Ballroom Dance > Who has switched teachers? How did you know?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by rels77, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. rels77

    rels77 Active Member

    Without going into the long drama, I have been having issues with my teacher for a while. It started when we worked on an open showcase for Ohio, and has been off and on every time we do open work. Now, I've moved into open completely and we've been at each other's throats ever since. I know the transition to open is hard - everyone says so. But if you've switched teachers, especially if you're a regular pro-am competitor, how did you know it was time?
  2. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    When you try some other teachers, especially, if you are not completely happy with your current one, you will certainly see the difference and will know when it's time.
    SwingingAlong and DanceMentor like this.
  3. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I do think it's different when you move to open - it becomes more of a partnership (albeit with a skill and experience difference). Changing roles/dynamics in a long-standing relationship can definitely be a source of tension; I had a particularly rough ride for about a year. It took several really uncomfortable conversations to arrive at a set of 'rules' for interacting with each other and some practice on using those rules before things got better. Things are still not perfect (I'm peeved at pro for something right now that we'll discuss), but so much better than where we were. (Now if I could just get over my own personal resentment at being the $$$, but that's really my issue.)

    Before those conversations, I put a lot of thought into what was bothering me, what I needed, what I was prepared to do/offer in return, how to express what I felt in concrete, not personal and matter of fact ways, what my showstoppers were... I took notes, revised, practiced, and refused to be shaken off of my message by verbal attacks (unfortunately pro's default way of communicating when he is hurt). I planned for weeks. I also deliberately made it a two-sided conversation, and came in prepared to give or work on certain things that pro raised about me, which wasn't easy. And perhaps most importantly, I was in a place where if things didn't change, I was prepared to walk - while I didn't communicate this, I feel it gave me the strength to stick to my message.
    scullystwin42 and Dr Dance like this.
  4. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    I have, but generally only when I've relocated. 3 instructors ago mine was actually deported from the USA. He overstayed his visa and wasn't allowed back in. I saw him last summer when I went to Italy, where he now teaches.

    Others that I took lessons for less than a month with I don't count.
  5. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Does he always hit this brick wall with students when they advance to open? Does he have any successfully competing open students? Is he good at listening, communicating and resolving issues? Those are the questions I would ask myself if I were in your shoes.
    Sania and Mr 4 styles like this.
  6. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    I didn't know people having issues when advancing to open. I thought the main difference between the levels should be how you dance, not what figures you dance. It is fairly easy to learn advanced steps, but it is execution that counts. Regarding switching teachers - you have working relationship, you are paying for his services. If his work does not satisfy you, find somebody else who's opinion you trust, who's directions make sense to you, and with whom you don't have to spend on arguing the precious minutes of your lessons. Of course, you want to stay in a good relationship with everyone, as you never know when your paths will cross again (it's a small world). By the way, you can have lessons with several teachers at the same time. No need to break up with existing one before trying other. :)And then take your time to decide.
  7. Kitnhead

    Kitnhead New Member

    When I switched teachers I made out a list of what was bothering me. Seeing it in writing made me realize that certain things were not going to change. I would suggest writing things down, adding to the list as you think of things. Take your time. Don't do it overnight.
  8. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    I pushed very hard for a switch away from dancing any opens with one of my pros once I realized that (1) I hadn't improved in a year - video proof is hard to deny - and (2) we were working on something, and I asked for detail on it, and he said something to the effect of "oh, so you want to really train at this, like pros do" - meaning that he'd been watering things down for me for a very long time. I am incredibly outspoken and made no bones about my expectations with regards to competition and improvement, and after that I was just like "nope". I ended up doing closed - as little as possible with that pro (it's a FA, so they usually have two pros per student) and focusing only on open with the other pro I danced with. LO AND BEHOLD, improvement on the very next competition. I now am lucky to have even more talented pros (very much luck, not planned) and continue to see improvement.

    um, TL;DR - if you're not seeing improvement, i would suggest looking elsewhere.
    Kitnhead, IndyLady and FancyFeet like this.
  9. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    I think that is the answer. Are you improving and moving forward? If not, is that OK for you? For me it wasn't. I didn't see improvement in a year, and talked to my teacher about some changes. I also talked to some of his other students to see if they were having the issues I was having. The answer was yes. So I moved on...
    scullystwin42 likes this.

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