Log In

Username:

Password:

   Stay logged in?

Forgot Password?

User Status

 

Attention

 

Recover Password

Username or Email:

Loading...
Change Image
Enter the code in the photo at left:

Before We Continue...

Are you absolutely sure you want
to delete this message?

Premium Membership

Upgrade to
Premium Membership!

Renew Your
Premium Membership!

$99
$79
PER YEAR

Premium Membership includes the following benefits:

Don't let your Premium Membership expire, or you'll miss out on:

  • Exclusive access to over 1,400 video demonstrations of patterns in the full bronze, silver and gold levels.
  • Access to all previous variations of the week, including full video instruction of man's and lady's parts.
  • Over twice as many videos as basic membership.
  • A completely ad-free experience!

 

Sponsored Ad

+ View Older Messages

Re: new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by Telemark
11/29/2010  3:56:00 AM
I agree that a teacher's ability in dance performance is of very secondary importance to their skills as a teacher, but it's a bit daft to say that the skills are mutually exclusive, surely?

Teaching is a vocation, as much as anything, and naturally gifted teachers are pretty rare (while decent performers are ten-a-penny). The only way to evaluate a teacher properly is to work with them. Personal recommendation is very important, and you can form some sort of impression by observing their pupils dance, but that is a very crude measure (and largely meaningless unless you know what experience and aptitude the students had to start with).

A key factor is whether the teacher can adapt his/her teaching methods to the learning style of the student, and there's only one way to find out.

If they ask you to pay for more than one lesson at a time, laugh in their face, and walk away.
Re: new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by belleofyourball
11/29/2010  12:12:00 AM
I look at their other students first and then I look at how they dance. I don't just mean in the studio I mean in the real world as well, be it at a comp or social dancing. Then I decide if I can handle their style of teaching.
Re: new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by joelhwood
11/29/2010  4:17:00 AM
Thnak you for your thoughts please more. So how would you suggest a newby choose an instructor. Newbie just starting ir stepping out if group lessons into focussed learning? any thoughts
Newbies need to proceed with caution.
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/29/2010  6:42:00 AM
The first thing that new dancers need to decide is their reason for dancing. What do they expect out of formal partner dancing? Are they looking for social competence or do they have Dancing-with-the-Stars in their eyes?

The best thing for a newcomer to do is to find more experienced amateurs whom they trust and consider their advice.

Lacking such an established contact, newcomers should stick with classes until they learn the "lay of the studio."

The worst thing for newcomers to do is to approach dance professionals immediately for private lessons.

jj
Re: Newbies need to proceed with caution.
Posted by dheun
11/29/2010  2:24:00 PM
joelhwood, you have not indicated how many group lessons you have completed and what you thought of the instructor who was leading those lessons. If you enjoyed the group lessons and the small amount of attention you got from that instructor during those sessions, then it stands to reason that you may want to see how that same instructor does in a private lesson setting. To this day, I still go to group lessons as brush ups on fundamentals and to see how the instructor addresses problems with each couple. But I go to that same instructor for private lessons because he knows how to explain things and his focus is really good on frame, posture and proper connection with the partner. The steps are not an afterthought by any means, but the steps are always easier when the body is in proper position to complete them. In other words, the steps almost come naturally after a while -- it's the frame and posture that needs never-ending attention and advice ... especially for us older chaps. But it holds true for new learners as well.

Re: Newbies need to proceed with caution.
Posted by joelhwood
12/1/2010  6:09:00 AM
I enquire as a teacher of 3 + decades and successful studio owner (14 years open) and am curious what the new dancers now are looking for. As always trends continue to shift just a little. With the advent of TV shows I am wondering what the computer users thoughts are with regard to starting.

In my experience I have met so many students who have so much bad technique coming out of group classes that I spend many hours breaking patterns and re-teaching even for fun and social situations (NOT competitive only.) You have wisely supplemented your group with privates I applaud you.

I also am constantly evaluating my teachers and want to make sure they lean toward your desires on the dance floor and I find this forum at BDC helps us focus on the dancer.
Unfortunate wording.
Posted by jofjonesboro
12/1/2010  6:29:00 AM
. . . I have met so many students who have so much bad technique coming out of group classes . . .

I hope that you did not intend to imply that group classes teach bad technique. I shouldn't have to tell you that teaching technique is not the purpose of a class.

Newcomers should begin with classes - and not private lessons - because classes are an inexpensive entry point into ballroom.

Technique may be important to those of us who take dance seriously but not everyone does so. I know many social dancers who are happy simply to be on the floor with their friends.

jj
Re: Unfortunate wording.
Posted by anymouse
12/1/2010  7:39:00 AM
"I hope that you did not intend to imply that group classes teach bad technique."

While it wasn't my comment, I certainly would make the observation that this is often the case. Unfortunately, in many settings, the group classes are unwisely assigned to junior, technically incompetent staff members. If the teacher can neither demonstrate nor explain correctly, there is little hope of the students getting it right.

In other, more wisely run settings, group classes are taught by some of the most expert teachers.

"I shouldn't have to tell you that teaching technique is not the purpose of a class."

There certainly are classes where that is the explicit purpose, but providing a sound reference should always be important, even when it's not the primary goal. There is just no excuse for flawed demonstrations.

"Newcomers should begin with classes - and not private lessons - because classes are an inexpensive entry point into ballroom."

Provided that the classes provide entry into core concerns of ballroom, yes. But if the only coverage of topics of any real importance is in private lessons, then unfortunately those are going to be necessary almost from the start, if students are to have a chance to become aware of what ballroom dancing has to offer. I would much rather they be able to gain that exposure in group classes, economically, and with a peer group they can practice with - but that just isn't offered in many places.

"Technique may be important to those of us who take dance seriously but not everyone does so. I know many social dancers who are happy simply to be on the floor with their friends."

That's fine as a personal choice. But no one should be making that decision for anyone else by consigning them to a training situation that lacks more accurate information.
Not getting enough attention?
Posted by jofjonesboro
12/1/2010  10:25:00 AM
I'm not gong to get into another protracted "discussion" with you just so you can demonstrate what you think you know about ballroom.

I will simply point out that newcomers lack the knowledge to make an informed decision about choosing a private instructor and that classes give them a cheaper way to learn about the ballroom dance industry. If they enjoy what they're doing then they'll seek out on instructor on their own.

Also, those "junior, technically incompetent staff members" also wind up teaching private lessons to newcomers in most of the studios which in which I have danced.

Your last sentence is self-contradictory.

I stand by my advice. Now you can get off on having the last word again.

jj
Unable to take criticism?
Posted by anymouse
12/1/2010  12:04:00 PM
"I will simply point out that newcomers lack the knowledge to make an informed decision about choosing a private instructor and that classes give them a cheaper way to learn about the ballroom dance industry."

They can't make an informed decision if ballroom is even right for them if there are not classes of real instructional value offered to them. Unfortunately in many locations there are not. Skipping to private lessons relatively quickly in such a situation is not a great work-around, but it may be the only work-around other than moving.

"Also, those "junior, technically incompetent staff members" also wind up teaching private lessons to newcomers in most of the studios which in which I have danced."

Yes, they do. But the key point is that in a lot of places, the competent instructors only teach private lessons, leaving the groups in the hands of the incompetent. This is a shortsighted business practice, because it leads to a higher turnover rate than when group classes provide sound information to build a strong student body, who when they escalate to private lessons, will then continue taking them for a long time.

But because those incompetent staff members do indeed also get assigned private lessons, another important thing is to never, ever pre-pay for lessons under an arrangement where the studio can change the teacher from the one you thought you were getting to a different one. Really, it's best to bypass the studio and deal directly with a competent individual teacher one lesson at a time (this is how all real teachers do business, accepting someone else's agency only when temporarily visiting a location) - unfortunately, these aren't the opportunities which are advertised to the public, so you have to identify a teacher of interest and look them up on the NDCA website to get their phone number.

"Your last sentence is self-contradictory."

No. I observed on the difference between student's right to choose a limited form of ballroom for themselves, vs someone else (your recommendation of starting with only groups apparently irrespective of their quality, combined with a studio owner's decision to offer only bad group classes in order to promote privates) consigning them to a limited one.

When good group classes are available, I strongly agree that this is the best way to start, with private lessons slowly being added until they eventually take over. But unfortunately, classes of quality comparable to private lessons are much less available than they should be.

+ View More Messages

Copyright  ©  1997-2017 BallroomDancers.com
Loading...