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taking lessons from 2 teachers
Posted by marlajms
5/18/2014  8:58:00 PM
I have been taking dance lessons for 4 years now with a wonderful teacher, who has been a teacher for about 6 years. Recently, in our studio, a free lance instructor has come along who has been teaching for 22 years. The owner of the studio, who is also a personal friend of mine, highly recommended I start taking lessons from the more experienced teacher. I have taken several group lessons with him, and one private, and will start taking weekly privates with him at the end of the month. I think he is GREAT, and I'm excited to learn a lot from him. My dilemma is that these 2 men have wildly different approaches to their teaching, their dancing, and just everything about them. My background is very similar to the more experienced teacher, so we can connect on LOTS of different levels. But, my regular teacher and I have worked really hard to have a good relationship. I'm wondering if others of you have had this experience. How do you balance the 2? I have a lot of loyalty to my first teacher, and I don't want to stop taking lessons from him, I just am not sure how to navigate between the 2. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Re: taking lessons from 2 teachers
Posted by ballroomchick
5/20/2014  10:48:00 AM

You have pretty well answered your own question. 2 teachers polar difference in styles. Taking from both and you are constantly undoing the others lesson work. Whats the point? Expensive confusion.

Students come, students go it's the nature of the business. You are the one with the financial responsibility of what is best for you/your dancing. If you connect better with the more experienced teacher then you need to take from him to propel you further in your dancing. All dancers are on a journey to find the instructor who is best for us/our dancing.
Re: taking lessons from 2 teachers
Posted by nloftofan1
5/20/2014  1:33:00 PM
I can't tell you which instructor to choose (if you must choose). As you have already pointed out, several factors are involved.

But there is one lesson you can learn from having classes with more than one dance instructor. Suppose two instructors teach you to do the XYZ figure in Foxtrot (for example) differently. Which is right? Answer: Probably both. When you take dance lessons from a single instructor, you will learn to do things one way. But another equally qualified instructor may have some different ways to perform some of the same elements. And the second instructor's method is (probably) equally valid. While it is VERY important to learn proper technique, you have some freedom. One of the best instructors I had (I've had several) used to say that "Dance is a feeling."

Different people learn things differently. It's possible that a very highly qualified instructor may have trouble getting through to you, while another may speak your language better. This can make a big difference to you.
Re: taking lessons from 2 teachers
Posted by novemberecho
5/23/2014  7:30:00 AM
I agree with nloftofan1 that there can be value in learning from two different instructors. I would never recommend it to a beginning dancer, but after four+ years you most likely have a foundation in whatever style dance you are learning. There is usually more than one right way to dance, and you may find two instructors have drastically different approaches to achieving the same end result. I would be very surprised if any of our top national or world ranked dancers learned *everything* they know from only one instructor.

That said, there is also value in consistency, and if you are becoming easily confused by the differences in instruction, you might find it easier to stick primarily with one. IME it requires a good deal of experience learning dance and a solid understanding of the basics to be able to interpret differences in teaching style as just that, and also to distinguish differences in teaching styles from the presentation of incorrect or inconsistent information.

The most important thing is for you to figure out what learning methods work best for YOU. Good luck :)
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