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Re: teaching beginners
Posted by phil.samways
5/10/2014  4:56:00 AM
Terence.. I agree with what you've said. And also loftofan - you're so right about turning actions.
Partnering is very important i agree. I think we all realise this more and more as we improve. I will be covering that more in the coming weeks.
The cah-cha thing was interesting. They wanted to do cha-cha and they love it. The walking exercise hadn't been planned - it started during the coffee break when some students came back early and i was just giving them the exercise while waiting for the others. Then, of course, they all wanted to join in! But the cha-cha action is something i refer to when revising the progressive chasse. And the lock steps and chasse in slow waltz (some of them have already covered whisk and chasse) as in "here's that cha-cha-cha again" and it helps them feel on home ground.
One thing i've found really useful. The 40 bpm quickstep music for them to dance to. It gave them great confidence. The alma cogan song "20 tiny fingers" at 40bpm is great for beginners.
Please keep offering comments and suggestions. They're very helpful
Re: teaching beginners
Posted by terence2
5/13/2014  1:33:00 AM

Hi again Phil. seems things are working out pretty good.

And yes, Cha always sells, as does Swing/Jive .

Heres something to try.... preceeding L and R turns,, a simple Bpx step. This gets both man and lady used to stepping in directions that, they may not be used to, with weight changes.

As you probably know,(L) Rev. turns invariably are easier to master than Natural (R).

The right turning action is counter intuitive to the mind, as its conditioned to follow the same directions as " travel " around the room, that is, counter clockwise.
Re: teaching beginners
Posted by O.K.
9/1/2014  11:00:00 PM
We had a German teacher a while back who wrote. In the Quickstep he never uses the word quick. He said a beginner will invariably snatch that step. So his basic Quickstep was starting on the RF. Slow-- SlowSlow Slow- Slow- SlowSlow and so on. It does work nicely for a beginner.
To continue. I was told many years ago that to teach think of the first part as the first rung of a ladder. Do it over several times then teach the second rung over and over. Then join 1 and 2 together and repeat several times . Do the same with section 3 and so on.
Re: teaching beginners
Posted by Mr. M.
6/25/2014  8:41:00 PM

I can give you a beginners perspective. I have been going to group dance lessons for a couple of years mostly to please my wife. About 2 months ago I finally said to myself, if I am going to do this I am going to learn to dance.

We have group lessons every Monday which consists of two one hour dances which consists of something like a fox trot and east coast swing. It is impossible to say which dances to start with because we start two new dances every month. So, it all depends on which month the student comes as to what dance they start with.

Our instructor focuses mainly on basic dance steps (bronze stuff). By the end of each month, we learn enough to do about a 45 to 60 second routine. My wife and I went to another studio where we spent one hour totally on hip, feet, etc. with three steps of the cha cha walking forward. We never went back; we weren't ready for that and it wasn't fun. There are other instructors at our independent studio that teach on different days and teach more style. Our instructor has over fifty students in each class. The other instructor has about eight. The people in our class that want to progress, start taking private lessons (like we finally did.) In the end, our teacher always ends up with more winners at competitions.

As a consumer and a beginner, I don't want to pay for private lessons to learn dance routines. I want learn the steps in the group class and learn style and technique for those steps in a private or semi-private lesson (with my wife.)

Our instructor has said that her teaching method depends on what part of the country or world where she is teaching. When she taught in Russia, every single student was taking lessons for competition; social dancing was unheard of at her studio there. Similarly, she said that when she taught in New York / New Jersey they wanted more style and technique. When she came down south in Florida (with lots of retirees) she said that she was surprised and delighted that most people just wanted to learn social dancing. She had to change her teaching method for more "moves" than technique in the group lessons. Currently out of the fifty people in the dance class about forty just want to get good enough to go out to the dance party and have fun. From my limited knowledge, I can see that the form is not correct, there are a lot of missteps, some are off beat but everyone is having fun - beginners and experienced competitive dancers.

I come from a tennis background so I can relate it to the a tennis teaching pro. Some pros teach tennis at a hotel or resort to people on vacation; the goal is to get them to be able to hit the ball back and forth. Then the teach a smidgen of strategy for doubles. However, some teaching pros are always looking for the next prodigy. They go to junior tennis tournaments and scout out 10 and 12 year old kids that really show talent. They are looking to develop the next Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. They teach the intricacies of the game.

In summary, you have to figure out who you want to teach and what the market where you are wants.
Re: teaching beginners
Posted by nloftofan1
6/26/2014  7:50:00 AM
You make some good points. The opposite extreme to teaching students proper technique and preparing them for competitions is teaching a dance class on a cruise ship. The instructors will only see the students for a few days--at most. They need to find a way to teach something today that the members of the class can do tonight. If they find it enjoyable, some of the students may want to continue lessons when they get home. And if not, nothing is lost. The main thing (in this situation) is for the students to see that dancing can be fun.
Re: teaching beginners
Posted by O.Z.
7/2/2014  8:19:00 PM
Tell them and they may listen.
Show them and they may understand.
But make each and everyone do it
solo; and they will never forget.
Re: teaching beginners
Posted by lydiashao
9/1/2014  5:04:00 AM
You can teach rumba first.because rumba is the slowiest .beginners could follow easier at the beginning.my English is not ver good .i hop my advice could be benefit to you.hope you can understand my words.good luck to you!
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