then progresses to intermediate level. Stays for four years max until making the transition to advanced level classes.
- Arangetram at 11.
- Continue post-arangetram studies with possible opportunity to teach from age 14 throughout high school.
If the student joins later (~10 years old), we can plan to have the arangetram at 14 with some intensive training. However, this is difficult given the increasing amount of schoolwork at that age.