Your first dance teacher

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    then again, if he was fired, or asked to leave immediately rather than giving two weeks, and the studio provided a "reasonable substitute"...not so sure there would be any actionable issue there...doesn't mean it still wasn't totally sucky...and if I saw him at a comp I certainly wouldn't feel at all inclined to be the one to bridge the gap
  2. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    OK, you guys, I didn't check this thread for quite some time and was very surprised to see all that went on.
    I just wanted to share me feelings and thoughts with you. I'm far from cynical, I'm afraid, I'm an idealist.
    I have been blessed to have become a teacher; a teacher I had when I was 16 inspired me to become one. In my 14 years of teaching experience (merely foreign language teaching) I had the privilege to become attached to many of my students and more particularly to this girl. I must admit, I bitterly regretted the fact I let her become such a close friend that I couldn't teach her anymore and things got out of control; she wouldn't respect me as a teacher anymore.
    However, I do think that's my doctrine; being my student's friend. And, that's what I cherish in my teachers; having a close friendship with them, not only a professional one. So far, my feelings have not been hurt; of course there are even friendships that have turned sour, but what the heck, if you don't let yourself exposed you never have the chance to get close and even profoundly close to someone else's psyche.
    I think it's worth it, taking a risk and as my other half always tells me it doesn't matter if it hurts us so badly when we say goodbye to one another. You see, living in different cities because of work for the past 2 years, has made life an emotional roller coaster. We meet up for the weekend, twice in a month, crazy from happiness and when it's time to part it's hell; it's the end of the world; we know that we will meet up again in a week's time or two week's time, but still the pain is unbearable.
    What I am trying to say is that the same goes with friendships and in my case in teacher-student relationships, whether I am a teacher or a student.
    I have to admit that being a student puts you in a more vulnerable position, because you feel weaker than the other part of the relationship. It's like the teacher is more of a father figure as he/she is the sole holder of knowledge while you are on the receiving/passive end of it. That's what I need to work a bit more at; how not to be on a receiving end; and as many of you have already pointed out, it does help a bit if you have more than one teacher. I concur...Being passive in the relationship when you are a student that's not admissible; one has to do one's best to get more involved, more pro-active and realize it's a give and take relationship too; being true to one's self, to one's feelings and responsible and thus becoming independent is what many of you here have helped me realize.
    PS once again, to you my teacher, if you are lurking out there, this goes out to you T...MSc... Sorry for making it personal, guys, but you know how things are, the forum can be seen by anyone and you can be easily identified.
    And on a different note, let me just add to this endless post of mine that things here in Greece or my experience of the dance world in Greece has been so different...There is no big industry or competitions in the way they are in the US or other parts of the world. We are a century back dance-wise...
    Now, that was a long rant, wasn't it laucy.my?
  3. laucy.my

    laucy.my Active Member

    I've said it once, I'll say it again. In life, people come and go. You decide who is actually worth your pain when they leave. There will always be that one(or two) person that leaves a mark deeper than others on you and there's nothing much you can do about the pain except let it heal with time.

    I would encourage anyone to be more open about their feelings, to be true to themselves and still, like you say, be more involved in class or any form of student-teacher interaction but one will have to be extremely careful not to let it go out of control. Then again, perhaps I am not the best candidate to listen to, as I myself am quite attached to my instructor. I thought I was going out of control at one time but thanks to fellow DF-ers, I managed to keep it all under control and I am glad.

    Wishing you all happiness in your dancing, chomsky! And I just have to add this, I didn't see that coming at the end of your post. :p
  4. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Is there a thread out there about the proam relationship between student and teacher.From all the posts I have been reading it sounds like that needs to be revisited.
    TC?
  5. laucy.my

    laucy.my Active Member

    I think I just revived that thread not too long ago. ;)
  6. Dragonfly934

    Dragonfly934 New Member

    Pro-am relationship

    I've read many stories of the amateur falling for the professional, but are there many stories out there with the reverse, where the professional falls for the amateur but the amateur does not reciprocate? Just wondering.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    there have been some mutual ones, but we aren't going to name any
  8. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

  9. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    TC you did your miracle again! There is an ancient greek saying that talks about God watching everything. I think it applies in your case TC. How do you do it, I don't know...
  10. Rodrk352

    Rodrk352 New Member

    Long time male lurker in this forum... The subject matter of these posts hits me personally, because my first teacher who opened the world of dance to me one and a half years ago had to leave my franchise studio last week. During that time we competed together at a few pro/am comps, and the weeks leading up to those comps were a great experience. There was hardly a day during the week when we did not dance together. She lived with her boyfriend who was also an instructor at the studio and when he got fired she had to be faithful to him and leave the studio also. The void was clearly felt the first time I reentered the studio at our weekly party knowing she would not be there. My various dance partners were kind enough to try to console me as we pretended to dance, but constantly reminding of the subject just made it worse. Some of them were badly in need of consolation themselves especially the woman who had just danced a comp with the other instructor and never got to say goodbye. It had to be most people's first experience of losing a dance teacher. There are songs which are always played at the studio which if I go back to the studio soon will conjure up fond memories of my former instructor. When I hear them again during future lessons with another pro it will remind me of her and no doubt I will break down during the dance. I know my enthusiasm for dance is still there, but right now I'm still a bit numb from the departure, even though I did sense it coming (the studio put out a Help Wanted ad on Facebook for a new instructor and since they just got a new male instructor it could only mean they were looking to replace my teacher too.) Dancing a foxtrot (my favorite dance) with anyone else will be bittersweet for a while but I probably should try to do this as a way of moving on with my life.
  11. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing something as deep and true with us! It makes me very happy that you decided to join the DF family! My heart goes out to you for what you are going through. I realized it always hurts when you lose a teacher that has changed your life and it seems yours has!!! She definetely has!
    You know, after all these months and chats, I realized it always hurts when you lose a teacher that you loved. We teachers are like that. We affect other people's lifes but cannot always be a part of their lives. We have to live our own and let out students live theirs. As a result, we cross so many people and we change them. We give them a part of us and let it grow in them. It's like friends, they sometimes come and go. I am no dance teacher but I know deep down it must be the same thing. I will be extremely sad when I part with my first and favourite teacher. The thing is he will have given me something which I can cherish and even give to others too: his love for dance...(bittersweet for sure though, with you there!!!)
  12. kira196

    kira196 New Member

    From my personal experience, I can honestly say that it will get better. That is not by any means a cliche'. It really is the truth. I did feel a loss once my teacher left. Granted I was more angry than sad, but my love of ballroom far outweighed my disappointment at my instructors sudden departure. Perhaps you will still see your teacher at comps and will eventually be able to have a good reunion. Teachers come and go and even though we love them and and we love dancing with them, let's not forget we're there to learn how to dance. Whether it be just social or for competition, dancing will always be a constant for as long as we allow it to be. Your sadness is understood. Hopefully you have a good group of supporters at your studio that can help you adjust and hopefully you will find the joy you had when you first started dancing, no matter who you're dancing with.
  13. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Welcome Rodrk352 and kira196 to DF.
    I suspect that it is more disappointment when it is the teacher that leaves, than when the student moves on to another teacher.
  14. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Right'o!!! It has to do with how dependent we are from the source of learning. As a teacher I am happy when my students outgrow me...it comes natural. I am sure they hate it when I leave them. It's not as painful when they leave me because it's like your children are grown up and they need to find their own way in life. When a parent leaves it's only natural it is more painful!
  15. Aura

    Aura Active Member

    I remember my first teacher very well. He was a very chill, happy guy, which was a stark contrast to my more energetic and anxious personality. As a person, he really helped calm me down. As a teacher, he was kind, patient, yet forceful enough to push me when he knew I could do better. Unfortunately, I only danced with him for about nine months. The last time I saw him was before I left with my family for a summer vacation. It really devastated me when I found out he left when I was gone. He's not dancing anymore because he got a job that helps him take better care of his family. I still miss him and the friendship we had, but I also adore my newest teacher. It's definitely hard, but in my case his wife is still at the studio, and she's an absolutely amazing teacher, just like her husband. I'm happy to be friends with her as well.
  16. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    kind
    patient
    forceful enough to push

    oh, I'm so happy for you Aura! You were lucky and are lucky! I've been kind and patient but not forceful enough as a teacher I am afraid...In the end I gave my student up...
  17. Rodrk352

    Rodrk352 New Member

    Update: There really is no comparison between my former teacher and the only female teacher left now at my franchise studio. It is a good experience to dance with someone besides a brilliant competitive dancer (such as my first teacher) who was light as a feather and easy to lead. However my present teacher does not know all the Bronze steps I so painstakingly took the time to learn! And I appreciated how my first teacher was so hard to please when it came to my technique. My first teacher would have taken apart my Viennese Waltz today, instead of lightly passing over it and going on to a new step! And yet my present teacher is really pleasant and eager to please, though I know she is over her head teaching dances she hasn't taught for quite a while, for at least as long as I have been to the studio (1 1/2 years). I am almost a beginner at Viennese Waltz, so my expectations are low there. But when it comes to dances that I spent a lot of time perfecting such as the fox trot and American waltz, having to leave out the steps I took such pains to learn so recently, because my new teacher does not know them, is disappointing! Apparently the studio is getting a new teacher in a month or so, who is a 10 dance champion, but until then I have to ask myself why am I coming to the studio? Is it for social reasons, to be with friends who like to dance, or is it to challenge myself and improve as a dancer? I really still miss my old teacher.
  18. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF Rodrk352!
  19. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I guess you have to endure the pain especially if you are a sensitive person, there is no other way...
    On the other hand the good thing is you still have your dance and your love for dance, your enthusiasm.
    Still, I know I would be miserable and disappointed; for a while I am sure I will not be able to enjoy dancing because everything will remind me of my teacher.
    I had this very chat with my hubby only half an hour ago: I know I will most surely be devastated when my first teacher doesn't teach me anymore. At the same time, I realized how much I love it when another teacher has taught me a figure at a social I go to; my excitement was the same. You see, it's learning to dance that I love more than my teacher. I love my teacher but I love dance too, not just my teacher. It's so difficult to tell one from the other, but it's there. Dance is not just an idea, it's an ideal. It has so many forms and ways to transform our lives. It is our live, if we are a newbie, a teacher, a pro, an am, a champion, a world champion. It's the same for all of us: it's our passion, it's our life.
    Even if it doesn't feel the same I am sure it will again be the same for you too. We are just human, it's only natural you feel that way. You are growing up as a dancer, that's why it hurts. You will not be a child anymore, you will be a totally independent adult. And it hurts, it always does.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my empathy...having a truly proficient pro, I could now never go back to doing something that provided me with less information..but I do respect that for some folks the social aspect of it is what is most important and maintaining that may be more important that leaving to find a teacher with a broader level of expertise...everyone's path is different...

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