The Responsibility of Dance Teachers

As I am travelling, today’s post will be short. We need to talk about responsibility when we teach. For most dance students, their teacher is the primary role model when it comes to dance (and sometimes life in general). Sadly, a lot of people take this too lightly.

You shape your students understanding of technique, the social aspects, the history and their approach to dance.

If we teach a flawed technique, we will hinder the progress of your students for years to come. So get the stuff you teach right. An excellent example are b-boys who teach a lousy form of six-step. This leads to bad shape in the complete footwork of the students. Same if students don’t get the groove for the style they learn from the teachers. It’s our responsibility to have a good understanding and the right tools to teach dance.

If we don’t teach them about the social aspects of dance, they have no chance to enjoy afterparties and social life with other dancers. Then we have more “dancers” who only live to compete.

If we don’t teach them about cyphering (which can be considered part of the social aspects), we get more people who practise at jams, instead of jamming.

If we don’t explain the history, students can not understand the context of the culture and why it is essential to preserve some aspects of the dance in its original way but stupid to copy others from a different background.

If we don’t treat our dance with the respect it deserves, how should our students know how to do it.

Dance teachers need to lead by example. Let’s do this right, and we will have a remarkable next generation of dancers.

Patrick pointed out that it is also important to be certain and confident about yourself. Having this understanding of who you are, what you do and why you do it. I fully agree. However, I think that is a state everyone should reach eventually and it is in fact more important than what you teach.

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