This took you a week? Posted by jofjonesboro 3/21/2011 9:41:00 PM
Just as anymouse does, you remind me of a bad high-school debater. You apparently believe that if you just vomit up enough verbiage then you prevail through sheer tedium.
I'll deal with the crux of this "disagreement" first.
For obvious reasons, you are ignoring the entire basis of partner dancing: it is an activity for couples. There are no individuals on the dance floor. Pro/am tries to redefine it as a pursuit for individuals. The pro/am student has, in truth, no partner.
I know from my own experience and that of other amateurs that your response about learning mechanics is simply untrue. By learning to follow a lead who is also learning to dance a particular figure, the follow learns the feel of both his correct movements and his mistakes. Understanding how it feels when he is doing something improperly gives the follow the ability to give her partner critical feedback when they practice. This interplay works in both directions.
There is no practicing in pro/am other than the student's practicing alone. With no one to notice and correct mistakes, practicing alone can serve simply to ingrain bad habits.
Also not to be overlooked: By sharing the lesson with someone else, you get exactly half the attention.
I find myself wondering how you run your lesson when you're teaching a couple. When my instructor addresses my partner, I don't walk off of the floor and sit down. I pay as much attention as when the instructor directs her attention to me; my partner does the same. Understanding what one's partner must do is critical to becoming a good lead or follow. The fact that the instructor is not talking directly to one partner does not mean that the other one is not learning.
Consider a class during which one of the students asks a question. Although the teacher may direct the response to that student, all of the others in the class learn something from it.
There is not "another separate skill" in my automotive analogy (had I already named one separate skill?). The driver of the standard-transmission can easily drive an automatic but one who has learned to drive only an automatic cannot operate a stick shift without difficulty. Similarly, one who learns with another student learns to deal with mistakes and problems; a pro/am student doesn't.
The fact that you can come up with a counter arguemnt doesn't mean that it's a good one.