Why Dancers Should NEVER Say “I Can’t”

Dance Background – Never Say Can’t

I started dancing when I was just about 3 years old. I even can picture my first dance routine, we were the “Ugly Little Ducklings.” (Cute, right.) As I got older I began to take more and more dance classes. It took up a lot of my “free” time, but dancing was something that I always loved. I grew up dancing in a very strict, classical, performance studio. We never competed, just practiced, practiced, practiced and then performed.


In this studio, we were not allowed to say the word “Can’t.” If we did our teacher would spank us (gently) with a ruler, or we had to sit out of class. **We learned very quickly to never say “can’t.”


Growing up NOT saying the word “can’t” has helped me in more ways than I would ever realize.

Because of my “Can Do” Attitude:

  • I have been independent since I was 18.
  • I am one of the hardest workers you will find.
  • I always push myself to excel and I never give up or quite.
  • Not saying the word “can’t” has proudly lead me to be the CEO of Lai Rupe’s Choreography.



In my eyes, dancer who say “I can’t do this, It’s too hard;” “It hurts, I can’t hold my splits;” these dancers are absolutely right.

  • They will never be better dancers,
  • they will never be able to do the movements, because they are not willing to try.

These dancers that say “I can’t” will never succeed, and not just in the dance world. This negative attitude and un-willingness to try will carry with them throughout everything in their lives.


As a Dance Teacher Now. . .

In the classes I currently teach as an instructor, the whiny word “can’t” literally makes me sick. I let my dancers know that if they want to say they can’t do something, then they can sit in the hall for the rest of class.
I do this, because I want them to try hard and to believe in themselves. If they are constantly saying that they “can’t,” then they will never give 100% and improve as dancers, or people. I want to make my dancers push themselves to be the best they can be. This won’t happen with a negative “can’t” attitude.

Surprisingly none of the dancers actually want to sit out and not do it, so requiring them not to say that, if they want to be in class, actually makes them try harder and complain a little less.


As a child Dancer, did your Teachers allow you to say “Can’t” in classes?

  • 0% Yes, they didn’t mind or notice.

  • 50% No, they wanted us to improve 100%

  • 0% I am not sure.

  • 50% I chose personally not to say that, it wasn’t enforced.

2 people have voted in this poll.


As a dance teacher, I feel like I am more than just a teacher.

  1. I am a role model.
  2. I am an example.
  3. I am a motivator.
  4. I am a treat giver.
  5. I am a life molder.

By teaching these young children, I want to just teach them more than simple dance moves. I want to teach them to have good morals and to live their lives as dependable, hardworking, inspiring people.

I want them to live their lives in ways that they will be proud of.

And maybe, someday they will look back and say, “I am where I am today, because I was a dancer who said I CAN, not I Can’t.

Have any dance questions, concerns, or topics to discuss? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Lai Rupe’s Choreography. I am here to spread the beauty of dance.


To Improve your dance-self more and more each day, please follow me and check out some of my other great articles like, “10 Crucial Steps for Being a Better Dancer”

Thanks for your LOVE and Support!

~Alaina (Lai) Rupe


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