Last week, we had our last class at one of the schools where Dance Daze hip hop is taught. All of the children were very excited about what I had gotten them as gifts for their last class of the semester.
When one of my 6-year-old students asked me, “Did you get us candy?” I responded, “Nope! I don’t believe in that!”
My student looked up at me, as we walked to the gym, and said, “How come? Is it because you don’t want us to have so much sugar before class and then go crazy?”
“No,” I said. “It’s because I don’t believe in using sweets as a positive reinforcer for physical activity.”
I realized when I said it that this truly is one of my fundamental beliefs as a dance educator. Although I’m admittedly not a big sweets fan (milk chocolate, two types of ice cream, and plain cake are pretty much it for me!), I’ve never thought it was good to pair candy with dance or any physical education. (If you remember, I was even hesitant about giving out candy on Halloween!) I’m not quite sure when I developed this belief or when it became so strong, but I know that as a young dance student, my classmates and I always only received stamps and stickers for behaving well in class–never candy.
What’s your policy? Do you ever give out candy at the end of your classes or at your studio? Do you think it’s a big deal either way? Why or why not?