Angela from “The Office” might love criticism (“I like being judged!”), but let’s face it — nobody likes receiving negative feedback. It’s a wound to the ego, it makes us feel less capable and competent, it’s just not fun.
However, a part of not only dance classes, but also life as a whole, is learning to accept criticism and use it as a learning tool. This is an incredibly difficult skill to learn, but it’s one of the best and most important things to master.
When we see the greats — great writers, great actors, great dancers, etc. — we see the finished product. We don’t see the countless hours and countless pieces of feedback that have been given. The greatest dancers didn’t receive the most compliments — they almost certainly received the most feedback.
At K2 Dance Studios, we are all about giving constructive feedback to help our dancers become the best they can be. Sometimes this feedback can sting, but it’s an integral part of our dance classes. Learn how to take criticism in a calm and positive manner, and contact our studio for hip-hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, ballet, and so many more dance classes!
Try Not to React
Wanting to defend yourself after receiving criticism is natural, but it’s not productive. Again, constructive criticism is not mean — if it is, it’s not criticism — and any hurt you might feel is usually from feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or vulnerable. It’s a “you” thing, not the feedback itself.
Take a deep breath, swallow whatever retort you were planning on saying, and don’t allow yourself to react to the constructive criticism. This is the first step in taking feedback, and it’s hard to do, but it makes all the difference in how you actually grow from criticism.
Listen to the Experts
Remember who is giving you feedback. Your dance class teacher has taught it all and seen it all, and they’re able to see you objectively from an outside perspective. Trusting the experts, instead of assuming you know it all, is the only way you can truly take in criticism, and the only way you can become better.
Find a Takeaway
From hearing “your bun is messy” to “your développé needs some work,” there’s a takeaway in every single piece of constructive criticism. You might not care about a messy bun, but it’s likely that auditions will. It doesn’t matter what the takeaway is, but it’s important to find something that helps you set an intention or goal, and subsequently, helps you improve.
In terms of receiving feedback, what looks better: a person throwing a fit, refusing to listen, or talking trash about the critique-giver? Or a person who humbly and graciously says “thank you” and strives to improve?
You’re getting feedback because a person cares about you. Whether that’s your dance class teacher or your boss, they want to help you succeed. The last thing you want is for someone to stop caring, and stop trying to help you become better. But that will absolutely be the case if you aren’t grateful for the feedback and show that you take it seriously. Be thankful that someone is looking out, and that they can help you further your progress.
At K2 Dance Studios, we are all about giving constructive feedback in our dance classes. We know that criticism is at the core of success — but more importantly, it’s being able to take criticism and handle it well that makes someone successful. See what our dance classes are like firsthand by signing up today — we know that with our guidance, you’ll grow as a dancer and have the most fun while doing so.