Drudgery & Success

Drudgery & Success

My own daughters, after two weeks of tumbling class, informed me that they could do cartwheels, and my youngest was puzzled that they had to keep doing cartwheels each week, as she had already learned how to do them.  With a smile (and a little giggle), I let her know that she would do hundreds of cartwheels during the year and in the coming years as well. I came across the following quote in the introduction an algebra text book shortly after this conversation with my daughters that seemed very applicable – “The repetition in the problem sets in this book is needed to allow students the opportunity to master all the concepts.  Application of the concepts must be practiced for a long time to ensure retention.  This practice has an element of drudgery to it, but it has been demonstrated that people who are not willing to practice fundamentals often find success elusive.  Ask any athlete, musician, or artist about the necessity of practicing fundamental skills.” John Saxon’s Exhortation to Students, Algebra ½: An Incremental Development, 3rd Edition Because we live in a culture of high speed access to information, I have many times wondered how the fast pace of life will affect how we perceive the process of developing skills, and in addition, how willing our students will be to take the time necessary to build a strong dance foundation.  Students sometimes complain that dance is boring once they “know” a step, and yet, we know that repetitive practice of any skill is required for true mastery and retention.  And, this takes time, something that seems to...