Yes, I just used a catch phase. But, really... when you think about it, it is so true in so many areas of your life--and is directly related to your happiness--yes, even in dance and dance schools.
Let me expand this thought ...
Let's pretend that I am the "best teacher" in the world. You come to my studio with the subconscious need for competition. My school is the furthest thing from that, where competition is discouraged and teamwork, family, and honouring other students is a huge part of my studio philosophy. Because you need competition to flourish, there is NO WAY you will ever be satisfied or happy with what my studio offers you... yes, even if I may be the "best teacher in the world".
To find your "true" tribe, you need to really look within yourself. What is important to you? WHY are you dancing? Do you feel comfortable in the studio atmosphere? Do you like and respect the teacher? (notice I have not asked.. what studio is closest to me, or what studio is the cheapest)
Remember, in smaller studios, students may be with the same teacher in all of their levels/classes from the time they start, to the time they leave. As their teacher, especially with that long of a relationship, I will be directly influencing how the child thinks, reacts to failure, their well-being, their morals, and their sense of self-worth and confidence. This is huge. Like bigger than huge. And most parents don't realize the overall importance of it when just signing up for a fun little dance class.... but this is me saying: THINK about it. The friends your child meets will become life-long friends who share a common bond--dancing. These kids will also probably be together from the start to the finish. They will be Tribe members-- Who have each other's back when they've had the worst day, or finally mastered a step they've been struggling with. These tribe members become dance brothers and sisters... they see us at our lowest and our highest... and we are connected with work, sweat, defeats and triumphs and spend YEARS side by side.
"Finding your tribe" means just that. Find like-minded souls who mesh with YOU and your needs. Find the people who inspire you, who make you feel like sunshine, who make you want to be the best you can be. And -- you know what? It may not be me or my studio.... and that is perfectly OK!! Life would be pretty boring if everyone/thing was the same, wouldn't it? Dance studios/teachers are All. Totally. Different. Teachers are human and individuals, with their own ideas, training, and methods. We all approach teaching differently, and we all have our own things we excel AND struggle with. Each teacher will attract a tribe that meshes with each other.
So: my lesson in all of this:
Before signing up willy-nilly for "just" a dance class: