We've had so many discussions that begin when someone realizes that their relationship with their teacher isn't a friendship or a romance. I thought it would be interesting to discuss what a student-teacher relationship IS. Here's my take: It's a relationship between two people committed to the same goal: the student's learning. Because of the different roles, the commitment is different on each side. The student is (or should be) more deeply invested in the goal, because the whole relationship exists for the student's sake. The interaction between them is focused, almost entirely, on the student's needs, not only on the material the student is learning but by adapting the teaching to the student's learning style, personality, etc. The flip side of that is that the student should not expect an equal investment in the relationship from the teacher; it's not healthy to expect another person to invest deeply in a relationship that's all about you. I'll admit, I love that it's a relationship which is focused on me, but I would never expect it to extend beyond the lesson. That's just not appropriate to expect of another person. Also, the relationship takes up a bigger part of the student's life than it does the instructor's. Students generally have one or a few teachers; teachers have many students, each of whom s/he owes the same commitment to. The student should be practicing between lessons, so will inevitably be thinking about the teacher, or at least what the teacher said, demonstrated, etc. , between lessons. It's perfectly possible to be an excellent teacher and never think about a student between lessons. Within those limits, however, can exist a very deep and satisfying teacher-student relationship. My (almost 10 year) relationship with my pro goes very deep in lots of ways: Above all, we are sharing and enjoying my dance journey together. We share and enjoy from different perspectives, of course, but it gives us both pleasure. He is a good teacher and his teaching has given me dance, a very important part of my life. I am a good student—I respect his knowledge and authority, I never argue or pout, I try my best to do anything he asks of me—and I know he enjoys teaching me. I enjoy knowing that. My pro knows my body more thoroughly than anyone else in my life. I'd include sexual partners in that, as their knowledge is more narrowly focused. What they know is just about the only thing he doesn't know! I know his body pretty well, too. I enjoy the physical comfort we have with one another in lessons. My pro knows my moods at least as well as anyone I've ever lived with. What's more, he's better at accepting and accommodating them, because he only has to do it for 45 minutes at a time! On the other hand, we have almost nothing in common outside of dance. We have totally different interests and are at very different points in our lives. We chit chat a bit before or after lessons and at socials, and hang out together some at comps, but don't go into much depth. Our out-of-lesson relationship is really more like aquaintances who happen to see each other often. I like and admire him as a person very much, but I don't think our personalities would actually work together all that well in any other kind of relationship. Ours is a deep relationship of the kind it is, a teacher-student relationship, and I really value it for what it is.