Hidden Benefits of Nutcracker: Artistry
Of all the benefits your child gains as a dance team dancer, artistry is arguably the one that becomes most personal to them. In Nutcracker, we aim to teach the style and finesse that give performances their polish … but the true nature of being an artist comes from within the dancers themselves.
Along with a deeper understanding of dance, artistry flourishes as dancers mature. The way a student dances at age eight is certainly different than at age 12 or at age 16. The combination of technique, skill, and artistry develop in harmony over time, sometimes in striking ways and other times with more subtlety.
The advantage for your young dancer’s future is that dance combines athleticism with artistry in a way no other activity does! They are learning more than just the athletic feats and technical skills needed to become the best dancer they can be; they are unveiling their artistic potential.
We strive for our students to benefit from this artistic edge at every stage of their education. It allows them to become more comfortable with expressing themselves, it challenges them to be vulnerable at times, and it develops their humility. And what a bonus it is to also form bonds with their team members who are immersed in the same type of artistic experience!
Artistry isn’t something that can be taught in the same way as technique. With artistry, we must encourage our students to tap into themselves and connect with each other. They learn to go beyond the skills to reach emotions and details in their experience. Sometimes artistry is about big moments, like using certain facial expressions at just the right time. Sometimes it’s more about the stretch of your fingertips, or the energy from your core strength.
Discovering their inner artist means that each competition team student is also expanding their critical thinking skills individually and collectively as a team. They are cultivating a thought process where they might need to reflect on a personal experience, create a character or mood, self-edit, ask for specific feedback, or offer feedback to others.
If artistry sounds difficult to develop, it certainly can be! Some dancers find that artistry is quite tricky; others find it very natural. We teach that there is no right or wrong way to become an artist in dance.
As a Nutcracker dancer, your child will notice this growth in their artistry each year as they gain more and more performance experience and apply what they learn. The benefit to them will be in their personal journey and progress, not in the awards they achieve. While it’s wonderful to be recognized, it’s the personal fulfillment that will keep driving each dancer forward as an artist.