What Makes a GOOD Dance Teacher? (5 HABITS you NEED to know!)
What Makes a GOOD Dance Teacher? (5 HABITS you NEED to know!)


Hola loves! Welcome to the Dancepreneur YouTube channel,
my name is Daniela Patiño and today I will share with you five essential habits when
teaching dance. If you’d like to know more about what this
channel is about, click right here to watch our lovely channel trailer or click on the
link in the description down below. I would love to have YOU as part of this beautiful
tribe of dancepreneurs! Now without further due, let’s start with
the video! As some of you know or don’t know, I have
been dancing for almost 13 years. I’ve trained in ballroom, contemporary,
hip hop, and some ballet, but my forte is ballroom, especially salsa, bachata, and chacha. I started teaching when I was about 16 years
old and I absolutely love the experience of seeing others grow and achieve their goals through dance. Being both a student and an instructor has
allowed me to learn very important lessons about being on both sides of spectrum, and
here are five of them! Number one: plan in advance. I know this very self-explanatory and obvious,
but you have no idea how often I see this happening. From congresses to regular classes, to workshops,
it is insane how unprepared instructors are becoming. Being a dance instructor is not just about
filming class for the sake of exposure to then compete in the social media industry
for likes and whatever popularity measurement you would like to include. As an instructor, you also have to be respectful
of your students’ monetary investment and expectations and goals. For example, if you advertise your class as
a class targeting beginners who will learn the fundamentals of hip hop by the end of
the class period, which could be a month, a year, a semester, then you should provide
that specific value. Cost-benefit relationship. I pay because I expect these benefits but
in return you should give me those benefits and you get the money. I hear a lot of stories of people who take
XYZ instructor’s class and leave very disappointed because they feel like they didn’t learn
anything. At the end of the day, teaching is a very
profitable income stream for dancers and unfortunately some instructors take advantage of this and
don’t put in the work to provide valuable material. Here’s a tip: I recommend planning your
classes by using a syllabus or a teaching plan, which specifies the categories in which
your classes are going to be divided and how much time you plan to spend on each one. For example, if I’m teaching a class that’s
60-minutes long, I could start with a 10 to 15-minute warmup, then spend 20 to 25 minutes
reviewing, and then introduce new material in the last 30 to 35 minutes. And you could also leave a couple of minutes
at the end of class to stretch. You can also divide your syllabus or teaching
plan by each class and the theory or concept that you plan on teaching that day. For example, If I’m teaching a salsa class that’s
six weeks long, I would make a chart with two columns: one for the class number and
the second one for the theory or concept that I will be teaching that day. Class number one, two, three, four, five,
six. For the first day I could do “Intro and Concept
A.” For the second day “Concept B.” Third day “Concept C,” and so on until you cover
all the material. Remember, meet the expectations, cost-benefit
relationship. I absolutely love this planning strategy and
it has worked very well for me. By doing this, I set myself and my students
for success in order to achieve whatever goals we have. Also, this strategy gives you a great advantage. At the end of each class you can provide a
verbal recap of what your students learned that day. New vocabulary or theory or concepts, and
since you already know what you’ll be teaching the following class, you can add that to the
recap. Here’s an example, “Well guys, this is
the end of our class. Thank you for your hard work and positivity! Today we learned the salsa basic on 2, salsa
music theory with the clave, and the right and left turn. Next class we will learn about partner connection,
how to do the salsa basic with a partner, and the cross-body lead.” Of course, you can modify this as much as
you want in order to build your teaching style and adjust your students’ needs. Number two: adjust to your students’ needs. I can’t stress enough how important it is
that you get to know your students. It’s not just about learning their names and
if “they’re good or not,” but it’s also very useful to know their dance backgrounds and
any limitations and injuries. Why is this so important though? Because this might influence or affect the
way they express or even the relationships and connections they create with their peers
or even with you. By getting to know your students, you also
get a solid idea of their needs, and you can use this to plan your classes. For example, I have taught salsa to kids and
to retired adults. These are very two different populations that
require different needs. Here’s a short story about something that
happened to me. When I started college, I was a dance and
business double major. Most of the dance majors at my previous university, were very well-trained in contemporary, ballet, and I wasn’t! I mainly did ballroom…I love that ish! Although I took multiple classes in different
styles, that wasn’t my forte. I remember taking a ballet with a lovely professor
who was aware of my background. She made analogies or used similar concepts
so that I could understand the ballet concept from a ballroom perspective without losing
the ballet theory and vocabulary. My learning experience was easier and it wasn’t
super painful to the point where I hated ballet. I actually ended up really, really liking
ballet because of that positive experience that my professor created for me. Number three: provide constructive feedback. Students are taking dance classes in order
to learn something, right? They probably want to know what they’re doing
right and what they can improve upon. It has to be feedback that helps the student
grow and understand in what areas they’re growing, what areas need a little bit more
of work and practice. Make sure that you provide constructive feedback
in a timely manner. You are not going to wait until the last day
of class to provide feedback, because it’s not relevant at that point! You should be providing feedback on a regular
basis. Number four: don’t play favorites. Playing favorites creates unhealthy competition,
negativity, and hostility between your students. Not all students are created equal! Playing favorites also has a strong detrimental
effect on a student’s artistic process. And why is this? Because students might try to copy or imitate
“the favorite” in order to become “the favorite.” By not playing favorites and treating everyone
the same way, your students understand that they all have the potential and capabilities
to express their talent. Number five: be approachable. Yes, you’re an instructor now but this doesn’t
mean that you’re done learning new things. Dancers should never stop learning! Even if you’re an instructor now…even more! I think you should be learning as twice as
much as you were learning when you were a student. Sometimes I give my personal number to my
private students so in that way we can text about timing, classes. And to my regular students, I usually give
my social media and other platforms that they can use to communicate with me. If they asked for my personal number, I would
give it to them, but that’s just me. I know some dance instructors never give their
personal phone numbers or they have professional phone numbers that they give to their students. Regardless of the way in which you decide
to communicate with your students outside of the classroom, I think it’s important that
you not only preach that “you are approachable.” Take action and act as an approachable dance
instructor! And this is the end of the video but hold
on, hold on! I still have one more thing for you. I know you want to become a Dancepreneur and
live your passion, and this is what this channel is all about! So, if you would like to join our beautiful
tribe of Dancepreneurs, subscribe down here in the red button that says “Subscribe.” Don’t forget to turn on the notifications
so that you are the first one to watch my videos! Here’s a question for you, do you know any
other habits that you think instructors should have when teaching dance? It could be anything, maybe something that
works for you or that you see working for your dance instructors. Let me know in the comments down below. I’d love to hear from you and also maybe implement
those habits in my teaching style. Until next Wednesday, loves! Besos!

6 thoughts on “What Makes a GOOD Dance Teacher? (5 HABITS you NEED to know!)”

  1. be_happy__and_smile :D says:

    Thank You! This video was very helpful! I am starting to teach this september and I am bery excited, but also very nervous. 🙂

  2. Truc Bui says:

    Abby lee Miller now knows how to teach her students. Lol

  3. LimarioSugaKookie says:

    Thanks for the video! I’ll start teaching kpop next week and I’m pretty nervous 😬

  4. Vadimovna says:

    I am 19 and have just recently started teaching Rhythmic Gymnastics and I love it so much. I'm still getting used to being a teacher and I'm learning and improving every class I teach. This video is great 🙂

    Obviously, as a beginner teacher, I don't know everything yet, but this is some things I have learnt so far. I am great with the kids and I believe I am a great teacher, one thing I recommend if you're in a similar situation as me is to be friendly, approachable and sensitive when working with kids. However, try not to have the mentality of being their friend, you are their teacher first and having the mentality of being their friend will lose you your authority and respect from the students. I recommend to aim to be stern, but not harshly strict. The most important part of being a teacher for kids, in my opinion, is to make them enjoy what they're doing so that they want to come and learn, and to give them a positive experience. Being too harsh and strict may traumatise them and effect their futures.

    Lol Idk why I decided to write all this haha, hope my comment is useful to someone.

  5. Ms. Courtney W says:

    You gave EXCELLENT advice!

  6. kevkallon says:

    What’s the name of the beat?

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