Would it be possible to learn how to dance in strictly group classes if...

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by LordBallroom, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    This is the opposite of what is done worldwide, and is why US dancers are so far behind, IMHO. Drills are great done in groups. I will bet you anything that an hour of drills in a group is more time than most folks spend in a YEAR on drills and repetitive work. Yes some work is done with your coach, but the serious work in dance is done with you and your body. If you and all your peers are working together on the same thing, you will all rise together since you will have peer pressure, visual vindication, and live corrections...
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    to me, for me, drilling isn't warming up...it can be a way to warm up, but it is also a way to methodically assess a group of various basics, and it would be very informative to see how a number of us were choosing to execute them....my drills were, for a long time, the most important part of my lessons...they gave my pro a capacity to assess my dancing alongside of it...and it made me very independent in owning the technical elements of my dancing...I am not saying that it is the enjoyable part...but it has been critical....I sense that students would not be clamoring for it
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    in fact, since my pro is a man of few words...one of the few ways I can ever sense that I am doing reasonably well is if the drill is short
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I have a little performance team, and I run that class pretty intensely. We start with warm-ups that have elements of ballet in them--tendus, balance exercises, releves, etc. Then we'll drill technique, walking back and forth across the floor working on one small thing at a time. Then we work on our routine. It's pretty fun for me because I finally get to teach technique to people who are eager to learn it (which doesn't happen in most group classes I teach), and they enjoy it, too. We've been doing it for about seven months now, and they're steadily improving. However, it's a small class...it's hard to find many people who are interested in committing long-term to this intense of a class.
    Bailamosdance and fascination like this.
  5. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I also drill private lesson students. However, I move on after a slight improvement--I do it long enough to make sure they understand what they're trying to achieve--and instruct them to practice. We generally spend 10-15 minutes on drills, I would guess.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    we have a unique scenario in that I dance in large blocks of time, so we have the ability to spend half an hour on a drill if he really wants to see something get fixed...
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and now, off for a good long while to get on some of that :)
    twnkltoz likes this.
  8. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    have fun fasc
    fascination likes this.
  9. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member

    I know a few people who are both ranked nationally as dancers as well as top salespeople. They would tell you that tons of their students claim they want to be pushed hard on their lessons, however only about 2% really mean it as evidenced by the most telling statistic of all: purchasing more lessons. The point is that, if this is the case, it's just not realistic to design lessons heavily focused on drills and other hard work.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well then, it looks as though you have answered your own question, IF your main goal is income
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  11. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I think it really depends on who your student population is. If you have a group of serious social or competitive dancers, they do want to be pushed ( as long as it is not in a demeaning way), they do want drills, they do want to work hard.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  12. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I think equating lesson sales to hard work is not a reality. Many folks work very hard but do not purchase lesson packages. And I know many folks who, in order to have an easy time. purchase large packages. Sales of packages appeals to the US population's need to think they are getting a discount or a 'deal' and has nothing to do with quality of instruction or level of interest.
    freeageless likes this.
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Except is the point some nebulous world ranking (remember, there's no Olympics and almost certainly never will be, so there's no publicity/fame aspect with any real mass meaning) or for teachers who live and work in the US to make a living? I don't care about WDSF events or am/am dancing and wouldn't waste my money on classes designed to feed into that-I don't care what my peers can or can't do and I'm not interested in their opinion--if their opinions or observations mattered, they'd be the ones with the clipboards. The majority of people who take lessons in the US at most want to be able social dance, have fun, and not look/feel stupid doing it. Another huge group in the US wants to compete, has started far too late to be good in a world sense (ie, 25+) and don't want to waste time finding a partner, dealing with all the hassles of schedules, money, goals of two people, or even plan any sort of campaign for the year. It's a hobby sport or just a social hobby, not a lifestyle. Teachers who don't want to need a day job have to cater to what most of their market wants.
  14. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member

    Last I checked this is still a business for instructors. It's their livelihood. For a teacher, what's the point of drilling his students if in the end it means he's going to have to find another line of work?
  15. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    I do not agree with your premise that students do not want "drills." I think that I am a typical social dance student, and I have no objection to drills either in group classes, private lessons or by myself. I recognize and I think that most students recognize that dance is an art that takes much, much practice-and much, much, much repetition of fundaments. Yes, I sometimes get bored-but some teachers also get bored teaching repetition. For example, on a recent Crystal ballroom dance cruise I took, there were two professional dance instructors. There was a step, I was having trouble leading. One of the dance instructors I practiced that step with got bored. I could tell the instructor was bored-and wanted to teach me something different. She kept telling me I was doing it as well as it could be done. The second instructor kept going over that same repetitious step with me. Which teacher did I continue with-the one who kept going over that same boring step with me until I was satisfied. LordBallroom, in my opinion you come up with a lot of all or nothing simplistic type comments which just aren't accurate and don't fly.
    twnkltoz likes this.
  16. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    The motivation and goals have to be there first. People need to be motivated to improve their dancing, and see the possibility for improvement, before they can be motivated to take technique classes. Doesn't work the other way around. If the dominant view (in ballroom, at least) is that non-competitive social dancers as a rule don't really want to improve past a certain (low) point, and that technique is "for" competitions, I think to an extent that becomes self-fulfilling.

    From a marketing perspective, it seems to me that overall dance class size could be increased the most by getting social dancers, as a community, interested in being better dancers. (Because there are more of them than there are competitors, aren't there?) And this would probably have follow-on effects in terms of increasing interest in the hobby and the total community size as well.
  17. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Definitely. I would even pay for a pro to supervise the drilling on a weekly basis. Even if it's not in my choreography, I may have to use it one day.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't make a value judgement on it////I observed that you have answered your own question///that is all
  19. bia

    bia Active Member

    Haven't we had this conversation before? But I seem to be responding to it anyway.

    There is a difference between a goal of making a living and a goal of making as much money as possible. If, as fasc said, your main goal is income, then it makes sense to orient yourself to the largest chunk of the ballroom market and do whatever you can to get those people to buy as many lessons from you as possible. However, if your main goal is to teach dance as well as possible while being able to make a living, you might decide to orient yourself to a different chunk of the market and/or design your teaching differently. Maybe you'll make less money. (Or maybe not, since you may be focused on the most dedicated dancers, so as long as you're good enough to give them what they need, they'll probably give you a lot back.) To what extent the teachers in either of those scenarios focus on group as compared to private lessons depends on all kinds of factors, as we've already discussed in this thread.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  20. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Why can't a teacher do both? When not teaching private lessons, run group class drilling? If each person pays $10, then it would be like a private lesson amount worth.

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