Editor Speak | Lucky Editor

Photo by Chris Hardy

One of my favorite parts of editing this magazine is reading the great advice.

Our Dance Studio Life columnists are a smart bunch, and their ideas often stretch beyond the studio. As I work with them to refine their writing, I frequently find myself mulling over ways I can use their tips.

I might not need David Arce’s October 2017 tip for explaining first vs second arabesque—my workday unfolds in front of a computer screen, not a ballet barre. But that column also contained a psychological tip that struck this mom as simple yet powerful: for quicker reaction times, correct kids positively (“Pull up”) instead of negatively (“Don’t slouch”).

Complying with a negative direction, David explained, requires two mental steps. First you visualize slouching, then you imagine its opposite. Complying with a positive direction, though, requires only one mental step. You simply visualize pulling up.

In the shower the day after editing that column, I considered the negative directions coming out of my own mouth—don’t hit, don’t yell, don’t make a mess—that required two mental steps. Could I reframe these as positive, one-step directions for quicker reaction times at my house? Thanks for the idea, David!

I hope you’ve been enjoying Sandi Duncan’s new Teacher Tune-Up column as much as I have. One stressful afternoon, I tried putting Sandi’s tip for fostering self-appreciation into practice. Amid the screams of my squabbling offspring, with deadlines looming, the house a mess, and my husband working late, I took a deep breath, put a smile on my face, and mentally repeated, “I love and appreciate my beautiful strong arms and their ability to lift and carry.” Magically, I felt my inner strength expand. Thanks, Sandi!

Dance teachers are smart people all right. And I’m a lucky editor to be able to share in the wisdom of this community. —Tamsin Nutter