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Becoming Better Dancers

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
As a dance instructor, I've been pondering why more people do not take dance lessons.
I mean, I see many dancers who could be so much better and have so much more fun if they just had some decent instruction. I don't charge much, just $35 for a 2 hour lesson plus a $20 cover for the club I work in. In addition I offer special clinics to to master the tango, conquer the charlston etc, but still don't get the number of students I would like. I am especially interested in views from non-instructors, people who still dance a lot but get frustrated with their ability to improve.

What would it take to get you excited about taking a dance class?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 29
Dancing is too expensive, too inconvenient, too hot..... for the general public. If it were cheaper and easier to get to the dance hall more people would dance.
I don't think its the dance instructors problem.

It is the nature of the sport. How many people take one golf, tennis....etc lesson and never go back?
post #3 of 29
I hate the part where they make you switch partners and you end up with some guy with bad breath and sweaty hands! Yuck! Ugh!
post #4 of 29
Geeze, I can barely stand up and now you want me to go dancing? If my arms weren't so short maybe I could reach past my belly better to embrace a partner with my sweaty palms.
post #5 of 29
It sounds like the actual cost of a two hour lesson is a total of 55 dollars. Is that for a group or a private lesson? For a group lesson, that's expensive. For a private lesson it's about comparable to a private ski lesson. Still, it's not cheap. The biggest issue with the major studios is that they suck people into a large contract. I think that by way of an inducement, a free demo lesson would help (or one that was nominally priced, i.e., ten dollars). I could use a tune up myself since my son's wedding is coming up. How about tying the cross training to skiing, since folks such as Lito have previously espoused the value of dance.
post #6 of 29
He does? That's funny, because when I'm feeling good on skis it feels like I'm dancing with Fred Astaire.
I know...GROAN!!!!

Its a girl thing!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #7 of 29
there goes the neighborhood

imho, dance is good for skiing<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Mikla (edited July 14, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 29
Yeah, but ballet dancers have to remember not to turn out.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Lisamarie, we can teach you techniques to avoid the chubby man with bad breath. It's all a matter of timing, planning, knowing where the other dancers will be, we can teach you how to avoid those unpleasant encounters.

Kneale, I can't lengthen your arms, but can teach you ways to make the most of the short arms God gave you. With good alignment we can actually make it seem like your arms are longer. When deciding on your instructor make sure you talk to her/him about your goals and your percieved lack of arm length.

HarveyD, we are not getting rich. Most of us have other full time jobs and spend quite a bit of our own money getting certified, buying equipment attending workshops etc. The price is well worth it when you consider the increased enjoyment you will recieve after taking a lesson.

I'd also like to hear from some of the "freedancers" out there. We can help you too. I see a lot of photos of freedancers overrotating the upperbody. We can help you improve your dancing. I also don't understand the lack of respect the freedancers show towards the dedicated profesional dance instructors. We'll have to go, my 5:00pm just pulled in. Thanks again.
post #10 of 29
Most guys don't like to dance. They only put up with it to meet a woman or to get closer to one they already know. It usually takes about a 6 pack before guys will venture out on the floor and perform social suicide as described on Zappa's Dancing Fool.
post #11 of 29
Too many guys out there look like Gumby on steroids when dancing, and they can't even keep in time with the music! Slow dancing, they just sway back and forth. Ever watch Astaire, Rogers, Cahmpion, Gene(what's his name?- Autry, tuney? - Singing in the Rain star)Upper body remains relatively still while the feet do the work. The flashy stuff is left to their partners if they are dancing with one. [i know the last name wasn't Tuney or Autry... just a funnin' there, but Abdul studied his style profusely.]
BTW- I dance on skiis... every time I'm about half way to the ground... I look like Gumby on steroids!

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Is it a troll?
or is it an attempt to get the ski instructors to view ski instruction as many people do?
Ski Instruction and Dance Instruction have about the same value.
How many ski instructors would pay for dance lessons? Would you be more or less likely to take
lessons if you danced less than 5 times per year? more than 5 times?
Could you become a “good” dancer without instuction?
Would you enjoy dancing more (assuming you already enjoy dancing) if you took lessons?
Who’s the better dancer, the hip hop dancer? the ballroom dancer? the ballet dancer? the tap dancer? The couple at local bar's dance contest just having a ball?

Gumby on steroids, I like that.
post #13 of 29
A Hot Babe would get me excited about dance class. I'm afraid that's about it.
post #14 of 29
Cold Water, the original post was just too suspect! It is a legit comparative analogy, although, as badly as I dance (more like Pokey on steroids...two extra feet), I doubt whether I or others may be injured or killed "un-enrolled". Golf (which actually is suffering overbuilding and some decline)posts very few lessons as well (although not taken lessons won't kill you, might lead to suicide). Ain't it interesting that flying and swimming do!
I tend to take lessons in everything from windsurfing to rockclimbing, because as a ski pro, I recognize the value. Fast tracking through anothers guidance and passion enhances enjoyment.
post #15 of 29
Good points..

Somewhere I read that as part of "empathy" awareness Ski instructors (and all instructors for that matter) should try taking up different sports that have nothing to do with skiing. Not to become proficient at them but to remember what it's like to be a beginner in something. This will help them understand where some of their students are coming from.
post #16 of 29
That is one of the many reasons I learned to ski. Now I have complete empathy with the absolute worst person (technique wise} in my fitness classes.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #17 of 29
What was all that stuff I heard once about football players taking ballet? Was that urban legend or does anybody know if there was truth to that?
post #18 of 29
Cold Water - on a more serious note, I've actually thought about trying to find dance lessons for my wife and I. Just as something kind of romantic to do together, and get us away from house and kid with nothing else to think about. We don't like country music, and our only real dance experience (besides being forced into square dancing as a kid) is typical drunken bar dancing where you think you are dancing wonderfully but actually looking like a complete fool! Any recommendations?
post #19 of 29
Not Urban Legend about the football players and ballet. I forget which team, but it is in fact true.
post #20 of 29
Oakland Raiders and SF 49ers both did the ballet route. I think even the Raiders and maybe even the 49ers did a benefit show of Swan Lake I think to raise money for a local charity. I understand it was really quite good and a lot of fun for all..
post #21 of 29
Okay, so next time Todd tells me I ski like a pro football player, I'll know that does not necessarily mean I'm not graceful!
post #22 of 29
We actually were required to take some dance when I played football.

I have actually had as many dance lessons (mambo) as ski lessons, recently.

Harpo, dancesport in motion on 13th south & main if you & your wife were interested.
post #23 of 29
I've been dancing for years. I've never taken lessons and do just great. I have some friends who do it several times a week and they show me lots of stuff. One of our favorite pastimes is to watch and laugh at 'trained dancers' and mimic their moves behind their backs. My dances are always successful at attracting the attention of the opposite sex. Why should I take lessons? The more jagermeister I drink, the better I get!

Actually, dancing often leads to death here in Seattle. Several times this year 'dance riots' have spilled out of the clubs into Pioneer Square with 'dance factions' squaring off in violent confrontations.
post #24 of 29
OK cold water...... time to confess!

Just how many times have you seen "Saturday Night Fever" and do you own the tape?

Does a good polka get your toes-a-tapping?
post #25 of 29
Those jokers on 13th and main are part of the gang - The PDIA. I already dance better than 97% of dancers because of the PMS Dance Academy on North Temple. It's run by Dlarah Brah - she rocks. She has taken the PDIA mumbo jumbo and turned it into a dance system. I've had truly phenomenal success with the system that I could not have achieved by myself. You see dance is all about balance.......

All kidding aside, I don't need no stinking dance lessons, I'm a self taught dancer and there are several other self taught dancers in my office - we have reached "level 9" dancing.......

OK this time really - all kidding aside - Dance lessons would improve my dancing more than ski lessons would improve my skiing - but I won't take either because I'm a cheap bastard.
post #26 of 29
I was thinking about all this last night, when I was teaching my Monday night prime time high impact aerobics class. This class is always packed, and extremely high energy. It is also one of the few aerobics classes that does not use some sort of prop, such as the step or Spinning Bike. So people have to have a decent sense of kinesthetic awareness, otherwise they will be stepping on each other's feet, or running into each other.
Surprisingly, that never happens in this group. Out of all my classes, they are the most "diverse", so everyone's movement style is quite different. This is what makes it fun. And they are the ONLY group that will sing when I play motown!
Maybe developing the kinesthetic awareness needed for skiing can happene in a dance or dance exercise class. If someone becomes aware that they tend to step on people's feet, perhaps they mo't stand on people's skis on the lift line!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #27 of 29
While my first impression of this post was also 'troll,' cold water's reply to the troll remark is well conceived and has excellent remarks. I think it points to reality well in describing what skiing is to so many.

I think it is a mistake to assume everyone NEEDS lessons; also to assume that ski teaching is in trouble. Trying to push everyone into lessons is akin to pushing everyone into religion. Ultimately it is a personal choice everyone has the right to make.

It also points out that people come with many ideas of what skiing is and how to enjoy it. As teaching professionals we should be in touch with and able to teach to different techniques and styles.

Does anyone remember that article in Powder years ago when they sought to find the "Best Skier" out of all walks of skiing? I can't remember all the skiers they got together, but there were the racers (Dianne Roffe, Rob Boyd?) the bump/freestylers(?), the extremes(Doug Coombs? Kirsten Ulmer?) the instructor(Scott Mathers).

Instructors share the image republicans have...rigid no funners who only do things one way. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 18, 2001).]</FONT>
post #28 of 29
Rob Boyd kicked everyone's ass in that contest!
post #29 of 29
Instructors... share the image... do things only one way? All instructors usually tell me there is no "one" correct way to ski. But all skiing styles share certain basice fundamentals.

"Never took dance lessons but friends showed me a lot of stuff." You took dance lessons per se... from your friends.

Interesting point to remember... Experience is the best teacher- true, but it is foolish to make it your ONLY teacher!

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
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