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Psychological stresses experienced by dance teachers: "how can I be a role model when I never had one?"

Bonnie E. Robson, Angela Book, M. Virginia Wimerding
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 17 Number 4: Page 173 (December 2002)

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Abstract: This paper reports on a survey of 69 dance teachers who may act as role models for their students. It explores the psychological stresses faced by dance teachers today and the measures they have employed to correct poor pedagogical practices of their past. Of the 78.8% of teachers who felt unjustly criticized in their own training, 61.5% had consciously changed their method of teaching to be more supportive of their students. Similarly, the 53.1% of teachers who reported a chronic injury were found to empathize with the students similarly injured and more likely to provide strength and conditioning courses and to refer injured students to a health care professional. The concept of the teacher as a role model is self-reported. Water was consumed in front of students by 92.8% of teachers, while 96.8% drank coffee, 75.4% warmed up, and 65.2% stretched, but only 2.9% reported smoking in front of students. The most stressful aspects of teaching were unmotivated students, 27.9%, too little time, 19.8%, and lack of administrative support, 16.4%. Current issues faced by the dance professional were reported to be: fostering talent, 20%, student health issues, 20%, and lack of discipline in students, 13.3%. The implications of these results are discussed as they relate to current and future teaching practices.

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