General Dance Discussion > "Auditioning" teachers

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Peaches, May 4, 2006.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I'm currently trying to find an Argentine tango teacher.

    I've tried taking lessons from 2 different teachers--both good, both very different. With one, we ended up with significant personality clashes. With the other, I'm not sure if we "click" or not, but I want to give him another try.

    In the meantime, I'm still looking. For me, being very shy and self-conscious and insecure about my dancing, I really need to feel comfortable with a teacher. I've GOT to "click" with them.

    But in contacting different teachers and trying to take a lesson with them here or there, I'm starting to feel like I'm auditioning teachers. I mean, I try to take a group lesson or two first, to see if I like their teaching style/dancing style/how they communicate...but still. Is this normal? Am I going about this the wrong way? How else should I go about this?

    And is there any way to go about this without going broke in the process?
  2. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Actually, I like the term "auditioning" teachers. It's a very good description of what I've been doing. In the last 15 months that I've been taking ballroom lessons, I've been to nine different studios and worked with 14 different instructors. I'm still not entirely happy with my current situation, but it is getting better.

    I don't think there's a problem with trying to find what you like, what you're looking for and an instructor that you click with. After all, partner dancing is all about relationships.

    If anybody else has suggestions, I'm all for them. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this approach though.
  3. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ New Member

    I don't see anything wrong with this. After all, you'll be spending (probably) lots of money to learn from them and you don't want to waste it someplace where you're not happy.
  4. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I guess I kind of feel like I'm cheating on them somehow. No, it's not rational, I know that.

    But with one teacher, I'm OK with him, I just don't think it's the best fit possible. In the meantime, though, I don't want to completely drop lessons, so I'd like to keep taking from him for a bit, sporadically.

    I guess I kind of feel like I'm sitting there on a date with a guy, and still looking around the room to see if there's anyone better out there! lol.

    Maybe I should stop worrying about it so much, and just trust that they understand the importance of the interpersonal dyamics, and the business nature of the whole thing... I realize now how lucky I was with my ballroom teacher--first person contacted, and I love him and feel so comfortable with him, and I've felt that way pretty much from the start.
  5. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I know what you mean. I am looking around again too, because there are a few things that I'm fed up with right now with one of my instructors. However, I like the one a lot, because he is such a sweetie, but I'm just not happy with him as an instructor. Therefore, I'm going to try out a couple other instructors to see how they are, and if he doesn't like it then it's his problem not mine, because it's my money I'm spending not his. He might be great at what he does, but if I'm not happy with him, then why should I stay with him unless he wants to put up the bill right? ;)
  6. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    I have almost come to the conclusion that one shouldn't stay too long with a specific teacher. It helps to get a different perspective on steps/figures and how to improve your dancing as you progress. As for how long is too long ? That is specific to your case.......
    If a specific teacher is right for you now, then stick to him/her, till you have found something better (for your then level of dancing) later......
    Maybe my view is only appropriate for the first few years of your dancing; maybe you want to stick with 1 coach longer, later in your dancing hobby...

    only my 2 cent thought.....
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    outside coaching is always a plus IMO...even if you dont switch, you should do it as often as possible...again IMO
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    The good teachers I've known generally seem to share your view -- that the student should try to find the best fit that helps them advance their dancing.
  9. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    I like the dating analogy..but here's a thought that might make it easier...

    Just because you go on a date with someone does mean you're now in a full fledged relationship. You go on a date (or a few) to get to know the person and see if you want to take things further.

    You're not checking out others on the date, but you may still have your online dating profile up or switch numbers with a guy you met at the coffee shop. It's not cheating, it's just adding more potentials to the "getting to know you pile"

    "Auditioning" coaches is the same thing. You try a few lessons to see if it clicks. Sometimes you know right away it won't work. Other times it takes a few lessons. You're not scanning the ballroom mid lesson for a better coach, but the next week or at an event you might try a private with someone else or research a potential coach online.

    You're going to be spending a lot of time with your dance coach it's important to have a strong relationship with them and feel comfortable. Keep in mind a first private may not be a good example.

    I'm on my third coach. I love him. He was supposed to be a accessory to my coach at the time. He's amazing with spins and I wanted him to help me with that. But our first private was a little uncomfortable. I was very much in awe of him as he's one of the very top WCS dancers out there. We had a lot of mutual friends and he had a preconceived notion of my personality which turned out not to be true. When his teaching methods meshed really well with my learning style I moced on and made him my coach.

    We got past that "first date jitters" and have a strong relationship now. But I never would have gotten there if I wasn't willing to "shop around" and suppliment my other learning.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    truly, its a good thing to shop around and to test others waters....then you have some perspective ....
  11. Whirling Dervish

    Whirling Dervish New Member

    I am a teacher (former) and think the audition idea is very sound. Where I taught, students got what they got and it was hard to change unless they changed studios. This was difficult because they were under contract. I didn't like that setup. If the change was initiated by the teacher, it was usually a trade during our weekly meetings. "Hey, Mr. ___ is unhappy, so could I trade you for Mr. ___?" It worked well, despite that it sounds like we're trading boxes of candy or something.

    A lot of studios have a short discount package available and it's not always advertised. Call and ask first. It's likely a one-month package at half price, one private and one group per week.

    Also, yes, you should change pros now and then. I am also a music teacher, and as soon as my student starts sounding exactly like me, I send them to another teacher. Same would be with my dance students. As soon as they were too comfortable I'd "trade" them. Optimum learning can only happen with a little bit of tension, as odd as it sounds--comfort is the antithesis of learning. I worry about teachers who want to keep students forever--sounds a little like Phantom of the Opera, and the thralldom that teacher expected from his student.

    A little long winded, so I'll get off the bandwidth now. :)

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