September 2017 - Star Steppers

Why Bother To Be Creative?

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Why bother to be Creative?

What a good question! Is it necessary in a digital age to be creative? Most of the children I teach know how to use my phone, computer, music devices better than me, if I haven’t got a clue what to do, they swiftly come to the rescue. (And I am most grateful!)

In schools we see more and more technology entering the classroom, which is great but sadly there is less and less funding for creative subjects such as dance and drama. Children are not having the opportunity to participate in these subjects as much and are missing out on cultural experiences such as trips to the theatre. Does this mean we now grow up in a less creative world and is it a problem?

Why does it concern me? Well I am not so sure that it is always a good thing that by simply pressing a button, swiping a screen you get what you want, see what you want, a task complete in a matter of seconds. There is something quite fulfilling about working towards a goal, making progress, learning from mistakes, taking time to achieve. The learning process is enriching and the learned information embeds itself more deeply.

Don’t get me wrong I believe in the power of technology, it is an amazing creation that is empowering, educational and inspirational but I believe in the power of being creative too.

Why is Creativity good and how can we promote it?…

Daydream: The brain is still highly engaged in this state and connections are made, solutions and ideas are formed. Positive affirmations can be internally repeated to boost confidence and self belief. At Star Steppers we encourage children to self problem solve, e.g. how can they perform that jump better? Can they recall the tools and techniques we have given them, can they think about how to apply these methods in their own way to achieve a better jump? By allowing the children to think before doing offers opportunity for them to make their own solutions and then put this into practice in a way that makes perfect sense to them. We encourage the children to have self belief through positive praise and constructive feedback, allowing a child to think about and create their own positive mantras is essential to allow them to be individual, independent and determined in spirit.

Explore: Allowing children the freedom to explore helps with intelligence, physical and emotional growth. One of my favourite drama activities to do at Star Steppers is role play with the younger children and improvisation with the older children. Giving the children the freedom to explore narrative, characterisation, senses and experiences. Resulting in the most incredible ideas and performances. The children immerse themselves in different worlds and roles, they develop their vocabulary, movement and emotional responses.

Take Risks: Without taking risks we are not aware of what we can physically and mentally do, we limit our capabilities. We need to risk take in order to form life skills, survival tactics and to realise our full potential. At Star Steppers we would never purposefully put a child in danger. The risks we encourage the children to take could be speaking drama lines, singing a solo, trying a double pirouette, performing on a stage. You see the children reach for those learnt skills which then embed themselves in the mind and body for the future. You see them trying and trying, not always working the first time, then trying again, each time building resilience. Then once they have taken the risk and achieved the goal, we see the true sense of joy, fulfilment, pride, the confidence boost and the children feel on top of the world!

So perhaps this is what technology cannot give us and why we most promote and engage children in being creative. We need creative people to problem solve, to challenge, to be innovative, to inspire and to excite us. The world would be a very grey place without creative souls and our duty is to ensure that all children realise their full potential and feel on top of the world.

An interesting quote by the technology genius Steve Jobs: “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesise new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”