Body? Sore. Mind? Confused. Determination? Active. Confidence? Growing. Mentor? Co-operative and caring. Dancing? Growing at a rapid pace!
These handfuls of snapshots have summed up my general progress since the last recording of my learning. At this point, I have met with my mentor Kailey Huang a total of 3 times every Thursday, and although those mentorship times may be small, I have gained immense knowledge about dance, and the way my body really moves. With each and every time I meet with Kailey, I’m always learning something new about myself through dance. From noticing how my chest and shoulders can pop open and create a dramatic effect, to understanding how deeply my arms and legs really are connected when moving, these small mental notes have only deepened my knowledge of dance and have slowly helped me build my confidence. Currently, I have been learning some basic techniques and moves that will ease me into the hip hop dancing style and will become the foundation for the routine that Indah and I will create with the aid of Kailey. The next time we meet, we hope to find some appropriate and relevant songs for our project and begin the process of choreographing our dance.
1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
A few notable factors that have been extremely successful in my learning with Kailey includes the high level of chemistry and communication between the mentor and learner creating a safe space for openness, an easy to understand and structured format when learning new moves, and the overall enjoyment coming from me, Indah and even Kailey, who has been thoroughly enjoying the process of becoming a mentor. The fact that Kailey is only 2 years older than both me and Indah, and has both had personal interactions with us before In-Depth greatly increased our ability to communicate and learn right from the start. But not only our prior connections but the style of teaching that Kailey implements is also the cornerstone of our success. With kind and thoughtful responses and demonstrations, Kailey is always willing to help me and Indah out with whatever we need.
3. What learning challenges emerged?
One important learning challenge that I have been facing during my time with In-Depth is my lack of self-confidence. Although it may be growing at a slow pace, I have still found trouble looking myself in the mirror while dancing and looking back at footage of myself. This has greatly impacted my personal growth in dancing, as I have still not reached my goal of comfortability with myself. To help aid my struggle, Kailey has been getting me to slowly look at myself dancing more, both in person and in videos.
5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentor interactions?
Strategy #1: Interact outside of rehearsals/mentorship time. This can improve the connection between the mentor and the learner to make teaching and learning easier during rehearsals.
Strategy #2: Do some relevant studying beforehand. This helps boost the trust and bond that the mentor has on their pupil.
Strategy #3: Try to ask as many questions as you can. The mentor is the expert, and it would only help both sides if questions were being answered.
Well, that’s it for me today, I’ll see you guys in a month!
– Professional dancer in the making, Gyu Min