In general classes there are sometimes dancers (even ones who have been dancing for a while) who can get through dances because everybody else in the set works very hard to keep them on the straight and narrow, even in more difficult dances. Sometimes these dancers think they are very good dancers because everything seems to work out (after a fashion), even though they couldn't handle these dances if they were left to their own devices. They have no real incentive to try to get better, and it can be a strain on the other dancers. How does one get these people to »pull their own weight«?

asked 02 Nov '11, 09:02

anselm's gravatar image

anselm ♦♦
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accept rate: 50%

edited 02 Nov '11, 12:01


I am still working on my teaching, so there's lots I could improve, but one thing I try to do is teach people to be self-reliant dancers. Since we're always seeing new people show up, my experienced dancers have become very used to helping new folks. I emphasize silent help, using body language and eye contact. Which means I also emphsize watching your partner and teamwork. When teaching multi-dancer figures I try to have people in the various positions (corners, 1st couple) walk their parts alone, without anyone else moving, before we walk or dance it together. That way they learn their own path, even if others go wrong. One exercise for reels of 3 I do, after teaching the "rules of the reel road", is have the center person decide, just when the music starts, which shoulder they're going to give and have the others watch and react.

I have dancers who catch on quickly to figures and doing whole dances with little trouble. I have other dancers who seems to do well, then have trouble, then do well again. I usually figure it's a problem with my teaching when that happens, and try to figure out what to change.

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answered 03 Nov '11, 04:49

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Monica Pollard
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edited 03 Nov '11, 04:50

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Asked: 02 Nov '11, 09:02

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Last updated: 03 Nov '11, 04:50

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