Excellent teachers can change lives.

“Teachers are expected to teach, but great teachers also have a wealth of knowledge and experience and are eager to learn from their learners.” – Zayd Waghid  They bring all of their expertise, personal history and experiences to engagements with clients, colleagues and the community. 

Teachers change lives — but what makes a great teacher?

Great teaching so much more than just cueing a few exercises or putting together some class choreography.

The connections we help facilitate, whether from mind to body, student to teacher or within the community, can positively affect lives.

We want to be movement teachers of the human body, not just specialists in a fitness discipline. We hope to look at the bigger picture of movement to understand the limitations of the specific method we teach and how to overcome those barriers. 

One aspect that we encourage of all teachers is to develop a “growth mindset.” Through this growth mindset, we can challenge old beliefs and make room for new ideas. 

Be open-minded

A growth mindset requires teachers to be more inclusive of their student’s unique needs and perspectives. Growth within the studio is more than sales and revenue, but is a clear understanding of human capital assets. We must learn how to serve our students and employees’ unique needs. 

Get comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty.

There are always more grey than black-and-white answers in our field, and although we may wish for clear answers, there rarely are any. We need to become friends with risk. Teachers and studio owners should embrace uncertainty and ambiguity to find previously unseen opportunities. Our job is to bring our students and staff along the journey so they don’t fear the uncertainty but embrace it to create and sustain momentum. 

Show situational awareness

This is the ability to see around, beneath, and beyond what you seek. As teachers, this is to be aware of the unique situation of our students, the community or culture within the studio, and our outside environment. The progress of our students is always dynamic, not linear. We can’t control our students, but we can create situations where they can do their best. Our job is to create classes, resources, and assets that guide their growth and learning opportunities. 


Resilience is the opposite of complacency. With resilience, we face hardships and difficulties and seek to overcome them. Complacency is an uncritical satisfaction with your or your student’s achievements. Teachers who accept complacency release the need for themselves and their students to be accountable or challenged, which gives the impression that they don’t care. Mediocrity and complacency get in the way of growth. We should start with ourselves to stay curious as we look for solutions. Through resilience comes transformation.

Grow with your students.

The days of people perceiving that their teachers have all the answers are gone. Eliminating hierarchy within the studio allows for greater intimacy in the community. People can get to know each other, grow and evolve when we get rid of ranks. Teachers must then value the relationships forged and invest in them to keep earning the trust of the students, clients, and community. It is about gaining the right from your students over time to explore more meaningful and purposeful relationships. 

 Have an authentic presence

Authentic presence is not about showing off what you have achieved through your movement practice or showcasing your expert knowledge. It requires self-trust, confidence, and self-awareness to be authentically you in the studio and while teaching. When we can embody this authenticity, it creates an experience that ignites others to be more present within themselves. 

Stand for inclusion and promote individuality.

Inclusion is a system for ensuring studios welcome every individual. Inclusion is finding like-mindedness in our differences and embracing individuals’ unique bodies, ideas, and ideals. Teachers with a growth mindset deeply desire to do this, leading inclusion and embracing individuality as their primary growth strategy. Respected teachers captivate the heart – and the heart doesn’t forget.  

Have clarity on what others expect from your leadership

A growth mindset is ultimately about thinking differently and taking on new, elevated levels of understanding as a teacher or studio owner. Our students are always watching what we do. They pay attention to the decisions we make and look to understand the reasoning behind them. As teachers, we must ensure others understand what they can expect from us. Please don’t assume they know. Be clear about the path of growth and the journey you wish to take them on.

The teacher’s growth mindset sets the tone for the student’s learning environment. It is through this atmosphere that we foster positive and powerful movement experiences.