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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

How to Succeed in Guilting Tweens Without Really Trying January 8, 2014

Sometimes I teach dance. I know the concept of me teaching is a very scary thing, but it has been known to happen. I taught at one camp where my whole job was to teach each group of kids one number.  Each child only had to learn one measly stinkin’ number, and this one group of tween girls wouldn’t learn it. They said they couldn’t learn it, but really they were too busy trying to flirt with the gay boys.

It was two days before the big show, and the girls still didn’t know their number. So I got a big TV and my video camera and recorded the girls dancing. I put the video up on the big screen and told them to watch it and then we would all do a critique. We watched it, and all the girls had a great time tearing each other apart. Then I told them to watch it again, watching only themselves, with the criticisms they had just given their fellows in mind. Ninety percent of them were in tears by the end of the second viewing.

I put on my best disappointed parent voice and told them that their parents had paid good money for them to come to this camp and that I hoped the girls were proud of themselves, because neither I nor their parents would be proud of them based on that performance.

The girls cried more, and I walked away and let them stew in their tears. Luckily for me, the director of the camp was Catholic and had a great appreciation for guilt trips. He thought I was a genius! And I didn’t get fired, so that was a win. The dance was never great, but it was better. And the girls learned a valuable lesson: fear the choreographer with the video camera. That evidence will never go away.

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3 Responses to “How to Succeed in Guilting Tweens Without Really Trying”

  1. Megan Says:

    While this was not my class, I do remember you doing this and I may or may not have laughed at this!

  2. Yup – this generation must fear the video instant replay. Genius move.


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