A video of tiny tap dancers in tutus has more than 3 million views on YouTube, and it’s not hard to see why. During a performance, one pre-school–aged student makes a fleeting attempt to execute choreography with her classmates before striking out into completely uncharted, adorably inventive territory and basically throwing her own one-woman dance party onstage. (I wish the camera had zoomed out so we could see just how far off she is from the rest of the class!)
The scene that unfolds is cute and funny, and many viewers praise the tiny tapper’s spirit and energy. For most teachers, however, this is not actually an ideal situation for a performance, and it raises an important point: You want students to be themselves and express their individuality, but following classroom rules and learning choreography are valuable skills, as well. It takes time and experimentation to find that balance, but if you’re lucky, you have some memorable moments like this along the way.