Ballroom Dance > What Makes A Good Teacher?

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

  1. WaltzElf

    WaltzElf New Member

    Just had a brutal lesson from our teacher, who is very much in drill sergeant mode.

    Which is excellent. A teacher who pushes you to the utter limits is a good teacher.
  2. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    Good for you. It seems that you have one that cares about your dancing as much as you :)
  3. WaltzElf

    WaltzElf New Member

    The really good thing about my teacher is she does have a softer touch for her other students – by that I mean she knows within a few lessons how hard she can push each of her students.

    She knows how badly I want to get to the very top of the sport, so she pushes me accordingly. It’s like the old ballet teacher stories from Russia sometimes ;-) It’s hard but at the same time I’m so very lucky to have a teacher that cares so much.
  4. rebounder

    rebounder New Member

    "My friend is one of the better students but it frustrates her to see when the teacher wants the class to try a move, she selects the first group of students by name (meaning those she preceives as the better students.) and have them do it as the rest of the class watches on. And then she snowballs everybody in which means those who are better gets a half dozen cracks at it while those who are struggling get one or two at best. And that's not right."
    If the "better" students need half a dozen cracks to get it, having a selected "group" of them demonstrate doesn't sound like it would b a very clear "demonstration". using any beginning through advenced student to demonstrate works perfect, as long as you can lead or backlead your demonstrator through it if they don't know it. An "accomplished student" should not need 6 times. a rotating public is a different story, but this sounds like a seris.
  5. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    I see your point rebounder. The teacher obviously doesn't since she's snowballing.

    I will often use a beginning dancer to demonstrate something so that the people who think they are the more advanced dancers will see that the the beginner can do it if led/followed properly. They had better be able to lead/follow the beginner as well...a little light pressure for the advanced dancers keeps them on their toes ;)

    btw The class for the USAdancers is every month, but as they are growing and trying to procure new members, it will always have a mixed level feel. Splitting them up would entail an assistant which would also increase their price. Until they grow large enough to afford 2 instructors, things will remain as they are.

    Usually quite a few single ladies there. I'm paid a fee for the class and to play music for them. I'm not paid to dance with them at the party, but I try not to be cheap, and I like to see them leave happy :)
  6. rebounder

    rebounder New Member

    same setup around here. theres a local that does a beginner lesson and party every friday and they do a different dance each week so i've seen rotating public in pretty muc all the dances. they don't do international there yet though.
  7. jjs914

    jjs914 Active Member

    I agree that this is one of the qualities of a good teacher. DP and I really appreciate one teacher in particular because he seems invested enough in our dancing to know when to push and when to take a step back and approach certain aspects differently.
  8. Me

    Me New Member

    Re: What Makes a Good Teacher?
    I think one of the most challenging parts of being a good instructor of group classes is maintaining a degree of control and fairness while providing a service that is useful to all. I've watched many teachers in action and I can appreciate how difficult it is to work with a group of adults of diverse motivation, talent, and need. I think it is exceptionally rare to have a group class where everybody is happy. There will always be a complaint, and handling the complaint is also part of the challenge of being a good instructor.

    This is something I've found lacking in the ballroom certification programs I have expressed an interest in. (Haven't gone down the road yet.) From what I have seen, all that is required is a mastery of skill and knowledge pertaining only to dance. I come from a college background where people received degrees in, for example, English BA (Bachelor of Arts) or English with certification to teach (Bachelor of Sciences, BS). Classroom management is a HUGE part of the BS degree. You take a typical English graduate and throw them in a high school to teach and by lunchtime the kiddies will have their head on a platter! I hate to say it but from what I've witnessed from some group classes, full grown adults can be equally ruthless.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think a good teacher loves the hard work more than making it pleasant everyday...and knows how to convey that to his/her students so that they are able to respect the process..(again, anyone who shows this post to my pro is subject to the severest consequences)
  10. jlcdance

    jlcdance New Member

    Remembering what it was like to be a beginner is not a bad place to start
  11. jlcdance

    jlcdance New Member

    I agree with the comments but some teacher suit some people and not others we have all meet the teacher who we don't like or don't rate highly but who's classes are full.

    Also though of course you do have to be able to dance (the fat quote) to teach the best teacher I ever had (and some won't agree) was Eric Lashbrooke I learn more from him after he had his heart bypass (he could't hardly walk for the last 11 years he taught) than I did before. He just had away of explaining a movement which for me worked I studied for my fellow in both Latin and Ballroom with him and never dance with him once.
  12. NoDayButToday

    NoDayButToday New Member

    Definately patience! ...with a little bit of humor too.
  13. QPO

    QPO New Member

    I think good Teachers have to be like parents. The overall message is the same but you have to adjust it to the individual so they understand the message. Of course this is the way you do it in private lessons. In a group lesson, you have to keep the message consistent and to the middle,as you cannot please all the people all the time. You then end up with people (generally) in the group that is like minded and those that don't like the style of teaching will move on to something else that suits them.

    We have moved to another school but still attend socials of our previous school, they understood why we moved because we wanted to learn more and better things about dancing, those that stay at our original school have not necessarily improved but they are happy with that. They just want to dance.

    And of course as previously remarked Patience and Humour
  14. gclarke

    gclarke New Member

    I think a good teacher, on any subject, can adapt to the needs of the students as individuals.

    Even in a group class there are times when each student is shown something they are struggling with and what works for one doesn't work for another.

    To me a good teacher can see when something isn't getting through and try a different approach, and in a stable class, will instinctvely adjust their style of teaching to incorporate what they recall does or doesn't work for that student.

    For example, I always like to know what went wrong before I learn how to put it right. Telling me 'No you went back left and it's a side step', will work instantly for me whereas 'it's done like this' often doesn't. At the same time that approach may make a more sensitive student feel criticised.
  15. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

    So who would you consider good teachers? I am looking to take lessons again in the NJ area. Any suggestions?
  16. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    sambanada, I would start a new thread in the Ballroom forum with your particulars as to what you're looking for and where. This thread should stay centered on it's original subject. Thanks!
  17. rebounder

    rebounder New Member

    hows it off topic?
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    we are talking about attributes of a good teacher not about specific people...
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    a specific inquiry abut good teachers within a specific region is a highjack of the subject at hand in this thread...the inquiry is welcome as a new thread...thanks
  20. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    Besides...a new topic with the correct title will get better viewing. Too many people have already been here and gone without the slightest intention of returning ;)

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