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What I mean when I say “Good!”

posted in: classes, Teaching | 2

Anyone who has been in my classes for any length of time is very familiar with a common exclamation I make during drills or at the end of class: “Good! Really good job, guys!”

I say it so much, perhaps it has seemed to lose its meaning. I wonder sometimes if students think I just say it to “be nice” or as a wrote form of encouragement, which is not actually a reflection of what I think is capital G “Good”.  But if one pays close attention, you will see that while it is true I say it often, I don’t say it every time, and that I do in fact use it only when I think it is warranted.  So let me explain what I mean (and don’t mean) when I say “Good!”

Good is not a reflection of perfection. I don’t say “Good” because everyone has gotten all the details perfectly right. Good is a combination of factors I see displayed, such as:

  • posture
  • confidence
  • doing the right thing even if it’s not quite “there” yet
  • error recovery
  • smiles
  • gaze
  • awareness
  • joy

All of these things, individually and in combination, are strong and important steps in your growth in the dance. When I tell you what you have done is good, I am telling you that you are on the right path, that you are progressing in the way I hope for you to progress, that you are demonstrating improvement in the skills I am trying to push you toward improving.  Good really DOES mean GOOD!

So rest assured, students, that I am not just blowing smoke and rainbows around when I say encouraging things frequently. It is because you are so frequently meeting or exceeding my expectations, it warrants a verbal pat on the back to let you know you are on track and that I see your efforts paying off. Trust in the word “Good”–when it comes from me, it’s for real!

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Susan Warner
    | Reply

    I use the same phrase in my classes to my own students, and you nailed exactly what I mean. Thanks for expressing it in words. May I share?

  2. Avatar
    Shay Moore
    | Reply

    Of course, Susan! Just send them on over to the blog for a read. Thanks!

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