I was reminded of this quote and the concept behind it last week and it reminded me of the reason behind my business.

CDP Dance — my main dance business — was started in 2017 and, unlike most dance schools, doesn’t offer the typical exam options. I haven’t trained to do exams and, in my first year of being a freelance teacher, the contracts I enjoyed the most were the non exam ones.

As time goes on I love it more and more and am constantly reminded that exams aren’t everything.

Before I started my dance degree I undertook my Advanced 1 ballet exam, which is the 2nd to last exam to do. However, I failed it by 1 mark. By the time I got the result it was too late for me to dispute it. Yes, it was disappointing after the hard work I’d put in, but sadly there was nothing I could do. Does that mean I’m not good enough?

When I was a zumba instructor, I did my Exercise to Music qualification and the anatomy exam took me 3 attempts to pass.

Now, any personal development or CPD courses I do, I check whether there is any assessment and how it is done. If there is a written exam I will look for alternative options and decide how essential it is to sit an exam for it.

Exams have their place, but more and more I’m seeing that the education system needs a huge overhaul, particularly the arts.

Learning through doing needs bringing back.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it’s stupid.”

By this I mean, the creative subjects need bringing back and students should be allowed to choose them for their GCSEs. Whilst not every student will go on to be a painter, actor, musician, dancer, graphic designer, web designer, IT support etc; the skills that they will learn from these subjects will help them in their later life.

Organisation, confidence, thinking outside the box, team work, confidence and accountability are just some of the skills that these subjects teach and are invaluable skills to the workplace.

I’m sure that the education is going through an overhaul especially as during the lockdown period of 2020 the activities that kids have been doing are arts, music, sport and cooking!

I will be very pleased to see the arts back in the curriculum!