Teacher Tune-Up | Who Am I?

by Sandi Duncan

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” wrote the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Having recently celebrated 53 years of life, I often find myself wondering, who am I? Am I living authentically? Have I become the person I hoped to be 10 or even 20 years ago? And who am I becoming?

In this column, I’ll pose my questions to you as well. We all could use a little self-enlightenment, right?

To get to know yourself better, write down answers to the 15 questions below at your own pace. Many dance teachers are night owls and need time to wind down after a long day of teaching and/or administrative work. Try using that time for this exercise, answering one or two questions per evening. Light some candles, put on your comfy clothes, grab your pen and journal, and let’s go!

Note: I believe journaling can benefit everyone. If you don’t have a journal, I encourage you to stop by your local bookstore, browse the wide array of beautiful offerings, and find one that speaks to you. I suggest that you answer the questions below in your journal, so you can look back and reflect upon your writings as you move forward on your journey of self-discovery.


Know thyself prompts

There are no wrong answers to the following questions—jot down your thoughts and initial, true feelings without self-judgment or overthinking.

    1. Which 10 words best describe you?
    2. What are your top three strengths and top three weaknesses? How have they shaped you?
    3. If you could do anything, knowing you wouldn’t fail, what would you do?
    4. What stops you from doing what you want to do? Fear? Money? Self-judgment? Others’ approval? Time?
    5. What fun activity do you love? Do you do it enough? How and why does it replenish you?
    6. Who is your tribe? How and why do these people “get” you? Do you spend enough quality time with them?
    7. Are you being the real you daily? Describe the real you with vivid color and full-out feeling.
    8. Do you like the energy you put out into the world? How does it reflect you?
    9. Are you where you expected to be at this point in life regarding spirituality, family, relationships, career, finances, etc.?
    10. What are your 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year plans? If you don’t have a plan, let the brainstorming begin.
    11. Which foods do you love? Which could you live without?
    12. Who is your favorite TV or movie character? Why? How do you relate to that character?
    13. Who is your role model? Who inspires you to be better than yesterday?
    14. If you had just 24 hours to change the world for the better, what would you do?
    15. What makes you smile? Laugh? (Go do that today!)


Photo by Kimi Duncan

Just the beginning

These questions will start you on the road to self-discovery; rest assured, we will dig deeper in the near future. So be kind to yourself as you find out more about what propels you. As DSL publisher Rhee Gold says, “Enjoy the journey!”


Sandi Duncan is a senior staffer at Melissa Hoffman Dance Center. A certified life coach, she conducts team-building seminars and workshops for studios nationwide.