I was always taught that criticism is best served with a heaping side of solution. This is a paramount life lesson that has become one of the corner stones of my teaching philosophy. Now I know that time and experience is my friend when it comes to my ability to find remedies for most if not all the issues my students have encountered; so with a little change in perspective and some helpful hints, you too can learn to problem solve your way through almost any class issue.
Factors that help transition you from being a fault finder to a remedy maker:
- Does your actual experience and ability allow for your students to meet their actual goals.
- Assess why you are choosing to teach dance. Money, ego, learning, talent/skill, love of dance or any combination of reasons. Whatever the truthful answer it will dictate the types of students you should responsibly take on.
- What is your track record regarding ALL your students? Think about what the actual results have been for even the most difficult of students.
By thinking about these simple factors each dance teacher can align their teaching abilities and style to the right students in order to have the right perspective for finding remedies. Sometimes its not even about what you WANT to provide for your students but what you can ACTUALLY provide for them that makes the difference between being a fault finder or a remedy maker.
Once you and your class are aligned as gracefully as a solar eclipse you can start to think about how to best provide remedies:
- Face to face encounters for initial corrections. No yelling across the room over music… not yet any way…lol.
- Each correction should be paired with at least 2 helpful exercises that are employed immediately. Each are explained and should be noted and if possible added to warm ups.
- Never give a correction you don’t yet know how to fix or that is outside the scope of your position ie. medical advice.
- Don’t move on to the next issue until the first one is applied. Although this may be a slow process at first, your students will learn to listen, absorb and apply their corrections and complimentary training exercises faster because they, just like you, want to move on to the next great skill.
- Try to conduct one or two classes a term where you don’t find fault or try to fix anything. Just enjoy having them BE DANCERS once and a while.
It would be so great if educators got in the habit of seeing their students as being glorious just the way they are. Appreciating them in the moment and having the appropriate knowledge and experience to help on the most fundamental level. Students don’t need to be fixed; What they need is to be given a better understanding of themselves and how they can best develop in to the dancers that THEY WANT TO BE!
LIVE LOVE DANCE