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Author Topic: Finding an instructor -- do certifications matter?  (Read 1169 times)
phoenix13
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« on: May 06, 2013, 02:14:52 AM »

I the time I have been exposed to the dance world,one of the biggest questions that new or new-ish dancers have is about finding a teacher or about the quality of the teachers that they have.

Obviously, one good way to find a teacher is via word of mouth. but what if you don't "know" anyone yet?  Are dance certifications a good way to gauge the quality of instruction one might receive from a given instructor?  Why or why not?

Any experiences to share?
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elisedance
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 05:33:12 AM »

Pieces of paper are just that - well, actually thats not fair.  If they are from a world-recognized organization they may well mean a deep knowledge but I think dance, even more than most other things I've tried at least, the talent of the teacher is more important than the qualifications.  Note, I said qualifications, not knowledge.  Its no good having a wonderful teacher that hasn't got a clue of how to dance.

Yup, the only reliable method of finding a good dance teacher is by listening to those you respect - else it can be a fast route to wasting a lot of money and there are a whole genre of dance teachers that try to get you to make an emotional committment so that you get hooked on dancing with them
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millitiz
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 08:15:24 AM »

Personally, I found the best qualifications are competition results. Of course, that is excluding a whole bunch of qualified teachers, but you can't really go way off by comp results.

Although now to think of it, I remember a coach having national title, but was never heard of by his colleagues (and apparently the said coach taught things incorrectly). So I guess that we can trust nothing?
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phoenix13
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 03:05:42 PM »

Hmm.  I'm a little leery of going by comp results, to be honest.  Even if you're a great dance competitor, I'm not sure that necessarily means you can teach.

Maybe you're right, militiz.  Trust nothing.*sigh*
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 03:54:41 PM »

but its a start - at least at some point you did learn.  dance teachers who did not compete may not have learned either Undecided
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cha
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 08:30:32 AM »

Truthfully - as a strictly social dancer - I prefer my dance teachers to NOT be involved in competition dancing.  While proper form and technique is important in social dance as well as competitive dance, it has been my experience that I've had more fun and social success with non-competitive teachers.  I've also had non-competitive teachers understand my physical limitations better (when I have them) and be more willing to work with those limitations (when I have them).   I'm sure that there are competitor teachers out there who do not fit into my experience - just not in this neck of the woods.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 09:21:20 AM »

You're right. The two teaching approaches can be very different.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 12:52:57 PM »

Oh yeah.  I guess I should add that the three main studios that I frequent here all have specific teachers for each discipline.   The competitive teachers do not accept social students and the social teachers are careful to understand their students' goals.  

The divide works very well.Smiley
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cha
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 12:58:27 PM »

Wow Phoenix13 - that sounds just about perfect!   I wish the studios around here would reach that state of enlightenment!  Maybe they'd have more people involved in dance!
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phoenix13
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 01:01:34 PM »

I totally agree.  I've been to studios that only had one type of dance lessons to sell and that sold that type of lesson HARD, whether it was a good fit for the student or not.

Not good.
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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 01:31:25 PM »

... but too common because the studio is not really there to serve the student but to serve the studio Tongue
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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
phoenix13
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 01:45:33 PM »

They have bills to pay. *shrug*
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elisedance
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 06:36:08 AM »

They have bills to pay. *shrug*
Yes, but in life you can't make that your raison d'etre - its often the first sign of imminent demise as once customers feel they are being courted only for their money they go elsewhere...
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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...
phoenix13
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 11:00:25 AM »

I think there needs to be a balance.  I don't want a dance teacher who cares only about the money. I had one of those; it was terrible.  OTOH, I would be very offended if anybody even implied that I don't deserve to be well paid for the work I do. The same goes for dance teachers; they deserve to be paid.  I see nothing wrong in their making sure that they get paid.

I suspect that many if not most dance teachers teach because they love dance, but what's in their heads is their business, IMV.  I've heard statistics everywhere from 60,70, 80 percent of people don't enjoy what they do for a living.  So I'm guessing that there are dance teachers out there who don't enjoy what they do, for whatever their reasons.  That's not my business.  What IS my business is whether they deliver on their commitment to me as a student, at a price I am willing to pay.

Just my view.  Cool
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elisedance
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 03:26:39 PM »

it also depends what you are trying to get.  If its just to dance better then yes, your approach is fine and sufficient.  however, if its to compete and dance together (pro-am) its about a lot more than just technique and becoming a better dancer. yes, that olde word partnership comes back for you are paying for a teacher and also a dance partner.  to satisfy the latter you had better be ready to pay attention, show interest and support, be kind, etc - all the things one would (hope) to get from a non-pro partner.  For if you don't your AM may well look elsewhere...
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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...
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