4 Helpful Teacher Tips
Whether you are looking into starting dance or have spent years taking lessons, chances are you have preconceived notions about what will be/what is important to your dance journey. And while those notions are indeed important, your teacher may have other things in mind that will have a greater impact on your dancing than you think. Without further ado, here are four tips your teacher wants to share with you.
1. Beloved Dancers Value Each Dance Partner Equally
It might be tempting to lead the latest and greatest steps with your partner, or to suggest your partner execute a certain step (I’m looking at you, followers), but the reality is that confident dancers focus on their own dancing, not on someone else’s.
If you feel limited by what the person knows, chances are you’re not maximizing your dance experience. So leaders, stay present on your partner’s reaction, and followers, stay present on how you react to your partner. By focusing more on how you feel in the arms of your partner and less on what steps you’ve done, the more you’ll enjoy your partner and the experience as a whole.
2. It’s Okay To Forget Things
You know the phrase “Less is more”? Or even “You use 20 percent of your (clothes/random trivia/phone apps/etc.) 80 percent of the time”? Both of those are true here. During your lessons, you’re going to come across a lot of great information, and you may feel like you’ve lost the value of that lesson if you don’t remember everything. While I can relate, remembering one really impactful thing will have more of an impact on your dancing than 50 quasi-assimilated lesson points.
3. A Smile Goes A Long Way
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror? You’d be surprised how infrequently people smile when dancing. And while you might be having a blast on the floor, if you’re giving no outward signals, your partner is going to assume the worst. After all, you present what you practice. So start training yourself to smile. It’s just as important as training your feet.
4. Depth Equates To More Than Breadth
While we all like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking out of levels, it works more to your advantage to focus on the many layers your current level has to offer.
By this I mean focusing on the variety of dances and learning opportunities available to you, social dancing outside of the studio, and attending Arthur Murray events. The more facets your dancing has, the better you’ll become.
There are many components that make a great dancer, be they experiential, physical, or social. While you may consider a certain component to be vital to your learning process, I ask that you trust your teacher’s advice.
They’ve gone through so much and have committed many hours to the learning process and know what is best for you. Beyond that, expose yourself to as many different experiences as possible. The more you utilize what you know in a variety of situations, the faster you’ll become the incredible dancer you’ve always wanted to be.