Ballroom Dance > Your first dance teacher

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by chomsky, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    THAT IS BEAUTIFUL...and I am so very grateful for the many ways in which you honor her legacy by sharing the wisdom you gained from lovely it must have been to have had a mentor that cared that much for you...I can't even imagine what a gift that must have been..actually, from other areas of my life, I know what a blessing that would blow my mind to have that sort of person in my dance life
  2. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I like what you've all written in this thread! It's so inspiring.

    So, I am blessed to have the ideal teacher; I should consider myself lucky and not feel awkward for being so dependent. I' m sure, if life demands it, I can find someone else to inspire me almost as much.
    The reason that prompted me to create this thread was what a friend told me yesterday. She said getting over her first dance teacher was like getting over her first love. When I reciprocated I never got over my first love (I am blessed by God to be leaving with this guy), so I've never felt this heartache, she did say she never ever got over her teacher. He left a void in her heart. That's what made me worry about the reaction I might have...
    Being a newbie I tend to be easily influenced by more people who've had dance in their lives longer than me. Not that everyone is the same!
  3. i work with each of my teachers as separate partnerships. so, there is some overlap. with one teacher, we work more on lead and follow issues and with the other more on choreography and technique. i find that each part helps the other. there is a synergy in this arrangement that i really, really like.
  4. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I only have one teacher and when I go to a party organised by a dance school the teachers dance with me but I guess social dancing doesn't count, does it?
  5. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    anyone else?
  6. Active Member

    I was with my first dance teacher for about 3-4 years. At that time it was only social dancing so really there wasn't much emotion put in. Then my teacher got into a serious debt and was gone. I missed him, but that was all.

    My second dance teacher, I was with for 4-5 months. At that time he was the national champion but being naive as I was, I didn't know. Somehow he managed to create this bond between us. He left for a competition overseas after that and never came back. I waited, waited and waited. 4 years passed without my realising it. Then one day a friend woke me up from this and only then did the devastation kick in. I missed him terribly and he made a change in my life even though it was only a few short months. He was the one who made me love dancing, who inspired me to dance.

    I got into competitive dancing a few years ago, and as I get to know the top names here, learnt that he was still in the other country, dancing. I was glad, and happy too. Two years ago my current instructor organized a workshop, saying it will be taught by his friend who came back for a competition. I was changing my shoes at that time and my second instructor walked past. I lifted my head and our eyes met. That moment was priceless!

    I can still remember vividly the rush of emotions and that longing from missing my instructor. He was also at a lost for words and we just stared at each other for a while before he called out my name and said he was very glad to meet me there. I didn't know what to say then so I just smiled and he left. A million thoughts rushed through my mind at that time, I must say. And the workshop? Brilliant, just like he always were and would be, in my heart. =)

    Sorry for the long rant!
  7. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    This is no long rant! We need more like this here at DF!
    You made us feel you, shared with us the most deep and heart-felt feelings. Honestly, your experience gave me goosebumbs. I need to copy-paste it in my diary! It's touching and thrilling.
    You were unlucky and lucky at the same time;unlucky it only lasted a few months, lucky it lasts for ever. Let's be fair; not everyone has this experience in their lifetime. It's rare you have someone like that in your life and you have to consider yourself blessed you did.
    I so so feel for you! I empathise entirely.
    For a reason or another, you made me feel lucky too. And you made me feel happy I'm not alone! It's so nice to share experiences with others! DF is a piece of heaven sometimes!
  8. Yana

    Yana Member

    My first dance instructor will always be very dear to me. I was with him for about 5 years. He is the one that taught me the foundation of dance and made me fall in love with ballroom dancing. Because of him, I am who I am today. When he retired from teaching, I was devastated, however, he made moving on as easy as it could be.

    It's my current dance instructor that I don't think I could get over if he retired or moved or whatever. He is the one that knows how to push me to the next level. He knows what my dance goals are and helps me achieve them. He is genuinely interested in my dancing and wants me to succeed just as much as I do. He's my coach, my cheerleader, my mentor. I have a lot of respect for him as an instructor and instructors like him are just not replaceable.
    There is a quote by Dan Rather that summarizes my instructor completely: "The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'."
  9. Active Member

    Thank you chomsky. =)
  10. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    This is so so nice Yana!
    By the way, I took your quote and posted it on my favourite quote post.

    I often worry that my teacher is not replaceable. But, then again, some persons in our life are simply not replaceable. Everyone and each one of us is, I shouldn't be thinking like that.;) What do you people think?

  11. Kipling

    Kipling New Member

    Yes, this thread comes at a good time for me also. My mind tells me that I need to walk away from my current teacher to keep developing, but it just killed me to do so today. I kept it together and kept my dignity during my last lesson, but it was hard. Dancing puts you in touch with your feelings, and sometimes those feelings are awfully strong. I haven't felt like this since my freshman year crush in college. It helps a lot to read that others have had similar expeiences and that I am not the only one who goes through this.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    am very sorry for your pain...very...and I would never minimize it as I have about 10 thousand posts dedicated to the same...but I can say that I am now so incredibly glad for the nearly unbearable pain I went through that ended that chapter in my life... my only regret, in three years of hindsight, is that I didn't do it sooner when it would have been easier on everyone and would have thereby also allowed me to pursue better instruction sooner...
  13. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    Good luck, Kipling - and good for you for doing what you know you needed to do, despite the difficulty.
  14. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Kipling - good luck as you pursue a new partnership with your next teacher. I am sorry that this transition has caused you pain.

    I recently struggled with a similar decision and decided to stay with my pro but, expand my dance influencers by studying Standard ( I compete Smooth) with another pro who doesn't compete and Smooth styling with a local female coach. My dancing is improving leaps and bounds and I don't put as much pressure on my relationship with my pro. There was a time when his moods impacted my moods and the outcome of my lessons and I was always worrying about whether we would have a good lesson. Now, I go into the lesson ready to work and I don't get emotionally involved. I am able to "bring" the emotion out towards him when we dance but, I am getting better at seeing this as a professional relationship and leave the emotion in the studio.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    glad you were able to make that happen dancerdol, just for a matter of perspective, I want to share that I also tried that with my first pro, feeling that we could supplement his skills and grow togther...that did not work for very long in my case...maybe a year
  16. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Hi Fascination -- you're absolutely right - that idea wouldn't work for long if I was trying to give him more training. His ego wouldn't allow it although he is pretty good at taking constructive criticism about his own dancing from coaches he selects and brings in to work with our team.

    I'm supplementing my dance training by working separately with these pros. He's not in the lessons. He is actually a very talented pro with 18 years experience and he's a good teacher but, SUPER moody. I love dancing with him and the better "instrument" I have made my own body over the past six months- weight loss, flexibility, more on balance, more stretch within dance position, etc. - the better our dancing and the better our relationship is on the dance floor. Since he is my first teacher (4 1/2 years) - I think we got into some bad habits during baby Bronze where he would compensate for me and now that I'm better and dancing Silver we are having to re-engage at a different level and he is having to trust that I will stay on my own side and not get in his way.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sure...there are all sorts of paths for all sorts of former pro readily admitted that he had taught me everything he knew so that was never an issue for us..his ego wasn't a problem as far as I know...but we did certainly create a world of damage as I was progressing as rapidly as I could and the two of us were both in unchartered waters.... I think we both got moody more often than is the end, the damage was greater than the rapport on the floor...and sadly, has no hope for even a peripheral repair (aside from there being no possibility of ever being compatible as dancers again)...I only share that in the context of various outcomes WRT to the original topic...on the bright side, I think it has made me far more prudent about what I need from an instructor (in terms of professionalism and skill) and in how I need to conduct myself (wrt greater patience and remaining unattached to the pro on a personal level)...I am now in an environment where there is no relationship outside the studio, personal issues are virtually never discussed on lessons, and if anyone is in a mood they do their best to keep it to themselves and the other person ignores it even if there is some evidence of large comps, sometimes stress still spills over and has an effect but there is always an impersonal dialogue about what needs to be fixed after the fact...BOT, when things went south with my first pro, I was not at all certain that I would be okay or continue dancing...only to discover that my best dancing, under happier circumstances, was ahead of me...not that we don't ever hit a bump in the road...but I am far better prepared now for how to handle it...internally and externally
  18. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Fascination - you're an inspiration!
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well thanks...I consider myself to be more of a fool who happens to eventually learn something :)
  20. kira196

    kira196 New Member

    For me it was very difficult. My teacher quit on me exactly one week before USDC in Orlando. There was no warning, no hints of how unhappy he was with his employer. But there wouldn't have been as he would not discuss things like that with me anyway. I danced with him for three years and thought we were friends. We were preparing for my first big competition and I walk into the studio and the manager tells me he's not coming back. I had a mix of emotions; shock, anger and sadness. I will never understand why he could not have waited a few weeks to leave and then give proper notice. That I would have understood. But to let me down so suddenly was very hurtful and a very selfish act. Another teacher stepped up to go with me the next week at USDC and we did okay. But how well can one do in seven days with a brand new teacher? I am still with my new teacher who is a great guy in many ways. I was warned by another student not to get attached. But how does one do that? It is my determination to move on. But I will never forget the pain my former teacher caused, especially when it could have been totally avoided.

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