It’s HARD to teach a dancing lesson, man. Have you ever stood in front of your students, sweating profusely (after merely warmups), attempting to calm your nerves, believe in your choreo, remember your counts, and not look like a complete idiot? Yep. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great. It’s certainly a pleasurable work, but it’s still a job. So, if you’re having trouble communicating with your students about specific topics, try brushing up on your teaching abilities! Continue reading to catch the blunders you didn’t even realise you were committing. Improve your pupils’ and your own classroom experience!
1. You’re not showing your counts/music clearly
Each of us learns in a different way. Some dancers prefer counting, while others prefer learning through sounds.
Some songs are better represented by singing them, while others are more straightforward with their booms and kas on full counts.
Studying your music very attentively is a good technique to figure out which to employ.
Consider how you coordinated it to have a clearer idea of which sounds you’re aiming to emphasise. Then teach it using that interpretation of the music.
Determine which method of displaying your music is the most effective. You don’t have to stick to one way throughout the lesson; you can alternate between counting and making noises.
2. They can’t see you!
It’s aggravating to be in the back of a crowded class and see only the choreographer’s hat – –
It’s even more aggravating when the choreographer isn’t aware of this and never instructs the front half of the class to take a seat.
If anything, having the front half sit down and teach your choreo to the back half first is more efficient.
This allows the front half to observe and comprehend the action before rising to try it out.
If you teach the front half first, the back half will always be playing catch-up, seeing and practising everything half as much as the front half.
3. You’re not describing the in-betweens
The pictures and angles are simple. You simply demonstrate it and describe it, after which your pupils can copy/paste it onto their own bodies.
However, while Point As and Bs will clean up dancers, they will not make them dance.
If your students are hitting your targets but not really living the music in the way you envisioned, it’s possible you’re not guiding them down the right path.
Try to convey that texture or dynamic as best you can with a little effort and ingenuity.
If you’re having trouble describing the manoeuvre, try describing the sound you’re making:
4. You need to pace yourself!
It can be damaging to the learning process to teach too rapidly or too slowly.
Every session you teach will have a variety of pupils with varying skill levels and learning methods, so interact with them!
Inquire about their requirements. Give it to them (within reason)!
In addition, keep a close eye on what you’re doing.
You don’t always have to ask if they need to review or if they’re ready to go on; you can just look at how they’re doing and go from there.
5. Choreo. Overload.
I know, I know.
You choreographed to the dramatic, climactic breakdown at the end of the chorus…
However, getting to that milestone should not be a top goal.
In fact, the quantity of choreo you complete in a lesson should be the last thing on your mind.
Your first priority is to ensure that your pupils are challenged, learning something new, comprehending the dance, and, most importantly, having fun while doing so.
It will be difficult to remember the portions that the children were OK with in the first half of the piece if you try to squeeze in the last two 8-counts in the last three minutes of class.
Finishing the piece for the sake of finishing it is not a good idea.
Finish your lesson with enough time for students to share in small groups and enough mental space for them to feel challenged but not defeated.
As you’ve probably observed, the majority of these suggestions revolve around communicating with your students! Keep in mind that class is a form of energy exchange. Give and receive it to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience! Have a fantastic day in the next class!! Do you have any advice for pupils who are struggling to understand your choreography? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Learn more: How To Dance With More Confidence