5 Hints for Any Dance Teacher When Starting a Lesson
In my previous article, we’ve seen how important is the student’s attitude in order to get the best out of a private lesson. Being humble and determined, respectful and positive are key traits to be both a good student and make the dance teacher comfortable working with you. Nevertheless, we must admit that not all responsibility sits on the dancer’s shoulder.
Simple but effective details will help any dance teacher to lead the perfect lesson, even in the most difficult situations.
Let’s check out together 5 Hints for Dance Teacher When Starting a Lesson:
1. Adjust The Difficulty Level of Your Explanation
Every subject and every concept can be explained in different difficulty levels. You should be flexible and intuitive enough to understand how fast your students are reacting to the information you are delivering.
Pay attention to how you explain. Give your students a clear picture of what you are teaching. Talking with big words and making it sound complex is not the way to go and will not will not always give you the high-skilled teacher reputation you might wish for.
2. Be Sure of What You Say
The worst thing for a student is to have a dance teacher that doesn’t know what to do. Even if you show only once that you don’t know how to solve a problem or if you explain a technical concept in a totally different way than how you did on a previous time, you are giving them a chance to think about choosing another teacher.
Don’t improvise. Try to stay within the ideas you are familiar with, that you have tried as a dancer and you are sure will work. Use basic principles to analyze what the couple is showing you and work out the solution that will improve their dancing.
3. Be More Specific and Use Less Rhetoric
As all dancers are different, try to avoid teaching only through general concepts. Many times we’ve heard top-level teachers, during group lessons or lectures, giving big lectures full of meaning that will resonate in your head for months.
But this is not the same case. Here, you only have one or two students in front of you and your approach should be different. Try to be specific, work on small parts and focus on just a few aspects per lesson. In this way, the improvement will happen faster and the students will remember much easier.
4. Give Examples, Be An Example
Unless you are a dancesport legend that needs no introduction, you should provide some proof that you can apply what you teach. A piano teacher can show you how to play good, a chef can show you how to properly prepare a dish, and a vocal coach can sing correctly.
Students catch anything you show them and with some of them, it’s actually more effective to explain something by doing it, rather than simply talking about it. If you can dance it, they will never doubt your value.
5. Balance Between Rewarding and Criticizing
This can be definitely considered the most difficult skill to achieve for a teacher, yet the most important. The future of a dancer can be determined by the way a teacher approaches the students and leads them along their career.
Always motivate them but don’t fool them. Try to be honest when talking about their mistakes and the improvements they must make. Don’t pull them away from their goals. Conclude the lesson by giving them the feeling that they have done a good job, but still have a lot of work to do.
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Matteo Del Gaone
Italian, dancing since the age of 5 and currently based in Moscow. With his partner Ekaterina Utkina, he is in the top 50 WDSF Adult Standard World Ranking, representing the Russian Federation.