Dance has always been a huge part of Makenna Sendecki’s life, and now she is guiding tomorrow’s dancers.
“When I was four I started dancing, just a little baby ballerina and I kept dancing all the way until high school graduation,” Sendecki said.
Sendecki attended a high school in Calgary which featured a dance program and she began teaching her own dance classes by the time she was 14 years old.
“It is amazing what you can teach people and what they can learn so fast and so well,” Sendecki said.
She added, it’s amazing what a three-year-old can learn, and how young dancers new found self-confidence will shine through. However, teaching dance classes does come with challenges that Sendecki has to overcome each dance class.
Teaching young children how to take criticism without destroying them mentally is one of the hardest parts of teaching to Sendecki.
“Once you get past that, it’s an amazing life skill for kids to be able to take critiques that they have been given, absorb it, and then move on.”
For Sendecki, adults dance classes are the toughest to teach because adults can’t let loose and be as comfortable as children can be.
“They’re so hard on themselves, they’re growth is amazing, they start to feel comfortable in their own skin, get out of their mind, just dance, and just be,” Sendecki said.
In order to get adults out of their own head Sendecki works on building relationships with them from the very beginning.
“They have to get to know you, and see that you can just let it go, and that you make mistakes just seeing that you’re a normal person, they can be a normal person,” she said.
Adult dancers don’t have to be perfect, it takes time. Adults are not children in the sense that they don’t absorb everything you throw at them like sponges.
“They are very set in how they perceive themselves, you just need to give them time to see themselves differently, literally in the mirror,” Sendecki said.
The best part of teaching dance classes for Sendecki is watching the children and the adults just dance and just be themselves.
Although Sendecki recognizes that dance is not for everybody, she encourages everyone to come in and realize that they can dance.
“I don’t think anyone is an unexperienced dancer, everyone has danced in their shower, in their living room, everyone has grooved in their car,” Sendecki added, “Just come, just try, see if you like it, if you hate it you can leave, and if you love it then let’s do it.
“Come in for 45 minutes to an hour, and not think about what you’re going to make for dinner tomorrow, or that you have three loads of laundry to do.
“You get 45 minutes to yourself and you have to think about what you’re doing especially if it’s new because it doesn’t come easy,” she said.
The largest challenge for Sendecki is when the dancers begin to get discouraged and they begin to get stuck in their own heads.
“That begins to affect our teaching style, because we try to keep them positive and optimistic.
“In the competitive world that’s hard because they’re constantly being compared to other dancers and being judged,” Sendecki added, “They get really hard on themselves when they hear a negative comment.”
In order to combat the potential negative feedback, the dancers can receive, Sendecki tries to remind the dancers that the judge’s opinion is only one opinion out of many.
Although Sendecki loves teaching dance, she once had a dream of becoming a professional dancer, and realizing the industry wasn’t the best option for her was difficult.
“I didn’t put myself in the spot light all the time, if you didn’t notice me, you didn’t notice me. I wasn’t going to force you to notice me, and that’s how it was when I was in auditions.”
When Sendecki was pursuing a professional dance career she was already teaching dance classes, and wasn’t willing to give up teaching, which she loved, to audition to dance on a cruise ship.
“I fell in love with teaching as soon as I accepted I can teach. I’m good at it, teaching became my thing for sure,” she said.
Right now, Sendecki’s ultimate goal is to build a positive community through dance and have everyone happy and enjoying dancing and being themselves.
“I’m not a phenomenal dancer, I don’t dance because I want to be on the television. Dancing just makes me happy, it’s my passion, it’s my love. I’m very good at teaching and I’m good at what I do, and I want people to be in on that,” Sendecki said.
The Dexterity Dance Studio offers a variety of dance classes, for all age groups that are instructed by professional, kind, and highly qualified instructors, Sendecki added.
For more information about dance classes offered at Dexterity Dance Studio please visit the website at https://www.dexteritydancestudio.ca, call or text Dexterity Dance Studio at 403-816-6189, or stop by the studio to chat. Registrations for dance classes ends the end of September.