I only mention it because there needs to be more fun in the world.
There is a level of dancing that once you reach it, you get a little bit distracted by the thought that you could actually teach this.
You’ve been dancing for a good seven or eight months. Suddenly everything has come together, you have the moves, and you’ve got the timing. This thing called dancing is easy.
I thought it was just me, but apparently, it is a thing, everybody has this little fantasy going on at some point or another.
Most dismiss it for the daydream that it is, others shy away at the idea of standing in front of a crowd. But some of us, well some of us consider the idea a bit more.
Take me for instance, I’ve been dancing for several years, I have quite a few regular moves, I like different styles and can improvise quite well. Show me something and I can pick it up pretty quickly. If pushed, I could do lifts and big drops. I don’t like doing them much, but I understand the working principle.
Does that make me a viable contender? It might make me a capable dancer but not a real contender because knowledge is not the whole of it. If anything that’s just the beginning.
The question you need to ask before you pick your venue is;
Can you Teach?
Because this is the question that any hopeful needs to think about before moving forward. Knowing and teaching are too different creatures and one does not make the other.
The most knowledgeable person on the planet could be the absolute worst teacher. You need the teaching gene with the powers that go along with it.
You need to;
Think like a Star Trek Screen Writer.
What do I mean by this, any Trekkie worth their salt will be able to quote lines from the series. A chunk of these lines will be half very technical, half visual descriptions of some random event.
- different levels of intelligence
- different levels of understanding
- different levels of competence
To all comprehend the same thing equally, so we can all enjoy the story.
Jenny and Ricardo, the Tango teachers, are by far my favourite instructors for doing this, Jenny will give you a breakdown of what you are doing, at which point Ricardo will pipe in with a silly visual that gets the room laughing.
However, the combination of methods is brilliant in teaching complicated steps in a manner that can help you to learn them fast.
Granted they don’t do MJ or Blues but they do turn up a lot at the weekenders. So if you get a chance, I cannot recommend them enough.
Plus they are stunning dancers to watch.
You need to;
Think like a Psychopath.
I don’t mean this in a bad way but a scientific manner.
The sociology of these people would be to talk to you as if you were the centre of the world. They could change their accents, personalities, sentence structure, anything they needed to match you like a creepy doppelganger.
They do this for one single reason, to make it look like they see the world as you do so you will see them as being Just Like You.
This would put you at ease very quickly, to make you feel like one of the gang.
Clearly, that example is a tad over the top, but a little bit of it is necessary. I couldn’t teach; I don’t like talking to people I consider friends, let alone strangers.
1. You need to be able to make a connection to everyone.
2. You need to know why the people are standing in front of you.
3. You need to know what they need so you can offer it.
If you think the answer is; They want to Dance, I will teach it. Then reconsider.
We are social creatures. We like a challenge. We like fun. We like energy. We like learning.
The dancing is just a part of the complete picture.
I helped out by being a demo recently, and the joy I saw in the teacher’s eyes as she gazed over her class was just brilliant. It felt like it was a pleasure just to see her bunch of misfits having ago. As if the smiles, laughs and a couple of high fives when they nailed a new move was the aim of the entire evening. Not the teaching of the moves.
The Patience of an Angel.
The last part, the main contender. You may have the moves and the knowledge but can you deal with people?
Most of us are clearly old enough to know better and have a basic level of manners. However, boredom creeps in quickly, then the giggles and flirting start. Then the momentum of the class is lost all because of a few. You know how you are 🙂
1. Point them out and insult them for disturbing your instruction.
2. Include them in the fun. Use their name to bring them back into the fold.
3. Snap and go flipping mental.
I have seen all three of these in action and surprisingly only one of them helped.
These three things I think make good teachers; I am incredibly fortunate to live where I do and have a good bunch around. If you are having trouble with yours, just remember they are merely people too and have to learn the art of teaching.
If you still fancy the challenge, then please consider us poor punters, though. Teaching is an art that needs to be learned, if you think you can do it without any training then the chances are you really really can’t.
So while you are teaching us, remember to keep teaching yourself as well.