I believe there is no better way to set young people up for success than by teaching them arts in school. I have learned the most important life lessons from my time spent in the dance studio - about time management, about the process of learning and refining a craft, and about pushing my limits to go beyond where I think I am capable of being. As the article states, art is fundamentally about a growth process, because it's not like you can slap a letter grade on a tendu. Instead, you work each day to understand how your feet move across the floor to create a specific shape, which ultimately enables greater movement built from this fundamental concept. The phrase "practice makes permanent" is one I have heard before in dance, and it relates the idea that when you ignore the process of making something better, you are essentially an unwanted result. It is much better to fail a thousand times than to spend those thousand times doing something wrong over and over because you don't care enough to fight for the integrity of the work.
Rejection is an inevitable part of life - we are all bound to go after something that we will not end up being accepted into. As an artist, this can often feel very personal. It is one thing to apply for a ho-hum type of job and list your education and credentials, and quite another to apply for a job by sharing the unique part of yourself that arises from the need to create art and put it out into the world. You make yourself very vulnerable when you share your art with others, and that is my theory as to why rejection in the artistic world hurts so much. Guy Winch's article explores why rejection in general is so difficult for us to process, and it was interesting to read that we experience rejection in the same way we experience physical pain (meaning that the same region of our brain lights up in these two types of scenarios). Winch also talks about how we tend to kick ourselves when we are already down, which I am certainly guilty of. Recently I read an amazing book called "Thinking my Way to Victory," and since then I have focused on approaching situations, however negative they may appear, with a positive mindset. Winch also provides strategies to help reframe mindset, which I believe is very important in moving forward positively and productively.
Headstand Cat. Source: Growth Mindset and Feedback Cats