When I first started attending college I was a Dance Education Major, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I decided to just change my major to Dance. I still have a passion for wanting to teach dance, I’ve just decided I did not want to do so directly out of college. So when I go take dance classes from other teachers and instructors in my area, I am always thinking about their teaching technique.
I had a friend mention that there is a difference between teaching class and giving class, where the instructor who gives class just stands in front of the class and performs choreography. I would have to agree with this as well. In some of the classes I’ve taken and spent money on, I have noticed that the instructor just merely warms up the class with a few aerobic movements, maybe an across the floor phrase, and shows a dance combination for the last part of class for the students to do a few times over and over. In these kinds of classes, I’ve noticed that it seems more like a performance for the participants and even for the instructors at times, and the students leave the class without much more than the opportunity to have danced a great combination.
In classes where the instructor is doing more teaching, he or she is more active in moving around the room and offering feedback (both tactile and verbal), as well as offering individual students something personal to work on. This does tend to be very difficult to do if the instructor is teaching a huge class and can not get to every student, but the effort to do so with at least a few has proven to be beneficial to others in the class if they are not the ones receiving feedback. One of my favorite kind of teachers would take a few moments in every class to show the class what feedback they are giving to the student that could be applicable to many others in the class, if not all.
Teaching dance is a very fun and great thing to do and have a skill in. It also gets very easy to simply give a class instead of teaching a class so that the students have something to grow from after they leave they leave the class. I know I return to a class over and over when the teacher takes the effort out to provide information for each student to apply to their dancing instead of just a great challenging dance combination.