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Author Topic: Group lessons  (Read 1961 times)
elisedance
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« on: February 10, 2012, 07:54:10 AM »

So what are the benefits and negatives of group lessons?  I must admit to have evolved into a bit of a snob (sorry) with the years of private lessons.  But my new found (dance) singlehood has forced me to explore the ballroom dance world a bit more and, in a quest for a possible partner, that has meant group lessons.

What I learned so far is that group lessons are a great way to expand your general knowledge but a poor way to obtain the finess.  However, there are also a lot of interesting details.

First, groups have the advantage of a common struggle - you are working with a team and not by yourself - which means any deficiencies can be hidden much better (of course that may be good for your ego but not your dancing). 
Other group pluses:  good way to learn steps.  Private lessons tend to be about the correct way to do a step, group lessons teach new steps and making short routines; you learn a lot from other's mistakes - issues that may never have come up or even things that you thought you knew but didn't know well enough. 

One thing that is often absent - but perhaps the biggest potential of a group lesson is the chance to try your steps with a variety of partners.  I remember in back in the states there were clubs that made you switch partners and get out of the comfort zone - but I've never seen that in Toronto.  Howver, some groups stay to practise after the lesson and one I went to the men happily danced with as many women as they could.  [And one of the nicest groups I've been in BTW]
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elisedance
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 07:05:50 PM »

hmmm... not much of a group lesson this one Tongue Tongue
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QPO
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 08:30:32 PM »

you know there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I currently attend alot of group classes as an training assistant coach. I deal with the very beginner beginners I wont teach people who have been doing it awhile (especially the latin) I feel that my nieche of expertise is getting them to get started and learning groups of figures. I have yet to deal with people to finess the steps even further.

But I feel groups are good at any level of your dancing as it keeps you grounded and reminds you why you are dancing. It is for the love and enjoyment of moving with another person and to wonderful music.
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skipper
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 11:44:31 AM »

Group lessons are both empowering (you know) and humbling (new ideas/new partners).
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 12:11:45 PM »

Group lessons are both empowering (you know) and humbling (new ideas/new partners).

At yours do partners switch around?  Here they never do.
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skipper
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 10:01:56 PM »

We always switch!! Makes the leader clearer and the responder quicker.
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elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 03:27:13 AM »

We always switch!! Makes the leader clearer and the responder quicker.
Absolutely, but its against the dance culture here...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 05:48:22 AM »

We always switch!! Makes the leader clearer and the responder quicker.
Absolutely, but its against the dance culture here...
well it is up to the teacher to suggest how it is beneficial to a partners dancing. but I do know couples that would not come if they had to dance with someone else.. Undecided which is a shame
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 02:15:47 PM »

There are things that can be learned in a group setting that would be difficult to learn other ways. I learned a lot from the group lessons I did when I was dancing. My teacher would do topic lessons. Each topic would be talked about and put into practice during the group lesson. There were always other students that would come up with questions that I had never thought about. I got the answers to issues that I never knew existed. It was not only interesting but when that problem then came up for my partner and I knew the solution to the issue.

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 03:46:31 PM »

Our group lessons don't seem to have much discourse - its more about the teachers saying how things should be done.  I must try a a high-level group lesson - rather than the ones I've seen up to now that are more about bringing social dancers into the treats of formal dance.
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skipper
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 06:33:41 PM »

Group classes in my studio always end by asking, "What is the ONE thing you learned or reinforced?".  Always good to end on a positive and clear note.
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elisedance
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 08:31:02 PM »

An you hope the answer isn't 'to take the OTHER group lesson!' 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...
skipper
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 11:11:09 PM »

Never is---they always leave smiling.
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elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 02:30:16 AM »

Never is---they always leave smiling.
Smiley Smiley
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phoenix13
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 02:49:37 PM »

Wow.  This is a great topic that didn't gain momentum.  I wonder why. I think that group lessons can be a great supplement to private lessons, with some caveats.  One: The group lesson teacher has to be a good teacher.  Sounds obvious, but it isn't.  A lot of the studios I've attended have assigned the least experienced teachers to group lessons.  So you have to be careful which groups you attend, if you want to get a good learning experience out of the deal.   

And the same thing from another angle is that most studios offer lessons at the level of the majority of their students so, as you advance, it becomes more and more difficult to find group classes at your level because the number of students thins out.  This is something to keep in mind if you're at a studio that offers a lesson package that includes private, group and parties. 

My $0.02.
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