AKA Unreasonable Expectations Will Get You Every Time
Good dance teachers want their students to feel successful and confident.
But good dance teachers also can fall into the trap of offering to students what the students want. After all, how can you keep teaching dance if you don’t offer the students what they want? Right?
Problem: The students do not know what they NEED.
One of the biggest challenges of being a dance teacher is putting on beginner level classes that
And there lies the conundrum. Because in order to teach enough moves that you feel like you are dancing, we need to give you the information and teach you the techniques to make your dancing actually work and to make your dancing feel good to you and your dance partner… aaaand that takes longer than just a few weeks.
So… if we taught you the moves without teaching you what makes dancing feel good and look good, we would be doing you a great disservice and you would not stick with it.
But… if we give you an amount of information and technique that makes you feel discouraged, we would be doing you a great disservice and you would not stick with it.
It is a very hard balance to strike. Packing that all into 6-8 weeks is very difficult.
We want you to feel successful. We want you to want more dance. We do not want to scare you off.
Many people think that they can learn to dance in just a few weeks, so they get discouraged when they can’t. Then they drop out. Most people do not realize that dancing is a new skill that takes effort to learn just as all new skills do. Well, actually, dancing isn’t one skill, it is a blend of several skills, and they all require practice to do them well. Dancing is a lot like Hockey in this way. Just as hockey is not one skill, neither is dance. You need to practice several different skills to learn to play hockey well. Dance? Same.
Also as with dance, with hockey you can aspire to many levels, from playing hockey with friends for fun, to playing professional hockey in the NHL. If you had never, ever played hockey in your life nor held a hockey stick before, it would take some learning and practice to even have fun playing hockey with friends, and to feel confident handling the puck or ball.
How well do you think you would play hockey after 6-8 weeks of lessons? How well do you think you would play hockey after 6-8 weeks of lessons if you never practiced outside of class?
Well… is it even worth the effort? ABSOLUTELY!
Dancing is a very fun activity that you can do all through your life and all around the world! It is not only healthy for your body, but it has been scientifically proven to keep your mind sharp! Listening to great music while creating something beautiful and enjoyable with your dance partner is amazing! Feels amazing!
The key is to have realistic expectations for your dance classes and for your progress. If you consider learning to dance (or to play hockey) to be a long term goal, as well as to be a fun, challenging and healthy recreational activity, then you will be more likely to really progress. And most importantly, you will feel successful, confident, and have a great time both in class and dancing anywhere.
When students have realistic expectations and long-term goals, the dance teachers don’t have to worry about cramming so much into 6-8 weeks, and the classes can be more relaxed and fun. This contributes to the students feeling more successful and confident, which is all the teachers ever wanted in the first place.
So then, how is the paradox resolved? By providing the students with the information they need to develop realistic expectations.
And you just read it.
So register for that dance class you’ve been thinking about. :)
Then go put on your favourite music… and dance!