Advice for Dance Instructors from a Student’s Perspective
Dance studios often don’t reach their full potential because of a lack of communication throughout the studio. Do your students seem frustrated? Are they not improving quickly? Is a student feeling neglected? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and talk with your students and see what’s holding them back. Also, take time to learn about your studio’s underlying dynamics.
After interviewing many students, the feedback I received centers around a number of common issues. I also asked them what helps them to learn better & more efficiently.
“I love when my teacher shows me the step until
I get it completely right.”
“I prefer hands on corrections, because it helps my body learn the correct placement and how it should feel. It makes it easier to commit to muscle memory.”
– Ava O.
“I really appreciate when teachers give me direct corrections.”
– Sophie Y.
“I learn a lot better when my teacher encourages me and when she puts my body in the right place, as well as letting me know when I’m improving and that my dancing is getting better!”
“I wish my teachers would be more specific on how to do a step instead
of just expecting me to already know it.”
“I learn the best when teachers take time after the combination to really
go into detail about each movement.”
Students find that direct, detailed, and hands-on corrections are the most beneficial in helping them improve.
“I like it when teachers are strict but with a little sense of humor!’
“I really love when teachers give each student individualized attention.”
– Anjali H.
“I wish teachers didn’t always focus on ONE student and favor them,
passing over the rest of the students.”
Individualized attention for everyone is definitely key for a happy studio and great dancers.
“I really feel unmotivated the moment teachers start yelling.”
Yelling at a student or talking down in hopes that it will motivate them isn’t always the best route. Talk with your students to see what makes them want to work hard! Some students might prefer encouragement while some might be more inspired by corrective criticism.
“Sometimes I just wish my instructors would leave their personal problems outside the studio. It really brings down the energy of the class, and it would be best if they didn’t discuss their problems in class, and take out their anger on students, wasting valuable learning time.”
“I learn the best when I get corrections and when the teacher gives tips on how to do the combo or move correctly!
Also, if my teacher gives me certain exercises to become a stronger dancer.”
– Leah Marie
I also asked students what they love most about their studio.
“I love that my studio has amazing performance opportunities and
great connections in the dance world!’
Performance opportunities are great for students to get the chance to dance on stage, gain more experience and boost confidence.
“I love that my studio is very involved in social media and advertising. It has helped us get a lot more students and more guys for our Pas De Deux classes!”
Social media is such a useful tool for advertising and connecting with your students!
“My studio is amazing, because they are so kind and teach you more than just dance,
they teach you how to be an amazing human being!”
“I love that my studio is always willing to allow us to use empty rooms to practice in!”
“I love the students and most of our facilities.”
“I love my studio because it has an incredible scholarship program that lets me
pursue my dream without burdening my parents!”
– Drew K.
“I love that my studio provides a lot of scholarships and performance opportunities!”
– Cassidy D.
Having scholarships available is great for students with financial struggles, use for motivation, and a draw for business! Royal Ballet School, Vaganova School, Master Ballet Academy, Houston Ballet Academy, Ellison Ballet, and many more.
What makes these schools so great & what do they have in common?
Many of their students are very talented. They don’t have one student who just won something once, many of their students are consistently winning and being recognized all over the world. We can all learn something from each and every one of these schools.
Good teaching + communication between students & teacher + good environment + dedicated student = great dancer.
These suggestions are all with great respect and hopes that they will help studios hear feedback from students all over the world. We are all so grateful for our teachers and all they do for us!