What Makes A Good Teacher?


Site Moderator
Staff member
yes, Ohio has the best of the best...it also has near to everything else....if what you are looking for is a panoramic view on how widespread success in teaching students to be accomplished happens to be, I can't think of where else you would see it ...that fact that it is so huge bears out the fact that such success as you are asking about is not only possible, but also not rare and in every region of the US...I mean, if you prefer to believe that improvement in students is not possible, you can...but I would maintain that your lens is far more narrow than the sampling and diversity that ohio provides....there is certainly a huge differential between the quarterfinals and finals


Well-Known Member
If not Ohio, then find a mid-size comp close to home and check it out. I have attended some smaller comps and I can tell you first hand, there was excellent, quality dancing to be found at all levels. Ohio would certainly give you the broadest and best picture of the overall state of the industry, but you can find great dancing at many smaller comps too. Perhaps that will make a better argument if you see that it is not so rare as you believe it to be.


Well-Known Member
I'm going to Ohio. I promise you, I am not in any way a rarefied example of a Standard dancer, but I'll be competing there. (It's the only day my pro's dancing, there's only two of us, makes no sense for him to add a day when I can do any style of the four, even if it's my weakest, and it's a good excuse to practice a lot on what I'm worst at.) Though you could see much the same going to almost any NDCA comp anywhere with more-than-minimal entries. There was some solid, tough competition at Harvest Moon last week. Even in my age group (the As, which are often a lighter field.) Some tough judges, too, which is another group of people you need to get to know-they aren't up there marking to keep students happy.


Well-Known Member
Like Debmc said, some of the more advanced teachers struggle with teaching beginning students. While you may have been in an intermediate to full bronze program, most of the students I've seen in such programs weren't even close to being bronze level dancers in terms of technique. They were basically beginner level dancers with more advanced foot patterns.
Troll alert....


Well-Known Member
I know about the area I live.
It sounds like the environment you are in is very similar to the one I started my lessons in. Including the training methods, and the stratification of the teachers. To my eyes, during the first year or so I was dancing, the "advanced" teachers seemed pretty lofty. Now, not so much. I've known a number of pros who have been national level championship and rising star finalists and semifinalists who are certainly not "too good" to teach brand new beginners. Interestingly enough, they actually know how to teach beginners. You don't have to go to OSB to see this. Find yourself a nearby independent studio where students are competing in open (in the sense that anyone can enter) competitions, and just have a look.


Well-Known Member
I think at different stages of our dance maturity we can appreciate different qualities that different teachers bring to the table. Some teachers are really good for beginner students but not detailed enough for advanced, some teachers are overwhelming for beginner students but are perfect once you get to a more advanced stage....and then there are the teachers who can teach all levels effectively!
This is what I said... I think it has been misintepreted.....I clearly stated that different teachers can suit different levels, but there are teachers that can teach all levels effectively.


Well-Known Member
I also agree that watching pro instructors with their students at competitions gives an excellent view. The top pros have students dancing well at all levels.

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
I agree with TT and debmc on this you can review "final product quality" very well at major comps

But the teaching style itself you must experience for yourself Like TT said if students make it to open with a teacher that teacher is doing something right


Well-Known Member
Yes, I agree with that. The top pro am teachers in the country have students that they have brought from bronze to open successfully, and have students competing successfully in every level...and every style for that matter!


Active Member
some of the more advanced teachers struggle with teaching beginning students.
There are some absolutely wonderful instructors that are great at what they do, but I would never recommend a beginner to them because they don't know how to teach a beginner. They're the kind of instructors that advanced dancers go to for greater development.

Then there are those who can teach all levels. You can take a look at their students and see how spread out their levels are. If you see beginners and advanced students under them, then chances are that they can teach everyone. But if you only see advanced students, then you may want to inquire further.
Hi all, just noticed this thread and thought I would add to it. I agree with the sentiment that a good dancer does NOT make a good teacher. Often many dancers are about pushing themselves to gain for their own career....After all it's how we make our careers work. But a teacher is all about their students and making them feel safe, secure and offering them an environment where they can only grow and inspire to be the best. Something I always recommend people ask is whether the teacher is first aid trained. Imagine if you injure yourself whilst in class and the teacher doesn't know basic first aid...Could be a problem, yet we don't think about this enough. T

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