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Re: Going out into business
Posted by silver
2/22/2010  11:35:00 AM
Ondine,
One of the gravest errors anyone can make in an arena such as ballroom is to not know that which you don't know. You state "there are no more steps in this studio for [you] to learn," but do you know what those steps are? If you do, you need to learn those first and attain proficiency. If you don't know what is missing in your repertoire, seek that knowledge first.
I was at a similar juncture in my learning some time back. The studio where I go is nice, but it could only take a serious minded person so far. Some of the teachers aren't as qualified as they proclaim and I rarely hear of any of them seeking "continuing education," i.e., staying current. I had decided to make trips to a neighboring state where I could study under a full USISTD Fellow, when a new teacher came to our studio who is competent, up-to-date, and who paid her dues coming up through the ranks. How do I know she is that good? I read style and syllabi, I study films of recognized professionals / champions, I listen and pay attention, and I then compare apples to apples. My teacher, shes a good apple, and I am grateful she can to my area.
I now know more about many aspects of ballroom than the majority of the "teachers" at the studio, but I wouldn't presume to be a capable teacher since I have the awareness of what I still don't know. And there is a lot to know! I tutor a few people from time to time, but I know when to stop and tell someone they need to seek assistance from a truly qualified teacher.
Pass on what you know to be correct and help others with that knowledge, but don't teach what you haven't yet nearly perfected. There are a lot of instructors who claim in person, over the phone, and on their web sites to be certified in Bronze through Gold, but all they really have is the green from the sales of their snake oil. Those people aggravate me to no end!

Re: Going out into business
Posted by dheun
2/22/2010  2:09:00 PM
Go on the Learning the Dances portion of this website and see how many steps or variations you know well enough to teach -- both the man's and woman's steps. That will give you an idea of where your expertise really lies -- yet not really the full idea, because this site doesn't have the videos for the more advanced levels yet. So you're only talking bronze for the most part, but that still covers a lot of ground in a lot of dances.
I have been dancing since I was a kid, so it's going on almost 50 years. I certainly feel qualified to teach and I do so as a moonlighting hobby, not as a professional. I do it because I want people who might not otherwise go to a studio to get comfortable with dancing and then I encourage them to move onto a private studio setting for more advanced instruction if they want that.
So, I would agree with the posters who feel you have to put some more time and thought into this. However, I do believe that YOU believe you can do it and that you are good at what you do know. There is nothing wrong with that, and I wouldn't discourage staying with it and getting a more complete syllabus under your belt. But you may be amazed at what all goes into properly showing and explaining the intricacies of technique, leading and following, and any number of other essential aspects that have a lot to do with being a good dancer before you even start addressing footwork and step sequences.
Re: Going out into business
Posted by terence2
2/22/2010  10:54:00 PM
I think what most have missed is the " style " of dance he is teaching. I,m guessing its Amer.style at Bronze level.

If this is the case, then the time amount he presents should be more than sufficient ( if its the standard 6 dances ).

In 3 and 1/2 yrs, with good instruction and dedication by a competant individual, one should be able to train someone,well into a Silver Amer. style, and or an Intern. style at Assoc level.

BUT... not having seen the poster and how they perform ( teaching wise ) then I will not pass judgement.

I also believe, that people sometimes confuse ones dance ability , with the quality of teaching.. thats not to say one should not be a competant dancer.. but.. good dancing has little or nothing to do with the " art " of teaching.

Teaching is much more than spouting technique and correcting mistakes...
Re: Going out into business
Posted by Telemark
2/23/2010  5:51:00 AM
Terence, no one's missed anything: Ondine doesn't say anything about the style - and as you say, you're guessing, yourself.

I don't read the post as implying two years instruction, followed by a year and a half of teaching, the post just says:

I've been learning dance for a couple of years now


I know you regularly defend the chain schools and their standards, and perhaps by those standards, this is nothing unusual, but count me out!
Re: Going out into business
Posted by terence2
2/23/2010  6:12:00 AM
I regularly defend ??.. I always try to be fair... Ive worked in all capacities for both chains .. some very good ones, AND some very bad ones.

And, i can say EXACTLY the same about the many indies in which I have worked.

Its invariably the bad things in life that get the " press ",, as the saying goes " if it bleeds it leads "..

Were very quick to admonish someone who we know little about.. and.. Im the first one usually, to advocate strong dance backgound before embarking on a dance career.. 3 plus yrs in Amer.style would be adequate IF the proper training was in order..

And I know that I made an assumption, but I based it upon the way they wrote their info ( also I believe theyre from the States ) Im sure they will respond..

One other thing I would like to point out.. YOUR assumption that their training was poor is in a way a direct affront to me. I trained hundreds of beginning teachers in the chain schools over the yrs ( 2 who went on to become US champions ).. in addition.. in many of todays schools,there are many very highly qualified teachers, many of European descent, that are more uptodate than many of my English colleagues !! .

When you look at blackpool results do you realise how many of those visit and train, in American chain studios ?... I NEVER see that in the UK ( ya gotta go to them ).

There are currently ,in Tampa , former british champs ( italian couple ) running a chain school.. you are way behind the times..

Re: Going out into business
Posted by dheun
2/23/2010  7:41:00 AM
While I think I made some vaild points in my earlier post, mark me down as understanding and agreeing with Terence's comments on this one. I could see where after a few years, you could teach bronze level fairly well.
I started teaching friends and others after going through the Fred Astaire studio program for about four years. I have since spent more years than that at a private studio, but it was a good transition. I don't have a particular problem or complaint with the chains, other than you have to be aware and careful of how their contracts work.
The private studio, it seemed, wasn't concerned about teaching you "too much" at one particular time, whereas the chains were more rigid in what you could learn for a certain amount of money.
All of that aside, I especially like Terence's view that you can be a very good teacher without having to be an outstanding dancer, per se. Some of the best dancers in our studio can't explain to others what they do or how they do it. I feel like I am quite good at explaining how something is supposed to look and feel, as well as the proper step patterns and frame/holds -- but I would categorize myself as only a "competent" dancer, not outstanding. Others give me more credit than that, but I know the difference.

Re: Going out into business
Posted by Telemark
2/23/2010  8:55:00 AM
3 plus yrs in Amer.style would be adequate IF the proper training was in order


But he doesn't say that he's had three years training, does he?
Re: Going out into business
Posted by belleofyourball
2/23/2010  9:24:00 AM
My comments had nothing to do with chain status or the disbelief that someone can reasonably teach beginners after dancing a few years. Not all chains are bad and not all indys are good and people learn at different rates.

His feeling that he had everything there was to know under his belt and that simply knowing the steps was all there was to dance is what bothered me. This arrogance suggests he does not begin to know what he does not know and I was under the same assumption for the first 6 months of dancing. He is years into it and doesn't know this yet.

People who think they have nothing left to learn should not be teaching or in any public field. I spent years in school to become a professional and I still spend two weeks a year in professional development and consult with colleagues because I don't always have an answer.

This guy just told us he has nothing left to learn. I'm not going to foster that attitude in anyone.
Re: Going out into business
Posted by silver
2/23/2010  11:45:00 AM
Ondine,

What are your thoughts of our opinions of this subject? It would be interesting to read your comments about our ideas and retorts to one another.
Re: Going out into business
Posted by fatimasdancer
2/23/2010  3:59:00 PM
Ondine,

I have been dancing for years, but in no means am I good enough to strike it out on my own. You said you are taking lessons at another studio, have you talked to that studio to see if you can get some teaching hours in? Finish your dance education, teach a few years, and then go out and open a business of your own.

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