My strange experience in Boise

My recent trip to the beautiful city of Boise, Idaho has raised some interesting questions in the area of moral principals pertaining to dance instruction as a profession.

There is something uniquely disturbing about the dance scene in Boise. Students who are still beginners in their dance training are claiming to be professional teachers. Most of these students have only just begun to dance, but are already offering lessons. Some have not had any professional training, but are only imitating moves they have seen on YouTube and think that this is all they need to know.

What is shocking to me is that a lot of these new “dance teachers” claim to teach technique, of which they obviously have none, since they are almost always off time with the music. For me being out of time is the most significant aspect of social dancing. You can’t enjoy dancing if you are not in time with the music. Sadly to my disbelief, a "professional teacher" in the area was off time during our entire dance. Adding insult to the injury, the "instructor" then proceeded to invite me to his upcoming salsa and bachata classes at the JUMP, city's new hot spot. I would highly suggest to the new dancers in Boise, it is critical that you make sure the person training you is qualified.

As a paying consumer, you need to be assured that you are receiving quality training. In most professions, it is crucial that training and qualifications are strictly regulated and verified, as it could be detrimental to the consumer otherwise. But in the dance industry in Boise, it appears to be a common practice to claim professionalism without any qualification.

It is not enough to be naturally gifted at dance. Years of study should be dedicated to the art. Before that time, teaching is not valuable or safe. It’s not about what’s popular this year. It’s about where you decide to focus your passions and hard work over many years.

To be an accomplished dancer, you must master the fundamentals by incorporating thorough knowledge of music, body awareness, mechanics, techniques and aesthetics.

Here is the take home point: if you’re a dance student in Boise you need to check that your instructors are properly qualified. In doing this, you will ensure

1. Less risk of injury, both short and long term.

2. You receive training that can support an admirable career, if you hope to make dance your profession.

3. Less risk of building bad habits which are very difficult to reverse.

4. A sense of confidence that the same system that has trained many accomplished professional dancers in the past can work for you.

5. The knowledge that you are getting value for your money as opposed to wasting it on fraudulent instructors.

Don’t be tricked into buying a bottle of “fine wine” only to later discover it’s filled with vinegar.

Finally, I have videos from the classes in the area and it is painfully cringing to watch. I am debating if I should share the videos here.

Please comment and share any experiences like above and what should a person who knows better can do in a situation like this?


Active Member
Our area has "instructors" that have no more than one year of social dancing experience and some group lessons. Some of us in the community know these people because we were there when they started. They have been brainwashed to believe that they can give dance lessons. Most of them suffer the cruel reality that they spent money on learning to be a dance teacher once they are part of the staff. Most of us laugh at their incompetence, which is sad, really.

When I got my first lesson it was from a world champion -- but my choice was pure luck.

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