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Author Topic: Just how qualified does your dance teacher have to be?  (Read 1658 times)
elisedance
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« on: October 17, 2011, 08:27:22 AM »

2 steps ahead of you - or an international champion?

Just what makes a great dance teacher anyway.  We're visiting this issue right now and it comes up a lot.  Accoplished pros attain legitimacy on the basis of their achievements.  And there's a certain logic to this.  However, there is obviously much more to teaching dance than being able to excell at it - as is the case for all teaching - some people are just excellent teachers but may be limited for competition.

So where do you put the right combination? 
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ttd
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 11:14:53 AM »

I am happy with OSB rising star finalist. My previous pro-am teacher was more like 3 steps ahead of me. I was OK with him back then (that was 7 years ago, when I just started competing and was doing bronze), but would not go back to that situation.

Besides, I dance pro-am, so I probably couldn't afford a world champion, so the whole point is moot.
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 12:13:20 PM »

I am happy with OSB rising star finalist. My previous pro-am teacher was more like 3 steps ahead of me. I was OK with him back then (that was 7 years ago, when I just started competing and was doing bronze), but would not go back to that situation.

Besides, I dance pro-am, so I probably couldn't afford a world champion, so the whole point is moot.

But the general case?  Can a beginner be taught by a pre-bronze teacher - how qualified should a teacher be to be effective and, most important, 'do no harm'?  When I think of all the money spent on lessons that were simply plain wrong and then the money on the lessons to fix that...

Hmm.  Am I onto a scam? Roll Eyes
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ttd
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 01:15:52 PM »

I am happy with OSB rising star finalist. My previous pro-am teacher was more like 3 steps ahead of me. I was OK with him back then (that was 7 years ago, when I just started competing and was doing bronze), but would not go back to that situation.

Besides, I dance pro-am, so I probably couldn't afford a world champion, so the whole point is moot.

But the general case?  Can a beginner be taught by a pre-bronze teacher - how qualified should a teacher be to be effective and, most important, 'do no harm'?  When I think of all the money spent on lessons that were simply plain wrong and then the money on the lessons to fix that...

Hmm.  Am I onto a scam? Roll Eyes
Not every beginner is the same. If you have, for example, a wedding couple, do they really need a national champion to help them with their first dance, or they'd be OK with someone just starting out? And honestly I don't know how many beginners start lessons with intention of competing at all, or even with intention of getting as good as they can get. If all they want to putter around the floor with their significant other, do they really need a highly qualified teacher? Or someone who can show them the basic patterns would suffice? Or here's another example. University ballroom team here, in interests of saving costs, has its senior members, who were dancing for a while, teach beginner classes, and they hire local pros to teach their intermediate and advanced classes, as well as coach their competitive team. So it's basically silver-level dancers teaching absolute newbies. They seem to be doing fine. So, my view is that beginners will be OK even if the teacher does not have decades of experience and a stellar competitive resume. They're going to be making all the beginners mistakes anyway.

The only related issue that I am having a problem with is when a lesson price is the same for both types of professional. I.e. the studio prices all lessons the same regardless of teacher's experience level (but takes a different cut for each teacher). In our area, however, where everyone is basically an independent, the pricing issue takes care of itself. It reflects the experience and students can choose for themselves whether they want to dance with someone who charges $40 per hour or with someone who charges $60.
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 01:48:00 PM »

...with someone who charges $40 per hour or with someone who charges $60...
Shocked Shocked ...
I wish...
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ttd
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 02:06:40 PM »

...with someone who charges $40 per hour or with someone who charges $60...
Shocked Shocked ...
I wish...
That doesn't include the floor fee, which is $10-20 depending on the venue.
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 11:05:43 PM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.
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QPO
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 04:02:26 AM »

yes. I am happy to assist beginners but those that are at a higher level I leave it to others who are more eminently qualified that me.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 06:43:26 AM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 09:50:30 AM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?

That raises another point, should you learn from the best (or at least someone who really knows his/her stuff from the very beginning).

I used to teach at this studio where the owners developed an interesting system. They being professional champions would not teach absolute beginners, instead they would train championship, pre-championship or gold level dancers to be teachers who would teach the silver and bronze students. Silver students would be trained as teachers to teach beginners or wedding couples. Simply because the two of them don't have enough time to teach everyone who wants to learn, especially the ones who are just beginners.

What do people think about this system?
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ttd
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 10:28:37 AM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?

That raises another point, should you learn from the best (or at least someone who really knows his/her stuff from the very beginning).

I used to teach at this studio where the owners developed an interesting system. They being professional champions would not teach absolute beginners, instead they would train championship, pre-championship or gold level dancers to be teachers who would teach the silver and bronze students. Silver students would be trained as teachers to teach beginners or wedding couples. Simply because the two of them don't have enough time to teach everyone who wants to learn, especially the ones who are just beginners.

What do people think about this system?
I think it is a reasonable system. It resembles our college team setup, where basically silver-level kids teach beginners, and local pros teach more advanced classes (I don't go to their classes, so I can't comment on the quality, but the college kids seem to be doing OK). I heard (maybe someone from europe can confirm) that european club system has similar setup.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 12:21:54 PM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?

That raises another point, should you learn from the best (or at least someone who really knows his/her stuff from the very beginning).

I used to teach at this studio where the owners developed an interesting system. They being professional champions would not teach absolute beginners, instead they would train championship, pre-championship or gold level dancers to be teachers who would teach the silver and bronze students. Silver students would be trained as teachers to teach beginners or wedding couples. Simply because the two of them don't have enough time to teach everyone who wants to learn, especially the ones who are just beginners.

What do people think about this system?

Its fine as far as it goes - trouble is every student is different and the odds that silver student will know how do deal with these differences is very very low.  Perhaps if it was complimented by group lessons from the pros it might work - that way issues that were not working and needed a greater expertise could have a chance to be aired.

[BTW: what exactly differentiates a pro from an amateur in your system?  A name? Tongue ]
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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...
ttd
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2011, 12:32:09 PM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?
"Caveat Emptor"?
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2011, 02:26:30 PM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?
"Caveat Emptor"?

Caveat Empty perhaps Wink Tongue

Its all very well to dismiss - but when you start taking lessons you don't have any information to go by and you are very vulnerable to scams.  Imaging there was no creditation for dentists - would it be OK for some people to loose their teeth because there were lying hacks out there?  THe dance world has struggled with the idea of accreditation for teachers (there are good arguments both ways of course).
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 02:28:42 PM by elisedance » Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
ttd
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 02:28:21 PM »

I think it depends on what purpose you're having the teacher for.

i.e. if i'm a beginner and just want to learn how to dance, i'd be fine with a bronze teacher who can teach me just how to dance

but if i'm competing in pre-championship, i wouldn't want my teacher to be championship competitor him self. because if i was to dance up a level, we'd be competing against eachother. so i think in that case, i'd prefer someone significantly higher in level than me, i.e. at least a professional finalist if not champion.

Yes, but we are talking competence.  What if your bronxe techer learned on a cruise ship and virtually nothing that he taught you was correct for formal ballroom.  Wouldn't you feel cheated and angry if when you moved up a notch you now had to start from scratch?
"Caveat Emptor"?

Caveat Empty perhaps Wink Tongue
So I take it you don't believe in "Buyer Beware" principles?
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