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:
- doing the right thing even if it’s not quite “there” yet
- error recovery
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!