Ballroom teachers needed - no experience required

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Getting back to the original question; isn't this actually standard at most studios to hire and train instructors with no experience?
  2. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Or they might just own the space and rent it out to whomever is willing to pay floor fee (which is what we have here now).
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I think that, with the exception of university programs, it's pretty much standard operating procedure in the US, SF.

    And thanks for getting back to the original question. :wink: :-D
  4. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Most instructors I've known either started this way or they were students at the studio who later went on to being instructors.
  5. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    No, the most comfortable thing is doing american bronze foxtrot basic in a practice hold around the floor with no real poise. It is also the most boring one.
  6. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    That (can be) one island of comfort. But so can a foxtrot in the Blackpool tradition - if you've learned the technique functionally, instead of just an approximation of it for appearences.

    If "poise" is uncomfortable, you are not creating it properly yet, but immitating it in the back - or being imposed upon be a partner who hasn't figured out how to manage his body for your comfort.
  7. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that we have different perception of what "comfortable" means. To me it doesn't mean just pain-free, it also has to be relaxed and very low energy. When I am comfortable (as in comfortably walking around the floor), I am using minimum amount of muscle effort required to stand up straight, with OK everyday posture (like the kind moms mean when they tell us to stand up or sit up straight, and I have quite good everyday posture, in case you're wondering), but nowhere close to the amount of lift and stretch I strive to produce when I am on a competition floor. The high-octane dancing expected on competition floor is not comfortable in that sense.
  8. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    Well, the difference is that what takes lift and stretch for many is easy and relaxed for those who have broken through to an understanding of how it really works. Sure, we might add a little bit in competition, but without a competing couple immediately adjacent for comparison you'd never notice anything missing from what is a relaxed and easy dance for us.

    But I know many who are trying so hard to do what they have been told (or what they heard) that their bodies literally shake with tension.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    What does this have to do with the topic of this thread? Just asking. :cool:

    ntm Why not start your own thread about comfortable versus tense dance holds? That sounds like a topic with legs. Go for it. :)
  10. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    The ones I've had experience with (small, non franchise or sorta franchise but not like AM/FADS) might hire people without TEACHING experience, but they don't hire people with no DANCE experience. Two different skill sets. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Finding people who can teach effectively is the hard part.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Totally agreed.

    I mentioned my three newbie teachers a few pages ago. All of them had a lot of dance experience. Only one (the C and W dancer and line dancer) had teaching experience. She became a dad-blamed awesome teacher who could lead, follow, choreograph and whatever else was needed, within a very short period of time.

    Edited to add: the other two, not so much.
  12. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I think it has to do with this: If there weren't off-the-street people teaching, then those who understand the practical fundamentals of dance would be able to get themselves some students.
  13. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    Its one of many examples of the difference between actual personal expertise and what can be imparted in a choreography - based teacher training program
  14. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    If your teacher is good then his apprentices will be good also. Perhaps your lessons would be more expensive without them -- have you thought of that?
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    If one accepts the premise that all dance teacher training programs are limited to choreography, which I think would be impossible for any of us to know, and which doesn't jibe with the experience/observation I've had of some very good teachers who have come out of such programs.
  16. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    This was covered earlier in the thread. Given the amount of material the trainees will be expected to teach for their overall duration of dance experience, "teaching to the test" is effectively inevitable.

    To instead pursue mastery of dancing, they would need to spend a few years on basic elements - not just study, but application practice in their own dancing.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member



    I've read the whole thread. Heck. I started it. And I don't intend to engage in a debate about the correct path to true mastery of dancing. Knock yourself out, though. Have fun. :cool: :-D
  18. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    If not the relative expertise which results from various teaching career paths, what exactly where you intending to discuss here?
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Curious, do you consider yourself a polemicist ?,
  20. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    Only if the apprentices are encouraged to focus on developing the things that make the master teacher "good". If their training is directed at making them teachers in the near term, most of the effort will have to go in other directions.

    Typically they end up more expensive as a result of there being apprentices, not less expensive.

    What keeps the price for high quality lessons affordable is combination of competition from other options (where available), and also a sense amongst those teaching more serious dancers (teachers who were or perhaps still are themselves still purchasing ongoing training) of what a fair price for coaching is.

    But where trainees are deployed, it's no longer really about dancers training dancers or high quality instruction - primarily it is just business. And the price becomes whatever the market will bear. Hence it's not unheard of for a lesson with a trainee to cost more than what a more serious dancer pays to study with the person training that trainee (a rate which the trainer is no longer free to post)

    It is possible (normal even) to have a hierarchy of teachers with prices that reflect their expertise But that comes about when the lower level teachers are not "trainees" but students of long experience, gradually transitioning into teaching while continuing to study not primarily for purpose of teaching, but for their own development. Probably a lot of those who enter into studio training programs assume this is what they are getting - but it's not - they are getting a job, not an art.

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