The biggest challenges in learning and teaching Dance

Learning and teaching dance - who's it harder for?

What’s harder – learning or teaching dance?

As educators in street style dances, we have encountered people from all walks of life, each with different desires to learn. Some of our students have quite specific goals they wish to achieve while most just attend because dance is fun. It’s not unusual to have adults ask, “Am I too old to start?“. We are going to delve a bit deeper in to whether learning and teaching dance have similar challenges.

Knowing what students want is useful for any teacher in order to really give them the best education. We will admit, though, there are always some students that don’t seem to ‘get’ what we are teaching them. *Facepalm*

Adversely, we have had students attend our classes and state that they have tried several classes, but couldn’t learn in those sessions! It’s an intriguing thing to consider.

While you’re here, take a look at why YOU should try dance in 2020

What ARE dance teachers?

Generally speaking, dance teachers are dancers with expertise in a style, form or dance discipline with a desire to share with others. Typically dance teachers will have true experience in what they are sharing with others, though, this is not always the case.

What are dance LEARNERS?

Although all the best teachers are also students of the game (continued development is important), the clearest distinction between teachers and learners is that one views the other as an expert or authority on a subject. Things that might inspire a ‘learner’ include:

  • Having fun
  • Getting / staying fit
  • Furthering knowledge of a style / form
  • Being ‘the best’ at a thing
  • Acquiring a new skill
  • Impressing one’s friends
  • Learning skills they can use in real life
  • Being instructed and led
  • Being part of a community (Check out our guides to Street Dance and Breakin’)

Tinman’s Challenge

One of my personal challenges as a dance teacher is trying to motivate those who have a gift but not the drive to match. This can be immensely frustrating, especially as teaching dance is more than just a job for me.

Another personal challenge is not exploring some dance forms enough in the past. This doesn’t prevent me from teaching them BUT sometimes exploration of this form may be stifled.

To find out what challenges I face as a learner, see the video below.

Tin Talks, every Tuesday, 8pm

Final thoughts

I would say that something universal in learning and teaching dance which may challenge many of us is clearly defining what result we want to achieve. As a teacher, if we just want to finish teaching our routine we need to look at why that is. If we ONLY want to teach freestyle and theory, it’s equally important to consider that.

For students, it pays to have some idea of what you want to achieve, even if initially you have no idea or if that idea changes over time. We can have more enriching experiences with a little bit of direction. 🙂

Thanks for reading, Folks, and join us on Facebook every Tuesday at 8pm UK time for Tin Talks. We are discussing a different dance related topic each week until the end of 2019. While you’re here, why not find the best hiphop dance classes in London!

Stay fresh,


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