(Your Instructor Knows) You’re Better Than You Think
Students, we owe you an explanation. Over the time we’ve spent together, you’ve discovered that learning to dance can be pretty challenging. You’ve grown frustrated with your progress at times, and assume that we must be frustrated with you too.
Even when we tell you that you’re doing great, you feel we couldn’t possibly be telling the truth, because you learn so much slower than you expected. It’s time for us to come clean, and let you know how we really feel.
Do you remember your favourite teachers growing up? They seemed so excited by the subject matter, it made you excited to learn too. What you may not have known, is that excitement often fed back to the teacher, so they enjoyed the lesson as much as you did.
I (and most other instructors) feel the same way about teaching dance – when you first arrived, we saw your enthusiasm for trying something new, and it made us want to help you improve even more.
Over the years, we’ve taught a lot of people, and have learned to anticipate where you are likely to get confused. So it’s not a surprise when you prove us right, and we don’t hold it against you – it’s just the natural process of making your body do something it’s never done before.
That’s not to say you don’t surprise us from time to time. To us, every student is a puzzle, a unique equation we are trying to solve. That’s not a bad thing – that’s half the fun.
So if you are struggling with a step and start apologizing to us, know that we are learning alongside you – learning what works for you and what doesn’t, how we can better reach you, and help you become a better version of yourself.
And yes, sometimes we DO get frustrated. We are often guilty of taking our role in our student’s progress too seriously, so if we explain something and it doesn’t take, we feel like it’s a reflection on our own abilities. So if you see us getting exasperated when you’re having trouble, remember that it’s about us, not you.
All we ask in return is that you give your honest best when you’re in front of us. Your best will include days when you feel tired, or unfocused, and that’s okay. Show that you showed up to learn, and you can’t help but improve.
And we will be there with you, every step of the way.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.