What You Need to Know about Taking Classes
How would you act if taking a class from -- Einstein, Gene Kelly, Calvin Klein, etc.
Edited and reprinted with additions and permission by Deborah Székely
- Be willing and have the ability to laugh at yourself.
- Be willing and have the ability to take a correction. (don't take it personally, they are correcting you because they want to help you to do it as successfully and beautifully as possible within your ability and goals.)
- Challenging the Instructor will hurt you more than help you. It doesn't make anyone look good or feel comfortable. Handle disagreements or confusions with the instructor personally after class.
- If there is something about the Instructor(s) or class delivery that you don't or didn't like, take the details up with the promoter or the teacher and resist the temptation to discuss it publicly. More often than not, these things result from misunderstandings, lack of communication or temporary situations. (this is their living, sometimes teachers have a bad day, be respectful)
- Try to have some tact when confronting an Instructor about something that may have offended you. Attacks usually result in a defensive or attack in response.
- Give the Instructor(s) the same benefit of the doubt that they give you when you enter class.
- Teaching: DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT DO IT. It is not only rude to the student, but it is rude to the teacher. Be quiet and pay attention. Usually, when you start giving advice is when the teacher passes out that hint or tip your partner needed, but could not hear over your voice. If you are having difficulty, stop, get the teacher or assistant's attention and ask them for help. Do not be afraid to ask questions; that is how you get answers. Concern yourself with your part, which is why you are there; you don't know what your partner is supposed to do, you are just guessing. Consider the fact that in most cases the one passing the blame is the one at fault. It is quite possibly your lead/follow, not your partner's, that is the problem. If all else fails, ask the "expert" to please be quiet and worry about their part, so that you can hear what the teacher is saying.
- Rotating: Many people believe that they can only learn or get better with their own partner. In fact, the opposite is true. When you stay with the same partner, usually one or the other will compensate for their partner's mistakes. That makes the one partner think that he/she is doing it correctly. When they try to dance with someone else they can't understand why that person can't lead/follow like their partner; it's because that person doesn't know all their little idiosyncrasies. Rotating also teaches you to adjust to different partners, as when you get one on a lower or on a more advanced dance level. When the teacher calls "Rotate" do not try to sneak in just one more, thank your partner and let them go. You'll not only get the line to move much faster, but you'll get to dance more and maybe even get a better partner. Couples, if you insist on not rotating, please stay out of line or on the ends and as they rotate let the next person know that you are not rotating so they can move along.
- Workshops are meant to be fun as well as informative.
- Understand that there is not enough time in class to give personal attention.
- If you want or need personal attention, privates are the best way to get that.
- Instructors are there for instructing as well as entertaining.
- If Instructors teach as a couple and they joke around with one another, understand that it is just that. Styles of humor vary -- their words and actions are never intended to offend you. And what may offend you may be funny to someone else.
- If an Instructor teaches alone and jokes with a student again it is just that.
"ANGELS CAN FLY BECAUSE THEY TAKE THEMSELVES LIGHTLY!"
Instructors are in the public eye, the center of attention and often feel that they are under a microscope. Their impact when they perform well is huge, likewise when they are less than perfect it is noticed by the majority and sometimes becomes a magnet for criticism. In the best interest of all, Look for the good, right, positive, beautiful, funny, simple, and special in everyone.
- Deborah Székely