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:
1. Knowledgeable – with the ability to teach and share this information. This needs no further explanation.
2. Passionate – About the dance and the people, not the money.
3. Confident – 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.
4. Inspiring – 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!