10 Rules For Students and Teachers by Corita Kent

Legendary choreographer, Merce Cunningham kept these rules hanging in his studio.  Given to him by longtime partner, John Cage, they were  written by Sister Corita Kent in 1967-68 as part of a project in a class she taught.  What stands out most is how relevant these rules are today.  Long before dance competitions and self promotion on social media were these core rules (values) that still can be a catapult for success – in a nutshell work hard and be a sponge.  Take a look.


Merce Cunningham Studio

10 Rules For Students and Teachers

Rule 1:  Find a place you trust, try trusting it a while.

Rule 2:  General Duties as a Student – Pull everything out of your teacher.  Pull everything out of your fellow students.

Rule 3:  General Duties as a Teacher – Pull everything out of your students.

Rule 4:  Consider everything as an experiment.

Rule 5:  Be self disciplined.  This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them.  To be disciplined is to follow in a good way.  To be self disciplined is to followion  a better way.

Rule 6:  Follow the leader.  Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail.  There is only make.

Rule 7:  The only rule is work.  If you work it will lead to something.  It is the people who do all the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.  You can fool the fans, but not the players.

Rule 8:  Do not try to create and analyze at the same time.  They are different processes.

Rule 9:  Be happy whenever you can manage it.  Enjoy yourself.  It is lighter than you think.

Rule 10. We are breaking all the rules, even our own rules and how dod we do that?  By leaving plenty of room for “x” qualities.

Helpful Hints:

Always be around.

Come or go to everything.

Always go to classes.

Read everything you can get your hands on.

Look at movies carefully and often.

SAVE EVERYTHING.  It may come in handy later.


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