What a dance teacher dreams of finding under the tree
By Diane Gudat
Dear Santa (or, just to cover my bases, Père Noël, Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kwanzaa Spirit, Walmart Layaway, or whoever or whatever delivers gifts to my house around December 25),
I have been an extremely good dance teacher all year. I have been polite when possible to the parents, excused hundreds of absences, have already picked out a recital theme and even a few songs, got my staff lovely gifts, and planned the studio holiday party. I have assembled the following list to help you determine which gifts might be best to reward my obvious accomplishments.
1. An air freshener that would dispense a mild sedative into the waiting room, thus calming chatty parents and out-of-control siblings.
2. A lifetime subscription to my new dream satellite radio station, Dance Teacher Music Unlimited. Designed specifically for dance teachers, this amazing station would feature pre-cut music for recitals and solos. It would come with the capability to replay any song as many times as requested and would allow downloads directly to any iPod, free of charge.
3. A one-year pass to my favorite coffee shop, with an option for free delivery to the studio.
4. A hip-hop teacher who comes every week and arrives on time. I know these teachers exist; I just have not been able to find one yet.
5. A magic wand that collects crushed Cheerios and Goldfish crackers, sparing me from bending over or moving the lobby furniture.
6. New ballet barres that disperse disinfectant to kill the germs that dancers carry into the classroom. Hopefully this will put an end to my yearly bouts with colds and the flu. While you’re at it, could you have the elves design a line of dancewear for teachers that also repels germs? You might as well throw in control-top panels and something that gives the illusion of removing 10 pounds.
7. A ban on all props and sets for one full year, in effect on every competition circuit in the United States and Canada. As a teacher, I would love a year without worrying how to make, transport, and (worst of all) store them. As a competition judge, I would love a year of not having to wait for them to be set up and torn down.
8. A variable-speed MP3 player. Not an app—the real thing!
9. One class each week that begins on time, full of students who dress correctly, follow every rule, do exactly what they are told, have cooperative parents, and are thankful for the opportunity to study with me.
10. At least one male student for every class.
I promise to continue to be the best dance teacher I can be and plan on leaving you a nice box of wine and Godiva chocolates in case you are actually a woman.
P.S. I also considered asking for a hidden lobby camera to catch the parents’ conversations about the studio, but I think that might be a case of “Be careful what you ask for!”