Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Volunteer Dance Instructor

Name: Katrina Kofsky
From: Portland, OR
Grade: Junior
School: Jefferson High School
Votes: 0

MVP Dance Elite
is a nationally known dance studio that is located in Beaverton,
Oregon. At this facility, students ranging from the ages of three,
all the way up to adult ages are taught the beautiful art of dance.
Various instructors are hired onto the main faculty to teach
different genres of dance, and varying techniques. Each instructor
has had a wonderful dance career in the time prior to their
employment, and their experiences are highly impressive.

The facility is
very well laid out; there are three studios in the main building, and
a fourth studio across the street. Each studio has a camera that is
on a live feed and can be viewed by parents out in the lobby. There
are restrooms available for students to change in, and they are
public to anyone who comes inside the facility. The staff is overall
extremely welcoming and friendly from the moment you enter the door
and walk up to the front counter.

A typical day at
MVP Dance Elite is packed with dance classes; beginning at 3pm and
sometimes continuing until 10pm. Every day, they offer a variety of
classes in every single style that you could imagine. There are
different levels available for the need of each student, which are
spread out on the schedule available for the Fall term.

A typical
volunteer day for me consists of four hours of assisting in classes
taught to young children. I typically assist for the lower level
classes, but also have plenty of experience demonstrating to more
advanced students. I work with toddlers and middle school aged
children, as well as high school and people older than myself. I
basically listen to what the instructor would like them to complete
in a combination during a class so that they are able to visually see
how to do the step(s). In this scenario, I am not teaching under any
circumstance, just showing students how to execute the steps
correctly and efficiently.

I complete
different tasks every single class that I assist in, that is why I
find it so enjoyable. The ability to demonstrate the potential of
what children could achieve in the art of dance is a beautiful
experience overall. I am able to show them the correct way to
complete the steps and watch them grow and become the type of dancer
that they strive to be. I also get to watch the way that my mentor
corrects these students. I feel that the most important part of my
job is my working with these kids and helping them to become the kind
of dancer and person that they wish to be in the future. I have been
told that I am an inspiration to many of the children that I have
assisted in classes with, and I try to stick with that and be a
positive influence to them inside and outside of the classroom.

I feel that I
demonstrate my work ethic before and during each class. I write out
class plans with the teacher, describing the different combinations
that we will teach the students, and we come up with example
corrections before entering the classroom. The instructor and I go
into each class with a specific plan and try to stick to it as
closely as possible; however, it can sometimes fluctuate depending on
the students in the classroom.

There have been
times in the classroom where the children have tried to compromise my
authority because of either my age, or a personal issue that they may
have had going on. In order to solve this problem, I typically ask
them if they need to take a moment outside of the classroom, or take
a few minutes after the class to speak with them. After they take a
few moments, I usually try to see if the issue is resolved. If it is
not, I will have them sit outside of the classroom, or bring them
outside to the lobby where their guardian is. If the issue gets very
out of hand, I will usually get the instructor involved and inform
them of what is going on.

I treat every
staff member, student, and parent with respect in my work
environment. I believe that every single person deserves the same
amount of respect and I try to stand by that no matter what the
situation may be. I discuss my volunteer work with several of the
staff members at MVP and offer my services whenever they are needed
and whenever I am able to help. The other teaches will sometimes come
and observe my classes and will support a correction that I am giving
to a student often times. I feel that the teamwork in the work
environment at MVP Dance Elite is very well rounded.

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