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Author Topic: Methods of Instruction: where is the line?  (Read 2144 times)
elisedance
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2011, 01:12:57 PM »

One of my teachers always says “If you want to go somewhere or do something then ask somebody that has been where you want to go or done what you want to do”. There are a lot of teachers that teach and don’t really know how to get where the student wants to go. I have also found that some teachers have taken only a few lessons with master teachers and don’t really understand why they were told what they were told. This can cause a great misunderstanding to the point that what they are teaching is not really what the master teacher beliefs in. I have seen this happing sooo many times lately that it is beginning to be a major issue.  

DSV

Which is why critical professions (medicine, dentistry, etc) have an impartial, fair and thorough creditation system.  Its time Ballroom followed suit...
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GreenEyes26
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2011, 01:31:27 PM »


Which is why critical professions (medicine, dentistry, etc) have an impartial, fair and thorough creditation system.  Its time Ballroom followed suit...

I've thought about this many, many times and I agree. I think it's tricky, though, because to me, teacher education in dancing can be followed in a certification or school-like format, or it can be like an apprenticeship. A complication is for the already established professionals: are they really going to have to go back and get certified? My guess is that they would be insulted.

I've been thinking about how to create a good system for dance teacher training for a while...interesting topic!
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"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some guy
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2011, 02:49:43 PM »

I think the system will fix itself only if the students are educated and get smarter.  As long as there's a demand there will always be a supply of unaccredited teachers.  I know I was part of that demand structure for 7 years.  There were plenty of better teachers but I wasn't educated on the importance of a teacher's accreditation and qualification. The only thing I thought of was, "I don't know how to do it, but this pro says he knows how to do it, so let me take lessons with him".  

What I've noticed is that very few students actually sit back and critically assess their teacher.  "Has this person been to where I want to go?".  "Is the path this person is putting me on going to get me to my destination?"... and of course the most difficult thing of all for students to do, "is this teacher actually improving my dancing?".  I think dance teachers have been able to propagate the myth that learning to dance takes 30 years, so most students don't question their teacher's abilities when they're "only" 5,6,7, 15, 20 years into their instruction.  The only time it clicked in my mind was when I was 7 years into my dance training and I saw a 7 year old at a competition dance better than I ever did.  This kid had been alive for as long as I had learned dancing, yet he was 10 times better than I was.  When I started dancing, this kid didn't know how to even crawl!  That's when the math just didn't make sense and I decided I needed to do something about it.    

If more people realized that it only takes months to learn, then people will be quite shocked.  Sure it takes a life time to perfect, just like anything else.  I can ride a bike, and so can Lance Armstrong.  There's a lot he can teach me in terms of training for cross country riding, but I doubt he'll have to teach me how to get on a bike and ride it.  People in my neck of the woods are still "learning how to do a natural turn".  I was still learning that 7 years into my dancing.  My current coach showed me how to do it in minutes. Sure, just like Lance Armstrong can teach me how to conserve my energy, ride faster, throw in more shape to take turns better, etc., my coach is now teaching me how to play with it, to make it faster, slower, softer, louder, anything I want with it, but ever since that first lesson, my coach hasn't had the need to teach me how to do it.  I can perfect it for the rest of my life, and my coach can give me ideas on how to make it look bigger, faster, more dynamic, prettier, but I doubt I'm ever going to get another lesson in how to do it.  I learned the Jive from my mother when I was 12.  Ever since then, nobody has taught me how to do it.  They tell me "I'm a natural" at it.  Sure, I can make it look more energetic, make it faster, sharper, etc., but others in my city are still learning how to do the rock step and the triple step.  In fact, I saw them recently attend a 1.5hr workshop on it.  Most of the people who attended it had been dancing longer than I have and have taken more lessons and done more competitions than I had.    

I find it amazing how people in their 20's and 30's get foot, knee, and neck surgery because it's so strenuous in the hopes that they'll be able to keep dancing into their 70's.  If it's too hard to do when you're 20, chances are, you won't be able to do it with you're 70 even with the cybernetic enhancements.  However, this logic eludes them.

In medicine, nobody in their right mind is going to go to an unaccredited doctor.  So there's no demand for them.  That makes people who want to become doctors actually go through the system.  I wonder how we can get the word out to students everywhere to think more sensibly about their dancing.    /end rant
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 03:17:44 PM by Some guy » Logged
elisedance
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2011, 03:01:52 PM »

In medicine, nobody in their right mind is going to go to an unaccredited doctor.  So there's no demand for them.   

Sorry, but Gufffaw!!! Have you not heard of 'alternative' medicine? 
What you say is true though for invasive medicine or anthing where the drug actually does something... Tongue

But what you said above is right on: students don't demand quality training - mostly, I think, because dance is seen as something you can do or you can not.  Other than for theatrical dancing (ballet, musicals, movies) eople do not learn that dancing takes training or that it can be done badly or dangerously so they don't have any basis to require a trained teacher.  Its only when we get into competition and you learn that there are people who win consistently - even if they are not the best physically - and there are real technical reasons for this that it dawns: to dance well you have to get a well trained teacher.

Unfortunately for some the coin never drops.... Undecided
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Some guy
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2011, 03:14:54 PM »

Sorry, but Gufffaw!!! Have you not heard of 'alternative' medicine? 
What you say is true though for invasive medicine or anthing where the drug actually does something... Tongue
Smiley  Yeah, I meant the more invasive kind.  I should've used "surgeon" as a better example. 
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GreenEyes26
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2011, 12:09:43 AM »

What I've noticed is that very few students actually sit back and critically assess their teacher.  "Has this person been to where I want to go?".  "Is the path this person is putting me on going to get me to my destination?"... and of course the most difficult thing of all for students to do, "is this teacher actually improving my dancing?".  I think dance teachers have been able to propagate the myth that learning to dance takes 30 years, so most students don't question their teacher's abilities when they're "only" 5,6,7, 15, 20 years into their instruction.  and the triple step.  In fact, I saw them recently attend a 1.5hr workshop on it.  Most of the people who attended it had been dancing longer than I have and have taken more lessons and done more competitions than I had.    

There's definitely elements of ignorance and trust coming into play here: how do you know what to look for when you're just beginning? I didn't know a good teacher from a bad teacher when I was starting out. In fact, I remember people having to tell me what a good teacher or dancer was. I don't know if I completely agree with those qualifications now, because I'm developing yet a new sense of "good" or "proper" dancing. But it took someone to teach me how to be critical of what I was learning and who I was learning from.

Then there's the issue of trust. A teacher can't teach you if you don't trust them. I've gone back and forth on trusting one of my current teachers - sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I think it's a bad situation to be in, frankly. It's like taking medicine only some of the time, instead of taking it until you're completely healed. I'm questioning this teacher now, and I have to say...how am I supposed to know if he really has a plan in mind for me or if he's not efficiently addressing the issue (because he doesn't know how). My point is, how is the student supposed to know when it's good to question or if questioning is a detriment to him/her?
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"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2011, 03:12:09 PM »

I think that is the source of much of the bad teaching that I have experienced (thankfully not a lot) where a principle is taught by someone who has never integrated it into dance.
Just read something interesting about Albert Einstein: he wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.
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elisedance
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2011, 03:17:04 PM »

I think that is the source of much of the bad teaching that I have experienced (thankfully not a lot) where a principle is taught by someone who has never integrated it into dance.
Just read something interesting about Albert Einstein: he wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.

Er, isn't that a big Duh!  Einstein, you can do better than that.
It would be much more interesting if he said that creative thought was a natural escape from strict rote.

And one could make an argument in favor - using einstein who went through a german school education which would have been as strict and rote as possible....

Ha!  I rest my case....
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2011, 11:05:50 PM »

One of my teachers always says “If you want to go somewhere or do something then ask somebody that has been where you want to go or done what you want to do”. There are a lot of teachers that teach and don’t really know how to get where the student wants to go. I have also found that some teachers have taken only a few lessons with master teachers and don’t really understand why they were told what they were told. This can cause a great misunderstanding to the point that what they are teaching is not really what the master teacher beliefs in. I have seen this happing sooo many times lately that it is beginning to be a major issue.  

DSV

Which is why critical professions (medicine, dentistry, etc) have an impartial, fair and thorough creditation system.  Its time Ballroom followed suit...

In some parts of the world they do have very strong creditation system.

DSV
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2011, 03:14:28 AM »

One of my teachers always says “If you want to go somewhere or do something then ask somebody that has been where you want to go or done what you want to do”. There are a lot of teachers that teach and don’t really know how to get where the student wants to go. I have also found that some teachers have taken only a few lessons with master teachers and don’t really understand why they were told what they were told. This can cause a great misunderstanding to the point that what they are teaching is not really what the master teacher beliefs in. I have seen this happing sooo many times lately that it is beginning to be a major issue. 

DSV

Which is why critical professions (medicine, dentistry, etc) have an impartial, fair and thorough creditation system.  Its time Ballroom followed suit...

In some parts of the world they do have very strong creditation system.

DSV

But does this work - or is it used as a way to control who gets to teach?  Its the flip side of accreditation - in many places it simply becomes a way of keeping others out of the business - certainly the case in professions like medicine or even arts such as acting or playing in an orchestra.
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Bordertangoman
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« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2011, 06:13:52 AM »

One of my teachers always says “If you want to go somewhere or do something then ask somebody that has been where you want to go or done what you want to do”. There are a lot of teachers that teach and don’t really know how to get where the student wants to go. I have also found that some teachers have taken only a few lessons with master teachers and don’t really understand why they were told what they were told. This can cause a great misunderstanding to the point that what they are teaching is not really what the master teacher beliefs in. I have seen this happing sooo many times lately that it is beginning to be a major issue. 

DSV

that is very interesting....i think its much to do with the shifting sand of motivation, perception and goal.


Most of my classes focus on technique but something that hopefully is immediataly doable, whereas I reflect that what mospeople need is not how to learn to dance tango but how to dance by themselves and find their own means of body expression ( back to the 'ole 5 Rhynts ( tm))
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2011, 11:28:32 AM »

One of my teachers always says “If you want to go somewhere or do something then ask somebody that has been where you want to go or done what you want to do”. There are a lot of teachers that teach and don’t really know how to get where the student wants to go. I have also found that some teachers have taken only a few lessons with master teachers and don’t really understand why they were told what they were told. This can cause a great misunderstanding to the point that what they are teaching is not really what the master teacher beliefs in. I have seen this happing sooo many times lately that it is beginning to be a major issue. 

DSV

Which is why critical professions (medicine, dentistry, etc) have an impartial, fair and thorough creditation system.  Its time Ballroom followed suit...

In some parts of the world they do have very strong creditation system.

DSV

But does this work - or is it used as a way to control who gets to teach?  Its the flip side of accreditation - in many places it simply becomes a way of keeping others out of the business - certainly the case in professions like medicine or even arts such as acting or playing in an orchestra.

Let me ask you this ee…

How do you know what and how a champion thinks unless a champion tells you and let you have the insights?
My teacher actually told me to read “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill so that I understood how important thinking that right way was/is.

DSV
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

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elisedance
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Posts: 35035


ee


« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2011, 02:38:59 PM »

One of my teachers always says “If you want to go somewhere or do something then ask somebody that has been where you want to go or done what you want to do”. There are a lot of teachers that teach and don’t really know how to get where the student wants to go. I have also found that some teachers have taken only a few lessons with master teachers and don’t really understand why they were told what they were told. This can cause a great misunderstanding to the point that what they are teaching is not really what the master teacher beliefs in. I have seen this happing sooo many times lately that it is beginning to be a major issue. 

DSV

Which is why critical professions (medicine, dentistry, etc) have an impartial, fair and thorough creditation system.  Its time Ballroom followed suit...

In some parts of the world they do have very strong creditation system.

DSV

But does this work - or is it used as a way to control who gets to teach?  Its the flip side of accreditation - in many places it simply becomes a way of keeping others out of the business - certainly the case in professions like medicine or even arts such as acting or playing in an orchestra.

Let me ask you this ee…

How do you know what and how a champion thinks unless a champion tells you and let you have the insights?
My teacher actually told me to read “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill so that I understood how important thinking that right way was/is.

DSV

...answer: because you can be a champion in one area and a beginner in another Roll Eyes
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Rugby
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2011, 10:38:35 PM »


But what you said above is right on: students don't demand quality training - mostly, I think, because dance is seen as something you can do or you can not.  Other than for theatrical dancing (ballet, musicals, movies) eople do not learn that dancing takes training or that it can be done badly or dangerously so they don't have any basis to require a trained teacher.  Its only when we get into competition and you learn that there are people who win consistently - even if they are not the best physically - and there are real technical reasons for this that it dawns: to dance well you have to get a well trained teacher.

Unfortunately for some the coin never drops.... Undecided

So true ee, so true. 
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Everyone tries to rush up through the syllabus levles and think once they are at the top they have arrived.  What they don't realize is that by doing this it is like skimming through a book, you may get the gist but you will never understand the story.
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