5 Questions Your Dance Teacher is Dying to Ask You
No, it's not "do you come here often?", "are you a Capricorn?", or "did you download Drake's new album?"... but there are some questions your Dance Teacher would love to ask you.
Maybe your teacher has asked you all of these already and you've reached a state of harmonious student/teacher equilibrium. Unfortunately, as is the case with human beings, there are questions that will forever go unanswered because the questions take a silent back seat.
1. What has dancing done to change your life, even by a little bit?
This may take a little time to think over. After all, we're not just talking about the skills you've acquired. We're talking about the benefits, the ripple effects, the positive, and unexpected, byproducts of dance lessons.
To answer this, you may need to ask yourself some questions, so let's take inventory:
Are you more comfortable walking into the studio for your lessons? You know, that same place that used to be the dangerous edge of your comfort zone?
Have there been some physical changes? Is your posture a little better? You may have friends, family, or co-workers that have noticed, so you may need to ask them. Not to mention, have you seen any weight loss, or change in how your clothes fit?
Would you say that your demeanor has changed since you've started dancing? Maybe having consistent dance appointments gives you a positive beacon to look forward to while navigating the seas of stress so many people are drowning in.
Maybe you've met new people by way of your dancing. Take a minute to think of the community of people that make up your new dance friends.
Why This is Important?
Any question about how your life has changed can get mistaken by your pessimistic brain as trite or dramatic. But understanding even the smallest ripples of improvement as a result of your dance lessons is vital for your teachers.
These "positive symptoms" help to chart a path so you and your teacher can continue to clarify the bigger picture of your dance skills.
2. What would you like to accomplish as a dancer if there were zero restrictions?
Too often we give goal setting a heavy dose of conservative pragmatism. Making matters worse, it's much easier to do so when you're goal setting around something that costs money, can be awkward at times, and is outside your comfort zone.
But let's just assume that there are no restrictions. Nothing standing in your way whatsoever. There are no ability concerns, physical or mental, there aren't financial constraints, or opinions of others that would sway you from pursuing this.
What would you want to accomplish?
Why This is Important?
When you are goal setting with your teacher, it's easy to undercut the aspirational goals in favor of what's currently available. This means that if you feel awkward and brand new, it's difficult not to let those feelings leave their residue on the plans.
Understanding what you want, minus the restrictions, doesn't mean that your teacher can immediately give it to you. It just helps them set an agreed-upon plot point on your dance journey that they can help you reach in comfortable stages.
3. Do you like the pace of our lessons?
Imagine that your lessons were like riding in the back of a vehicle. There are some of us that like a pace like a New York cab driver, others prefer more of a calm, scenic drive like a tour bus.
The pace of your lessons is something that takes a little time to develop a feel for, for both the student and the teacher, but it is vital information when it comes to the longevity of your program and hobby.
Why This is Important?
In some cases, the student that prefers the New York cab pace is sitting in the back of the tour bus... and it's eating them alive. In others, it's someone who enjoys the details in the process, aren't in a hurry, but has a teacher who's pace is set to the opposite.
In both cases, it's easy to err on the side of being polite, which them causes a slow deterioration of enjoyment.
Usually, it just takes a teacher asking this simple question to avoid your program from driving off the road.
4. If one person could see your new dance ability, who would you want that to be?
Maybe this isn't just one person, but a group of people. You know, like your entire high school graduating class, or the marketing division at your company who witnessed your pre-dancing days and you wish they hadn't.
In other cases, it's a spouse or loved one that is already a dancer. In others, it's a supportive friend who will understand all of the life changing ripple effects your new skills embody.
Whomever you choose, let's get real - at some point, there will be an audience.
Why This is Important?
An audience is an easy thing to defer. "No, I'm not trying to perform in front of anyone" might make sense from a basic survival standpoint, but that would be like owning a car you're never going to drive, or playing on a team with no intention of entering any games.
When word gets out that you're a dancer, people will want to see your talent, and there's a version of your, even if it's in the future, that will want them to see.
Ultimately, there will never be a perfect moment for your first public display of dancing, but knowing who might be there, why they are important to you, and what the environment might be like can help your teachers to equip you when that moment, inevitably, arrives.
5. What do you want to see change aside from just dancing?
There are positive and unexpected byproducts to this hobby. Whether you want to lose weight or lose your shyness in a social situation, these, and many other things, can be primary targets for your teacher to help you achieve.
Why this is Important?
First off, this may be the first conversation you're having about these types of benefits-oriented goals. In fact, this can also help shed light on many of the other great benefits you can achieve by way of your dance program.
In addition, sharing with your teachers what you want to see dancing do for you off the dance floor is an excellent way of ensuring that it happens.
John Wooden, the late UCLA basketball coaching legend, had this to say, "I believe we are most likely to succeed when ambition is focused on noble and worthy purposes and outcomes..."
Well, here's the kicker, you are worthy.
If your teachers haven't asked these questions yet... don't worry. If anything, this article is meant to help you to answer these questions yourself, a pre-interview so-to-speak, to prepare you for when your teacher does bring them up, but, more importantly, for you to better understand your own reasons and potential ripple effects from this wonderful hobby.
No matter what level you are, or which studio you're from, there's an article here for you. Subscribe today for weekly updates, exclusive content, and to take another step towards making your dancing a lifelong hobby.