What Makes A Good Teacher?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by SDsalsaguy, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    precisely...one is able to verify Larinda because she goes by her own name here...and, while others are harder to verify, it would be (IMO) a mistake to dismiss any person who took the time to weigh in as being more likely than not to be a "poser"... particularly if they are concurring with someone who you know isn't...and simply because it is always prudent to consider and give the benefit of the doubt to others unless they have already proven themselves to be of questionable character
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    On a related note, one of my most important lessons as a teacher was that an idea is useless to the student until they are really ready for it. The better behaved ones would smile, and thank me for the wonderful insight, all the time just not getting it! And when they are ready, it doesn't matter who says it, the light bulb goes off, and they make a huge change. The best I can do with students that stick with me is to guide them to the point where they are ready for the idea.
    debmc, chomsky and j_alexandra like this.
  3. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Business practices do fall into this category. It's a basic matter of learning to see the world as it is.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well...very little is self-evident via internet, so it seems silly to over emphasize the suspect nature of it when you have solicited advice from that audience knowing fully well that most are anonymous...
  5. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

    Social dancer here. :) I think a teacher should be an order of magnitude more skilled than his/her students. I'm speaking from my experiences both as a student (As a newbie, I had a staff instructor who was about prechamp level albeit with access to high-level instruction) and from helping collegiate rookies. I've heard some college teams ask only that people be at least one level above those they are teaching. For example, a (collegiate) gold dancer could teach only bronze and silver dancers. IMO, there's a big difference between what my body knows (execution) and what my mind knows and understands well enough to break down and explain in that one particular way that gets through to someone else. I can't really put a number on it, but I'd guess that I feel comfortable teaching only about a tenth of what I am able to dance.

    There's a similar discussion here:
    http://danceforums.com/threads/do-dance-teachers-need-to-know-silver.2202/
    chomsky likes this.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  7. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member


    The dance business the way I've seen it done is a sort of hybrid between service and sales. All the dance instructors I've ever seen were tasked with providing the service and selling the service. In my case, I've often had to be in charge of my own marketing as well. Every business has a sales department, somebody that is trying to educate the customer on the benefits of their product. Businesses selling high
    ticket items like dance lessons need individuals who know how to push the right buttons with each individual client. I can't imagine who would do that besides the instructor. Though in fairness, I have seen closers brought in from time to time to take care of the final stage of the sales process
  8. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    You have seen one particular implementation of the dance business, which is not the only model.
    It is the model where the primary goal is making money for the owner of the establishment. It is not the only model. It was the model of the first place I learned to dance.
    IndyLady likes this.
  9. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member

    I can't imagine a better model assuming it's implemented ethically. It's a model which trains teachers to be independent. Essentially, someone who's able to succeed in such a model is able to run their own business, especially if they can take care of marketing.
  10. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    An effective teacher doesn't need to do sales, as long as they behave as professionals. As the saying goes, a good product sells itself.
    chomsky likes this.
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    And yet, many studios around the country have different models and run successfully for years.
    IndyLady and pygmalion like this.
  12. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    wow...wow...wow...I have no words...I'd never expect to see this written. My feelings exactly and thank god my experience too. Thanks ever so much Frotes. Now this is a lesson for me.Many many thanks.
    frotes likes this.
  13. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I imagine it provides it's own safety valve - only the students who are able and willing to put their problem into words will actually email you. No "does this look OK" or "I forgot, show me again."

    Of course, if you start getting video... :p
  14. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    In my experience, the collegiate scene just takes this as evidence that she's a superhero :D
    JudeMorrigan and frotes like this.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    now that we have explored this issue thoroughly, I hope we can bring the thread back to what makes a good teacher...thanks
  16. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member

    I think they have two parts to them with the first part being the more important

    First part:
    A good teacher genuinely loves his students and is able to connect with them on a personal level. They are sincere and have fun teaching their student. They understand the skill level of the student and know how to gently ramp up the difficulty so that the lesson stays fun and easy. They are entertaining people to be around.

    Second part:
    Knows the benefits of his/her product. He genuinly believes in his product. Is able to educate their student on all the ways their product will provide solutions for whatever issues they have in their lives. He is confident in his abilities. He know the right time to ask for the sale (after the customer has been educated on the benefits). He's a tireless promoter of himself. He takes every opportunity in his life to invite people to come to the studio to try out his product. Has good social skills and EQ.

    The first part is more important because without it you'll have no students regardless of how proficient you are in sales and business. If you have the first part but not the second part you should be able to find a few students. If you have them both down then you have the potential to be a state sales champ.
    Gorme likes this.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the second part is about having a lucrative career, which certainly is important...but it is arguable as to whether or not it is part of what constitutes being a good teacher..that is more about being a good marketer...obviously, in ballroom as opposed to other sorts of teaching, having some marketing skills is a bonus unless one is plugged into a system which feeds them students on a fairly regular basis
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  18. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    For me, a good teacher:
    1. Knows his stuff. I've got to be confident in him, if the subject is ballroom dancing.
    2. Knows how to communicate it, depending on what kind of student he has.

    Now, I can't stress the combination of the above two points enough. Personally, there's a lot of things that I know that I find very difficult to teach others, even though I try. And I get frustrated after a not-very-long amount of time when they're not getting it.

    3. Doesn't let things get in the way of the time I paid for.

    I think if I have those, I'm good.
    Gorme likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree...I would add; a reasonable amount of patience
  20. Wannabee

    Wannabee Active Member

    Thankfully, my instructor has this in spades...

Share This Page