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how to become your dance teachers favorite student

Updated on November 14, 2009

How To Become Your Dance Teachers Favorite Student

Five Tips for Success in Class

·       -  Don’t show up on time. Show up early! If there are classes before you, find a place in the hallway or lobby to stretch. Get your body warm before starting class. Find a moment to prepare your body for class and get your mind ready to work. Find your spot on the floor as soon as you can before class is starting and continue getting yourself warm. This will show your teacher that you want to be ready for whatever they are going to give you. Sitting around and talking with your friends will not help you get any better, so take 10 minutes before class to get ready and show your prepared to work hard. This will make it easier for the teacher to start class on time as well if everyone is on the floor and ready to move immediately.  

·        - The most important thing you can do when you’re in a dance class is to give your full attention to your teacher. Having proper classroom etiquette (whether it be for a ballet class, a jazz class or even a hip-hop class) is very important. Talking while the teacher is trying to show a combo or sitting down, leaning on the barres, being dressed improperly or just not paying attention in general is very rude. Give them your full attention and let them know this by asking questions. Even if you think you know the combination, ask a question anyway just to show your interest in getting it perfect. This will get their attention on your dancing, as well as showing them that you are interested in learning from what they can teach you.

·         -Always show your gratitude for any comments, critiques, or corrections that the teacher gives you. Many dancers never realize how important corrections can be. It is a compliment to have a teacher watch you and for them to notice something that you are doing, even if it is something you were doing wrong. This just means that they were paying attention to you, and as a dancer, this is exactly what you want. Corrections and critiques are a way of your teacher telling you that your dancing well, but you could be better and they think you are worth it enough to take the time to help fix the problem. The best way you can show your gratitude is to thank them for the comment and for their help, even if it is something that might hurt your feelings. It will only help you in the end and will show them that you want to know what you are doing wrong in order to make it right. The more thanks you show, the better. Getting an attitude, arguing why you did it right, or acting as though their advice is not worth it will only have them spending more time on someone else who can take the critisism and who wants their help. Tell them thank you, smile, and work your hardest to fix the correction next time around. After you have done it again, take the time to ask your teacher if you did it better. Do not interrupt the class to do this, however at the end of class go up to your teacher and ask them if you did better or if they saw improvement in whatever it was. This will really show them your dedication to getting better.

·         -If you did not receive any corrections during the entire class, it would be wise to stay after class to talk to the teacher anyway. Ask them questions about your dancing. Ask them what you can work on, how they think you did in class that day, and any advice they might have for you to help you do better in the next class if they feel you didn’t work up to your potential. If there are any combinations or steps that you were unable to get or felt you didn’t do well, ask them if they would have a little extra time to help you with it or to give you a correction on whatever it is that you felt you weren’t doing well. This is not sucking up to the teacher, which might be a reason many people wouldn’t bother. This is a way for you to show your dedication and to help yourself as a dancer, as well as to help your teacher know what you need and are getting out of class so that they can better help you as well.

·       -  At the beginning of the year, or semester, or whatever it may be, write a list of goals that you hope to achieve for the year. Examples could be to better your technique, gain more flexibility, to be quicker with picking up combos, to become a better performer, or even something as simple as working on your turn-out or losing some weight. Bring this list to your teacher before classes begin. Tell them what you hope to learn and throughout the year, or for whatever time period you choose, revise this list and take it to them every couple weeks and ask that they go through it with you and advise you on your progress. This will really show them that you want to learn and that their advice is important to you. It will give them a chance to further assess your skills as well and give them some things to think about and work with in regards to your goals when they are teaching you.


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