I want to talk about what it means to be a good student.
Life is a learning experience: we learn the art of living. It resembles to me the study of an art.
As a student, I expect my teacher to continue studying and to constantly improve. As a student, I can be in the same class with one of my teachers, who have been dancing and teaching for decades before me, without coming to the conclusion that I am at the same level. On the contrary, I appreciate the opportunity to learn in the same classes with my teachers and to have the same experience beside my teachers.
As a student, I choose to learn from the best teachers and I highly value their life of dedication to the art. If I undervalue my teachers, I undervalue myself. If my teachers are not the best, why would I want to learn from them in the first place?
I support my teachers as much as my means allow. I know that everything I give to my teachers will come back to me in some form. I fully participate in the art and am not satisfied with being a mere witness or someone who just wants to have “fun”.
I support my teachers with my physical presence in classes, and by following their advice and working on my own to become better. I participate because I know that the support and attention I give is what I will receive. If I am not willing to give anything of myself, then I will get nothing.
I do not judge my teachers based on anything other than their art. The rest is not my business. I go to class to learn. It would be a waste of time and energy to pay attention to other matters outside of learning the art.
I respect my teachers in the same way I respect my friends and relatives, because they are as important to me as my friends and relatives. I feel that when I display this level of respect that my teachers reciprocate.
I have confidence in my teachers. I can only learn from those that I have 100% confidence in, and it doesn’t take me long to figure out if I am improving or not. For this reason, I listen to my teachers and follow their advice.
When I go to classes, I recognize that there are always negative and positive elements. I choose to focus on the positive ones. I know that focusing on the positive aspects is the most efficient use of my energy, while focusing on the negative aspects and complaining or refusing to cooperate during a class is a waste of everyone’s time. If I have suggestions for improvements to a class, I make time to talk to my teacher in private or write an e-mail.
I do not blame my teachers for my failures - those are all on me. Also, I recognize that my achievements are only possible with their help and I am humbled by their willingness to share the art with me.
I do not expect an overnight miracle or to have an epiphany in class that will all of a sudden make me great. I know that learning requires every day, consistent and patient construction work.
I challenge my teachers to be better in their art and as teachers by imposing on myself to get better. When I get better, that challenges my teachers to continue to improve too.
I share an immense love for this art with my teachers. This love manifests in continually deepening my understanding and knowledge of the art.
When a student knows that life, True Life, is impossible without art and creativity, they never underestimate the time and passion that a teacher gives to them.