November 2017 - Star Steppers

What Happens If – Risk Taking

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What Happens If…?

As most of you know at Star Steppers we are preparing for our next big show and the children are due to submit their show sign up forms any day now! What has really interested me is that some of the children have said they are not sure about performing in the show (this is common and not a surprise) but when I have spoken to them about the show it is not that they are nervous or not feeling confident but that they are not sure as they do not know what to expect. So if we unpack that further it seems that they are unsure about the risks involved?

Risk taking is definitely a scary business and when you are responsible for other children your natural instinct tells you to limit the risk as much as possible. It is better to be safe than sorry.

However I feel that if we never take a risk or if we don’t have a go or see ‘what happens if’; then we do not challenge ourselves. We do not find out whether we can, what is possible, what we will gain, learn, achieve and feel. I am also so impressed by the mature thinking of these young people who want to know honestly the risks involved in performing in a show but before I give my answers lets dig further.

Taking a risk involves decision making. As an adult I am pretty useless at making independent decisions and this could be due to my lack of risk taking. Once you have decided to take a risk whether it be to climb up the climbing frame or put your hand up and answer the maths question you then have to self evaluate the outcome. By taking the risk did you find out you can, that you have the skills, knowledge and ability? Was the action successful or not? Each time we repeat and carry out this process we develop stronger strategic thinking and confidence in our decision making skills.

Taking risks develops the body and mind. Once we have taken the decision to take a risk we find out what our body and mind is capable of, what skills we have. What physical and mental strength we have, we tap into our inner resolve and then we find out what we need to improve on; what personal goals can we set to further progress our physical and mental skills.
Taking a risk builds confidence. By taking a risk we may encounter failure or challenge along the way. It is so important to nurture in children that it is ok to make mistakes, that challenges are good for us to overcome. That sometimes we may not always achieve our aim on the first attempt, that we may need to practice, adapt, to try again. This process combined with positive encouragement helps children to build that inner steel, the confidence that allows them to have a go, and believe anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

So to answer all the lovely children who I have spoken to about the show and about the risks involved. The risks are….

‘I don’t know if I can do it’ During the process of performing in the show you find out what you are capable of, the amazing skills you have and how talented you are. You gain a sense of achievement, you gain confidence, you find out that you CAN.
‘I might go wrong or forget’ You may make a mistake, things may go wrong but you will discover that it is completely ok and that you will always be truly supported by your teachers, family and friends. Mistakes do not matter!
‘I don’t like being watched’ You will be stood on stage in front of a big crowd of 500 people but until you do that you will never know how it feels when they applaud you – stood under all those twinkling lights.
‘I am worried about being away from my family’ It is a long day and in that time nerves bind everyone together and friendships blossom, we gain new skills and have a completely amazing, fun time.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S.Eliot