|Photo courtesy of Dave Welch at Photos With Class|
Because of the nice response from our students, I’ve been thinking lately about our teaching partnership. Of course, we aren’t perfect and are always trying to improve on this ourselves, but these are the major points I see as critical in giving the follows an equal education.
1) Stop seeing the follow as the less important member of the team. To teach follows effectively, both the leads and the follows must respect how important their role is in partner dancing. If both teachers model this behavior and outlook, the students will hopefully feel the same way.
Something as simple as the leader-instructor introducing the follows’ styling, and showing genuine enthusiasm for spending time on the topic in class, will help balance the roles.
2) Spend enough time preparing – together. The follow-instructor must be clear on the class material in order to participate in actually teaching, not just dancing. I suspect that when the follow-instructor isn’t contributing to teaching, it’s usually because she doesn’t know what the leader-instructor is going to demonstrate next. She’s trying to figure it out along with the class.
What other techniques do you find helpful for effective teaching of both roles in partner dances? As a student, what do you find helpful, or dislike?