The Lonely Life of a Ballroom Instructor

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#41
Hair on your head is far different from receiving 45 minutes of pointers on how to move your body. Anyone who has had a bad haircut knows that.

I think our current system works fine -- go with someone with a certification if that matters to you. Don't if it doesn't. Done.

A certification isn't a guarantee of anything other than completion of some course material -- doesn't verify any of the many other aspects that are important to being an excellent teacher.

However, we are so far off from the OP's original point...
Yes, that was my point... 32 hours of 'training' does not make a teacher...
 

samina

Well-Known Member
#42
Yes, that was my point... 32 hours of 'training' does not make a teacher...
Someone with innate ability could very well teach a beginning social dancer after 32 hours of training. Sorry, I don't see that as implausible.

But there are many different types of consumers in the dance world. Any dancer who gravitates toward a competitive path will gravitate also to a different level of expertise. There's a lid for every pot.
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
#43
A few reasons (and if you'll note, I didn't join the discussion until his little rant). I think his post hit just about every one of my pet peeves, so you'll excuse if I have a little rant of my own. I really don't want to hate on MF, but seeing as he is willing to dish criticism out himself...

WOW. You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder and possibly a bit of an ego.

This was in response to someone saying a 6 week wonder does a disservice if they seek to teach more experienced dancers. Who exactly started the aggression here?

If you love dance so much, why don't you try a career in it?

Belittling someone else's passion for dance doesn't make yours any stronger. Deciding that you're equipped to be a six week wonder ballroom instructor (hopefully for social dancers) does not mean you love dancing more than others, just because you've decided to make it your career.

Do you understand how fast someone with no dance experience immersed into a career in ball room progresses...

First of all, this comes off as incredibly patronizing. Second, most of the people on this forum probably understand a lot more about the ballroom world, having been a part of it for years or even decades.

So who are you to say people who have never danced can't be trained to be dance instructors?

NO ONE SAID THAT. Straw men tactics drive me nuts. At worst, people are saying that he needs more training than "4 hours a day for 8 weeks" to be a competent teacher, not that you can't train someone to be a dance instructor.

And yes, people are assuming a competitive / high level context, while he is (as far as I can tell?) operating in a social dance / low key context.

Coming from NO dance background if anything makes me a better teacher

Coming from no dance background means you may have certain strengths, and you may choose to teach in a certain way; it does not guarantee you will be better, and it certainly isn't a substitute for knowledge (no matter what age you started learning). There are also certain strengths that someone who has been dancing their whole life will have that a late-in-life learner may not have.

Then they become great and that's how dancers a made through SINCERE ENCOURAGEMENT. I've seen girls come in with 18 years of ballet background and FAIL as instructors because they couldn't TEACH.

I've gotten SINCERE ENCOURAGEMENT from world-class professionals who have danced their entire lives. Sure, they might not have been able to compare me to themselves, but they can still sympathize, and there are other ways to encourage someone (besides - what do you do when they take a lot longer than you did? lie?). And those ballet girls were no more ballroom instructors than he was when he started. Again, straw man arguments.

One more thing, hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

No world-class or even relatively competent dancer got that way through raw talent.
That's why I am not a fan of his post. It has nothing to do with where I think his dance career will go in the future - I was well aware before this post that Larinda started in a similar way, and I have nothing but absolute respect for her dancing and teaching skills. It has everything to do with the tone of the post, which felt belittling to others' dance passion and experience, and belittling to those professionals who have vastly more knowledge.

The middle of his post, where he explains the scope of his training and who he actually teaches - aside from the aggressive amount of rhetorical questions used - was all that was really needed.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#44
And why did he react that way? Because someone belittled him first. Yes, his response was not the most mature, everyone who reacted in kind, well, you do the math.
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
#45
Please explain where and how he was belittled.

The ONLY post I see (before his long post) that is critical is Steven123's, and then only the one line (below). The subsequent posts (again, prior to his long post) either give a moderate/positive view of six week wonders, or stay on the original topic, i.e. dating.

"Somebody hired you to teach even though you have never danced before? That is not fare to any students in your studio who are actually talented."

This is an entirely valid concern... assuming he was teaching students who are "actually talented", which seems to be a misunderstanding on Steven123's part. Moreover, it does not blame Mr. F; it focuses on the studio's responsibility to its students ("Somebody hired you..."; "fare to... students").

A criticism, even (since Mr. F has since further explained his student base and training) misguided criticism, does not automatically equate to belittling someone. At the end of the day, yes, it would be unfair to have an inexperienced dancer teaching experienced students.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#46
OK, instead of belittling, let's call it attacking. Which continues. Mr. F. never said anything about teaching experienced students, nor did Steven123.
What bothers you so much about his rant in self-defense? Why does it get under your skin so much?
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
#47
OK, instead of belittling, let's call it attacking. Which continues. Mr. F. never said anything about teaching experienced students, nor did Steven123.
What bothers you so much about his rant in self-defense? Why does it get under your skin so much?
I... just outlined exactly why it bothers me. And add to that the fact that it was spurred on by two sentences: "Somebody hired you to teach even though you have never danced before? That is not fare to any students in your studio who are actually talented." ALL the other negative posts came in response to his 1000+ word post which contained, as I discussed in unnecessary detail two posts ago, various troubling statements.

And no, Mr. F didn't say anything about teaching experienced students, which is why I repeatedly said that it was misguided criticism. As for Steven123, forgive me for equating the words "experienced" and "talented" (which he did use), although I'm not sure how they change the context.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#48
Absolutely not. Everyone has to start somewhere. But somehow, Larinda, I can't see you posting something like this post.
Who knows? Larinda has been in the industry for 20 years. MF has been in it for 6 months. Maybe Larinda always had humility about her start, or maybe she had to take her lumps along the way. But I'm certain those 20 years of experience have shaped the teacher and person she is today--able to consider herself a top teacher without bravado. Perhaps something which MF can aspire to becoming over the next 19 years.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#49
sigh...yes...there are lots of paths towards being a good teacher...and almost everyone can teach someone....we all have to start somewhere...

beyond all that cranky pants business, I would still maintain that it is exceedingly unwise to determine that seeing a non-dancer is out of the question, unless you want to continue to be lonely
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
#50
I... just outlined exactly why it bothers me. And add to that the fact that it was spurred on by two sentences: "Somebody hired you to teach even though you have never danced before? That is not fare to any students in your studio who are actually talented." ALL the other negative posts came in response to his 1000+ word post which contained, as I discussed in unnecessary detail two posts ago, various troubling statements.

And no, Mr. F didn't say anything about teaching experienced students, which is why I repeatedly said that it was misguided criticism. As for Steven123, forgive me for equating the words "experienced" and "talented" (which he did use), although I'm not sure how they change the context.
I want to add that one this note, I'm bowing out of the conversation, as I've said all that I really have to say on the matter. Mr. F is obviously passionate about dance, and no doubt inspirational to his students, but I think he does have a lot of maturing to do in the way he reacts to criticism, and the way he views the ballroom scene.
 

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