Learning the “how to’s” of being a good dancer can be confusing. When this is the first activity you have learned in a long time, in the early stages, your confidence has not caught up with your skill level and your teacher starts asking things of you that you are clearly not prepared for… or are you?? It’s easy to be skeptical and question your teacher’s motives. You may start to think “Am I unable to trust them.” You may think your dance teacher is lying to you…
Here are seven things you might think your teacher is lying about and the truth behind them:
Lie #1 “Oh yes, you are definitely ready to go to group class! Don’t worry…”
You think: “My teacher wants me to go to group?!? I barely know the basics!”
The Truth: You can do group class, just not every class on the calendar. The calendar has classes for people of all levels of dance. All the beginner classes start from scratch, like it was your first day learning to dance, so if your teacher is scheduling you for group it will be at the level you are capable of succeeding in. After 100 years of sending people to group class we know how to have you ready!
Lie #2“We are nearly out of lessons and need to add more to your program”
You think: “Add more? I’m having fun, but don’t I have lessons left?…”
The Truth: You do have lessons left on your program, but keep in mind there is a method to the madness. Your teacher is not teaching you blind and just winging it. A good teacher plans your lessons and has them allocated to the dances and projects you want to work on and this way you can see your success on every lesson. When you express you want to do more or move into the next level, your teacher plans well in advance to avoid time wasted and setbacks.
Lie #3 “In group class it will be best if you rotate partners”
You think: “Rotate partners? I’m here to spend quality time with the partner I came with…”
The Truth: Your teacher does not want to kill your mojo, but enhance it. When we stay with the same familiar partner it’s easy to get over focused and critical about how they are dancing—which can be a real buzz-kill. By rotating partners you can spend a little quality time with yourself, by feeling the difference with each person you dance with, and you can focus on your part to improve. This way when you get back to your partner, you will be a better dancer for them.
Lie # 4“We are making great strides in your dancing! Can you stay now or come in tomorrow?”
You think: “That’s the fifth day this week! At this rate I will have no lessons left!”
The Truth: Your teacher knows if you come in everyday you will use your lessons quickly. They also know that those who come in as often as they can, gain and retain the most in the long run. Your teacher may not say it enough, but their main priority is getting you to your dance goals quickly, so you can enjoy your dancing. We know you have a life outside of dancing, but we also know learning how to dance well will only enhance it.
Lie #5 “It’s time to take your dance test, check-out and graduate to the next level!”
You think: “Graduate? I came to learn to dance not to stress over tests.”
The Truth: Learning to dance should be fun and typically tests are not. But the nice part about tests is that they help us focus on our learning, so when we complete them we have made more of our dancing a permanent part of us. More importantly, we have a greater confidence in what we know and how to do it!
See #9 of the article below about the benefits of testing:
Lie #6 “This new dance will be great for your party!”
You think: “Another dance!?! I barely know the original ones I wanted to learn!”
The Truth: Your teacher is not trying to overload you but prepare you. Many dances share similar basic moves that you can benefit from. So if you are confused, ask your teacher to explain, show you or make you feel how the new dance will get you ready for the world!
Lie #7 “You should perform at our showcase next month. It would be perfect for you!”
You think: “Do a performance? I’m not here to perform or be a professional dancer.”
The Truth: I’m sorry but your teacher is not secretly grooming you so you can be the lead act in a 6-month, 28-city tour with So You Think You Can Dance. The reality is most students do not learn to dance to perform. Most are here to learn a few moves, not worry about what others are doing and to have to confidence to get out of their chair and dance. Your teacher knows that if you can get up and dance in a safe, but sometimes intimidating environment, you will definitely get up and dance ANYWHERE.
Ultimately clarity is kindness for both you and your teacher. Always know that your teaching team is looking out for your best interest, but they are not perfect, so if you have a question or need further explanation, never feel bad about asking.
Have an experience? We want to hear about it! Tell us a time you thought your teacher was lying about something to you!