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new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by joelhwood
11/25/2010  5:24:00 AM
wat do u look 4 in a teacher.

when you hire a professional contractor to build your roof you want his qualifications, references and people who use him over and over again. Contractors are proud to show off their accomplishments, Dance teachers too. So my question to dancers
what do you ask of a teacher when you interview them to give you instruction?
Re: new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by Patrick-Yv
11/25/2010  10:57:00 PM

1 to be competent
2 to be pedagogical
3 to be inflexible (he or she must say what goes wrong when I am dancing)

Re: new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by quickstep7
11/28/2010  1:00:00 PM

You ask them to be flexible, understanding, competent and most importantly to be a good dancer themselves (awards will tell you this)!
Re: new? wat do u look 4 in a teacher
Posted by terence2
11/29/2010  2:54:00 AM
A very common mistake is to evaluate teaching skills with performance skills.

The 2 ARE mutually exclusive .

The competancy of elucidating the nuances of " dance ", in a manner which is crystal clear, is THE prime requisite .

trophies do not a teacher make !!
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.

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.

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