On our Instagram, we’ve done a survey about dance instructors.
What behaviors, comments, style of conducting dance lessons people don’t like. What irritates, frustrates, or discourages them. We collected the most popular answers, and this is how our ”10 tips on how to lead the worst dance class ever” were created” ;-). Take it with a grain of salt, but maybe there is something to think about.
1. Don’t play music during class.
Explain the piece from A to Z for 55 minutes.
After all, they came to learn all the choreography thoroughly, not to dance to the music. Fun, emotions, effort, music that brings you to dance? Forget it! For what? Count the whole thing again, and if you have some time left, start explaining the next part of the choreo. Dance to the music max 2 times in the end and next week make a new choreo for another song.
3. Criticize others, say that only you teach well. Don’t let them express themselves.
“You can dance only this way, another way is wrong!”, “Don’t do this styling, only my version is ok!”, “Those instructors teach badly + <insult here>, don’t go there.” These are quotes that you need to remember and use in the class. After all, you need to build your authority and admiration among the students. It has long been known that instead of promoting yourself with your own work, it is better to insult competitors. You shouldn’t let your students explore the dance. Own interpretation, improvisation? No way.
Ordnung muss sein!
4. Teaching adults? Don’t explain anything. Just dance to the fast tempo!
Dance slower once and then only faster. They are to embrace! They ask for repetition, body movement exercises? Pff … their problem. They signed up for dance classes so they should be able to dance? You need to grasp quickly. This is a good argument when, for example, they ask for doing the movement in parts, and you do not know how to do it.
5. Give them exercise and leave the room for 15 minutes.
An instructor is also a man, she/he must rest! The right way is to play music, make them practice alone, and leave the room. If they dance with one another, they don’t need you there! You can use this time for coffee, toilet, rumours at the reception, or a quick nap!
6. Dance allows us to improvise. Improvise also when leading classes.
Get ready sooner? Arrange something at home? Think about the class? No, what for? A good instructor is flexible, but an excellent instructor has no plan what he is going to do. In fact, he doesn’t know what he is going to do. He creates the piece during a class, changes counting every now and then, and if people don’t get it, he draws their attention to the fact that they should keep up and it’s their problem.
7. If you run classes in couples, never dance with the students.
Have fun with each other and clearly outline the boundaries of the instructor-student. Just looking at a pair of correctly dancing instructors will bring them good results. When they dance with you, they won’t know anything about leading, following, or mistakes they make. Just dancing with other students who don’t get over it will give you some effect.
8. Give them a pro-tip to understand the movement – “You need to feel it”.
You explain something the 10th time in the same way. It didn’t work. They can’t get it. There are several ways out. Some say to look for another way to explain, do some exercises that will lead to the final effect … Forget about it. What works best is actually saying: “You have to feel it.” They will have it right away.
9. When there are a lot of people, be sure that only the first row sees something.
Stay in one place, don’t use the platform (if there is any), don’t make changes in lines or pairs. If someone did not come 30 minutes earlier to take the first row, it means that she/he doesn’t care. Appreciate those who are standing right behind you.
10. Motivate them. Say: “If you dance badly at a party, you do me a bad advertising.”
Isn’t that true? Parties are not for fun, but to show which instructor has the best students. When you put on weak players, you know how it will end! Tell them that they are ready for the party after a year of dancing and for the advanced ones, note that they are supposed to dance to the max. If at the party you notice that someone lost the rhythm or, God forbid, don’t catch some accent – throw him out of the group.