General Dance Discussion > my instructor got mad

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by sbrnsmith, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think it is more a matter of how you say it...I may draw some ire for this...but, most of the male pros whom I have met relish the somewhat vertical nature of a teacher/student relationship...they aren't approaching their students as peers, and they find it jarring when a student doesn't honor that structure...for women who are accustomed to their own authority and more collaborative approaches, things will have to be navigated gingerly...doesn't mean you can't bring things up, just means that, if you wish to have it go well, you will need to be deliberate in how you approach it...not frustrated or authoritative in how you share...IF you want a favorable response
    leee likes this.
  2. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Oh, interesting. I never encountered that from a female teacher. When my partner and I took lessons from a male teacher, I never got that sense from the male teacher; but I never asked her whether she sensed anything of that kind.

    I wonder whether lead/follow asymmetry combined with high/low skill in a couple leads to a sort of "do what I'm telling you" trap when the leader is the skilled member of the couple, unless the leader is particularly vigilant and on guard against it.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think in pro am, with some male teachers and their students, neither would even consider themselves as a couple...and I think that both gender and skill differential can be factors in the dynamic being somewhat vertical...certainly not in all depends upon the pro and upon the can even vary with a pro from student to student...and it can change over time .... you can also see this in doctor patient relationships, or clergy congregant, or attorney client....there's not necessarily any conscious dominance, but certain dynamics are prevalent in many cases, imv....
  4. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Well, I carefully chose "couple" rather than "partnership" -- as in, literally, "group of two", however transiently.

    Only once have I seen this from a doctor (and I rejected his services once I did). But I dunno, maybe the canonical/stereotypical example for what you describe would be female customer + male car dealer/mechanic.

    For dancing in particular I was thinking more along the lines of a leader's desire to have a particular lead followed completely and correctly -- for every lead, every time. Whenever my partner and I had a persistent issue of that sort, we went to a third-party teacher; of course I didn't try to exert any teaching authority. But if it had been my job to do that, I wonder whether I would have fallen into the "just do what I say" trap.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think it it depends upon the person, their exposure to concepts regarding authority and leadership, etc.... I think that most of the time when this happens it happens unconsciously due to unexamined expectations that clash....
  6. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    There are lots of different ways of looking at things; rarely is there only one way. Context gets lost over the internet.

    About direction of dancing, the student is having influence or input, even if they think they don't have any control of the instruction. The input is the choice of instructor, the amount of lessons scheduled, the coaching scheduled, the workshops attended, the practice they put into it, and the competitions attended. The student is going to get out of it what they get into it. So even if the student has no control over what dances they are taught or the choreography of their routines, they have input in how they are going to execute it, with the factors described. The instructor can only move the student forward if the student wants to go forward.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree...thanks for explaining
    Purr likes this.
  8. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    It's all good. :)

    Hijack Alert: Should find the Happy and Random Thoughts thread, but I'm too lazy. I'm on vacation until July 8 in about 36 minutes. The coundown is on! :);):cool:
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  10. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    There is no place for instructors to get angry. Of course instructors are only human so if they blow up very rarely it's perhaps understandable, but if it's a common occurrence then that instructor should be dumped without hesitation. I had a verbally abusive instructor and it didn't get better over time, and it had a negative influence on my attitude. Dumping him was the best thing I did for my dancing.
  11. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    There is a difference between being angry and being verbally abusive. Ay teacher who hides their feelings is suspect. Dance is about emotion, and when a teacher does not feel, it is a big loss for the student.

    Words are only that, and if you use common phrases or exclamations with your student, then their use is not be be a surprise... also, sensitivity to some words should be understood by the teacher as not usable with the student. for instance, some lessons get a little rowdy or raunchy, and if you never knew these folks, upon overhearing them you might think a big fight was taking place.

    We LOVE it when our coach tells us "frankly what you did was s***"... It is to us a clear explanation of the teacher. Others might run screaming from the room lol.

    Now, a student who takes lessons to be praised, or who thinks any critique is bad, certainly needs to be 'handled'. And to some people, they are totally innocent of everything that leads up to the emotional moment. For them, you also handle them. But I would hate to have to deal with that student... And try to keep my sanity lol.
  12. Dots

    Dots Active Member

    I had a teacher who'd use to say "If you do that again, I'll kill you!" in the cutest way during group classes. We all loved her for it ;)
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    this is the thing about tone on a have to be careful about how you speak and what you invite from the outset, because while some pros will remain formal, others will walk right through that door, and, once you have opened that door, it is difficult to change the expectations, that is only in regard to general regards anger, I think everyone always has a duty to exercise self-control and express their anger rationally... a foreign concept most of the time these days...
    Sania likes this.
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with that. I have a HUGE problem (for a reason) with "How dare you question me? Do what I tell you and shut up." Doesn't matter if there's profanity involved or not. The teacher's job is to teach the student how to dance, not to browbeat them into blindly accepting all instructions without question or make them feel they can't speak up about anything.
    debmc likes this.
  15. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    It's not so much "how dare you question me" as it is "dude, just chill and let me do my job" that we're defending here. I don't think anyone's saying it's ok to blow up at a student or be abusive. It's a matter of whether this is an isolated incident and how it's handled.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  16. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Sorry...for $ 75- 90 per 45 min lesson, sometimes we are going to ask a question.....
    danceronice and sbrnsmith like this.
  17. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I would also say to OP....if you are starting to worry about when and how to ask these questions....if you have to be concerned about it....that's a bad sign.
    danceronice likes this.
  18. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    True. I am aware of this.
  19. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Yes! Exactly!
  20. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    All this discussion on questions is great, but OP's post does not sound like it was a "question". It was:

    IMO it sounds like the instructor let his frustration (with a negative attitude, with "I can't do this") get away from him. Not that it was an ego thing, or that he was upset with her questioning him.

    I only make the distinction because, as dancers - as partner dancers - we really should not equate negativity and frustration with "asking questions". I question my instructors all the time, but they are constructive questions, not complaints or defeatism. We all have that sometimes, of course, but we shouldn't take it out on our instructors (or our partners). And before someone tries to jump down my throat, I am not trying to excuse the instructor's reaction - just point out that the situation is more complicated that ego... and that this was not a "question"...

    Edit: We also don't 100% know why he's frustrated... part of it might be her negativity (again, disclaimer, doesn't justify the reaction) but it might be frustration with his own teaching. Sometimes a student outgrows their teacher's ability to teach, even if the teacher is still a better dancer.

    tl:dr - frustration and anger, not ego.
    twnkltoz likes this.

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