This post is going to be Short and Sweet.
Even though I live in South Africa, my dance Journey has given me the privilege of being taught by a number of World Class Instructors both locally and internationally. A number of instructors really live up to their name, but occasionally I have come across some instructors that are quite disappointing. Its a sad day when you are looking forward to a class with an instructor you admire and it fails to live up-to your expectations.
A few years ago I asked myself 2 questions after attending one particular class that failed to live up to any and all expectations:
1. Why am I attending this class?
2. Why am I so disappointed?
The answer to 1 was simple, the instructor was an amazing performer and when I watched them dance they inspired me. I simply wanted to learn from someone that talented and inspiring.
As for the answer to question No.2, I was disappointed because they simply did not know how to impart that skill and knowledge in a class environment. They could barely get through the class yet alone explain what they were doing. They lacked the clarity, energy, enthusiasm or passion that I expected to be delivered.
Then I started noticing a pattern – most teachers are actually performers first. When you think about it, this makes sense. I mean when you see someone perform, you are inspired and then you want to take a class with them. I mean who wouldn’t? Look at the poetry they just pulled off on the dance floor? However, as I continued on my dance Journey, I soon realised – there are very few great performers who are actually great teachers.
So what makes a great dance teacher? Well in my opinion and it is just an opinion, there are 4 simple things:
Has the ability to teach and share this information. This needs no further explanation.
Cares about the dance and the people, not the money.
Instructors should be comfortable and confident enough with their own style that they are not overly worried about the competition. As a matter of fact, they should encourage you to challenge yourself and try and get different perspectives. Be weary of instructors who always berate and talk down other instructors.
The ability to inspire. Its easy to create cookie cut versions of yourself, but when you can encourage & inspire people to create their own styles, you are on another level.
What do you think? What makes a Great Instructor? Feel free to share your thoughts!