Ballroom Dance > Teacher Appeal

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    So what makes you want to work with a certain teacher?

    Is it their credentials, popularity, personality, success of their students, communication, height, or some combination of these?
  2. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Yes, all of the above except for height, since I compete am-am. Popularity only before I know them myself, as likely to be a result of personality & communication. Credentials also as an early criterion, as an indication that they're likely to know what they're talking about. So, yeah, credentials, popularity, and success of their students will make me want a first lesson. Whether I stay or not will depend on my judgment of how well they work for me, which will be based on my experience of their knowledge, communication, and personality.
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    #1 thing was proximity. #2 was how we communicated and did I feel like his teaching style was working for me. It helped that I'd had him suggested to me by someone I trusted, who knew who my other teachers were and would have some idea what I was already used to.
    chomsky likes this.
  4. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    When I look at them on a dance floor and think "Man, I want to dance like that". Whether or not they can impart that after the fact is another story, however.
    ChaChaMama, ajiboyet and chomsky like this.
  5. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    I use credentials, proximity, and observable quality of students to decide with whom I'll take a trial-type lesson. Then it's all about how much I feel like I'm learning from the teacher and how much they can push me to grow and develop as a dancer*.

    *Without injury! If a teacher "manhandles" me and I feel like I have to fight against them to avoid an injury, it doesn't matter how much great content they might have for me.
    suburbaknght and chomsky like this.
  6. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    Intelligence is primary in what draws me to a teacher, then a combination of work ethic and credentials.
    If there isn't mental quickness/intellect in my teacher, I'm just going to lose interest. (And no, it doesn't have anything at all to do with whether they have academic degrees or not.)
    Hedwaite and chomsky like this.
  7. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    Some combination

    credentials - these play a fair role for me. They should have experience in my style of interest.
    popularity - isn't so important to me, but good instructors tend to be popular.
    personality - not hugely important, I can handle personality quirks, as long as they aren't conniving money grabbers.
    success of their students - not so important from a results perspective, but if I like the way the students dance (which I consider as success), that's of course a plus.
    communication - this one is pretty important, we should be able to communicate on the same wavelength.
    height - I mostly do am-am, only dabble in pro-am, but I'm 5'11", so I can dance with a pretty wide height range of ladies.
    chomsky likes this.
  8. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    As Am-Am, height plays no factor.
    Ultimately I'm most bothered about their communication, personality, and skill and style - can they teach me well and make me a better dancer?
    Popularity is a bit vague, and quite hard to gauge. Student success and credentials are both confidence bringers and give you an idea of whether they are good.
    chomsky likes this.
  9. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    It's very funny that you asked this question. All throughout today hubby and I were pondering on this. Actually, it boils down to how bad the teacher wants to teach a student how to dance. It shows how much the teacher loves what he/she does and how much the teacher will inspire me and motivate me to keep on learning. What do you people mean by proximity? If what you mean is "first impression"and instant dislike then I'm with you there. I guess that's why teaching is individualised in the sense that one teacher is better for one student and not for another.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    credentials; hmmm...only yes because it is combined with skill at teaching, popularity=no, personality= no, success of students=yes, communication=kind of, sort of, in some ways, height=no, but certainly a plus...
  11. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    For me, matching their teaching style with my learning style is a big deal. I've figured out that the ways I think about dancing are rather atypical. I've had the experience of taking coaching with someone who, although he is generally a very good instructor, has a teaching style that meshes poorly with my learning style. It was frustrating.
    Dancing Irishman likes this.
  12. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Proximity....yes! I started with my DP, as he was the only one available in my area. I have since decided to stay with him, as his teaching style is perfect for me....even if he isn't a specialist in my style of dancing. He has put himself to school on my behalf, and that speaks volumes to me. We may pursue some coaching in the future, but.....he's my DP....period.
    chomsky likes this.
  13. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    All of the things mentioned above by everybody else are important. But some of them might off set the others, as in:

    There's a certain former world champion lady who I think is quite rude and quite obnoxious, from watching several videos of her lecture. So I would make a larger-than-normal allowance for what I think is a bad personality, because she's got good knowledge and teaching skill.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    ah ethic....huge for me...proximity, not so much...I will go a long way for a good instructor...that being said, I expect him to share the wealth of what he knows..I expect to continue to learn...every single time...I can look past a bunch of other stuff if that is present
    cornutt and Dancing Irishman like this.
  15. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    As an engineer by training, I sympathize wholeheartedly with this. I knew one prospective coach wasn't for me when she told me I didn't need to activate any muscles to move my hip to a spot, I just needed to move my hip forward (in Latin).
    stash and chomsky like this.
  16. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    My main factors are how the information is brought to me and cost (for the time being). I truly appreciate someone who can talk body mechanics more over than someone who just shows me what to do.

    Right now, I can only afford so much. So quality that is cheap is huge for me. Lol. Hard to come by but I think I found one. Our current coach is a student of one of our favorite pro teachers. She can give us the same information for about half the price, and does it well.
  17. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    getting information is not the same thing as getting taught. You might think differently about all this in a few years when you realize that quality does come at a price...
    suburbaknght likes this.
  18. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I agree with that. But she has affectively teach the information she is giving. Currently, I see no need to go see her pro on a regular basis to get better. Yes we do take a lesson with him when we can afford it. But we have seen improvement even from her. If my partner and I could afford travel to NYC and forking out 120 for lessons more often, I'm sure we would.

    However, as long as I see improvement in our dancing after lessons, I do not believe we need to be seeing that pro every time we need a lesson. The only thing the pro has fixed is routines. None of the technique she gives us has been corrected. She is a full time ballroom instructor at a private studio who takes lessons regularly with said pro. And she would compete at a very high level of champ if there were partners in this world. Her qualifications are more than apparent. I understand that one day we will out grow her, but we are not at that point in our dancing yet....

    Like I said in my post, currently cost is a big issue for me and my partner. We try to balance out quality and price. I'm sure farther down the line, as he moves up in his career and as I, ya know, actually graduate and work full time, we will have a much larger budget dedicated to dance and cost will move further down our list of importance.
  19. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Communication is the biggest factor for me. Can the instructor teach so I can understand? They could have the best credentials and be the most popular instructor, but if I just don't understand, I would pick someone else.

    Having a good personality can definitely help. It's not a deal-breaker, but I don't want an impassionate instructor either.

    Height is important if I am going to be dancing exclusively with the person. Doesn't matter if I'm dancing with another amateur.

    Student success is something that I may think about, but I don't place much weight on it. An instructor can have alot of bad students and there's nothing that can be done about it.
    chomsky and dancelvr like this.
  20. novemberecho

    novemberecho Member

    All of the above! though personality and communication are higher priorities for me than the others.
    This is a great reminder of how spoiled I am - current pro has all of them covered. :)
    chomsky and cornutt like this.

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