by Rozann Kraus
I think of mentoring like tending a seedling. The roots are there and the core is emerging. What's needed is the right amount of water, nutrients and sunshine. Too much or too little, the right or wrong timing can be painful and harmful; understanding the nature and having the experience to modulate the support is crucial to a viable outcome. With dance, where the medium is the message, gentle teaching is needed because the seedling is the artist's ego.
Mentoring is a deeper partnership than the one that comes from teaching because, at its best, it is sensitive to and responsive to the unique needs of someone. As a mentor, the challenge is to be able to offer insights from your own gleanings, without smothering the others' vision or confidence.
I began the Shared Choreographers' Concert series to provide choreographers crucial feedback and support that only exists in a conservatory setting. But dancers, too, gain insight into their roles by being privy to the discourse and getting additional information about their choreographer's motivations and goals.
Applications are now being accepted for the next Shared Choreographers' Concert which will occur on October 21 & 22 and will be part of the Dance Complex's 20th Anniversary Celebration