Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by granrey, Aug 10, 2017.
Oh one last thing - I don't teach anymore. Too much BS.
It's pretty much the same as if Ford tell you make the cars for a while if you feel others are not doing well and see for yourself the complexities involved. Then if you still feel the same way, then complain.
Yes, we know it's complex, problem is that many "teachers" are not up to that complexity. We want professionals that are up to that complexity and not wannabies
Co-signed. I have only just started teaching beginners for the past 6 months. Teaching beginners to me has been more difficult than I thought, but it also presents unique challenges. The great thing is that the 'presentation' rarely changes. Unless a class is particularly fast or particularly slow, the curriculum is the same every 6 week session. We fix a few things here and there, like teaching to lead a right turn with the right hand instead of the left because it seems easier to pick up initially. Plus all the details and common mistakes/questions you see. But being entertaining is so key... that's what I really have liked about Juan Matos' classes. He's so hilarious and lighthearted. It really makes the classes so much better. I am so very far from that.
As for origin stories, these are contentious and I certainly don't go over that. However, I had a teacher who explained that shines could be an homage to PR Bomba, where the dancer and drummer play off each other in friendly competition. Shines could be seen in the same way, and it was something that changed my dancing for the better for the rest of my life... shines became an opportunity to be playful and connect even further with my partner. Who knows if shines really are meant to mimic Bomba? Probably not in a general sense, since most people don't even know what Bomba is. But if she had not shared that tidbit, I might still see shines as ego stroking, boring, unnecessary.
I do not share the Bomba thing with beginners because that is a bit beyond them. They have enough trouble with right and left turns and cross body leads.
I remember vomit and toilet jokes from Juan Matos class 5 years ago. But nothing from his teaching or dancing comes to mind so it can be overdone.
Well, it's expected. Dancing industry works exactly the same as everything else - you need some good marketing with some interesting story to get people interested (almost nobody asks is it true) - that's OP question 1, you need to offer tons of stuff, 95% of that useless anyway (almost nobody wants actual usability) - that's OP question 2 and 3, and you need an entertainment - that's Smej's remark. It works that way since Roman empire and probably even much longer
Wannabe teachers that I don't like are pretty much like kickstarter and similar things - you attend a few salsa classes, you get an idea ("on the very first class I immediately knew I was born to teach people salsa") and after several months more, you are offering people an interesting, although very low quality product at early stages of development in form of dance lessons, and get paid for that ...
Teaching salsa is very much a demand oriented business. You don't need any qualifications to teach and nothing stops anyone (apart from start up capital) from opening up their own studio.
If you live in a city where the best salsa teacher is mediocre, that person is still the best salsa teacher by virtue of no one else being better. They can open very successful classes and teach whatever they want. There isn't a universal syllabus for learning club salsa.
The pattern factory method of teaching is tried and true. The teaching body movement method is not.
As a customer, just like buying any product, should do their due diligence, which includes finding out who the best teachers are.
I will not fault a teacher for teaching progressively more complex patterns as that is what brings in more business. It is up to the student to determine if they would like to continue with said teacher or move on.
The only thing i believe teachers should do more of is tell students to seek out instruction from other teachers when the time comes. But it takes a very secure teacher to say that. Most teachers/schools are only thinking of their bottom line.
We are all teachers at some point in anything. I have helped many people in salsa.
Btw, I don't bad mouth teachers. However, when I see an student frustrated with an step that most likely he/she will not need I do open my mouth in private with that student. Specially, when you see the student talking about how difficult salsa is (they think they really need that step since the teacher is teaching it) and they might quit. The most important part is to keep the student engaged and grow the community.
One those situations that I remember was with a teacher in a dropping class level 1 or 2. The step of the day was "her version" of "Susi-Q". A friend could not make it and was getting frustrated. Well, I have never needed Susi-Q and rarely seen it in the dance floor and never this particular version of it.
Thinking about it, to this day, I have never used Susi Q. I will try and see if a random partner can follow me on it.
The Suzi-Q is a shine pattern, not a partnerwork pattern...
It's one of the most versatile shine steps in salsa and has many variations. In NY style Suzi-Q is used a lot.
You seem to have a very different idea of what salsa is to what I have. What style do you dance?
Also, you say you've helped people in Salsa. With all due respect, that is not = to being a salsa instructor.
Salsa is difficult. Some people get frustrated and quit - that is the nature of it.
If a class is "too slow", then better able students get frustrated. See the problem here?
Also - there have been incidences of schools with far better instructors ending up with fewer student than schools with average instructors because those classes are "more fun", and the students don't get the "point" of some of the stuff taught by the better instructors.
People wonder why most people have awful technique in their dancing. The answer is in front of their faces - they are choosing the "more fun" instructors who don't challenge them over the actual better instructors. They really only have themselves to blame.
I digress, but for good reason.
In martial arts it's acknowledged that first Ip Man become one of the top masters because he practiced with a bunch of experts who used different styles than him, and later his pupil Bruce Lee took it further by not merely practicing with them but combining their practices into his own to create the first mixed martial art.
And so it is in dance as well that an expert dancer gains a lot by practicing different styles and incorporating practices and moves from them. I became a very versatile dancer precisely because I took instruction in multiple styles. Thankfully Tampa's Salsa Caliente dance studio's owner, at the time I practiced with them, suddenly got a NY style bug after having a large Casino practice she couldn't financially abandon at the drop of a hat, so I took lessons in both. Later I got a job that had a lot of travel and moving and I was blessed to have that versatility.
Unfortunately I don't get out as much as I used to.
I 100% agree and I've also taken classes from multiple instructors. I've also taken classes in different styles including casino and guaguanco. Admittedly I've only learned what I know of Son from YouTube videos - I'm yet to take classes in Son.
One thing I learned - there's no such thing as "this is the only way". One thing many students do, even experienced dancers, is dismiss one teacher's teaching style or knowledge because it doesn't match their usual teacher's way of teaching. That, is detrimental to their learning.
I'm very tempted to ask 'what shines do you use?' but that may be a leading question. I'll just say, 'shines are what you make of them.' If you don't like them, they're going to be caca, and there will be no 'game' to play with your partner. But if you approach it as an opportunity to have fun and light-heartedly challenge your partner, a susie q is completely appropriate repartee.
Think about it from the girls perspective. They are being led the majority of the song. When they break free for shines, some girls revel in the opportunity to stylize to the music. Instead of surrendering to your lead, they're more intently listening to the music. With me, if they do some footwork I recognize, I'll also try to imitate them, like they are leading me. So the right question is not whether I can 'lead' a susie q, it's whether or not I can follow it.
And if a girl does something I can't really do b/c I haven't practiced it, I do my own half-assed attempt, and play up the 'ok you beat me' angle by saying 'ok you're showing me up.' and then I pick her up for partnerwork.
If a girl has a very nice susie q, I like that a lot. And I'll let her know it.
I'm beginning to believe that many posting here do not seem to understand what " shines" are.
They are NOT choreod movements, but simply a free form of expression and not pre-planned exercises .Matching what your partner is doing is not the way to go... be inventive .
Just curious, What is a salsa instructor? Where is the certification or credentials? Which body or institution says a person can teach? What makes an salsa instructor?
Was IP man certified as a Martial arts teacher? If you watch the movie, he had lots of trouble before he could open his school as he was not recognized. Lol
All teachers I have met in person are just great dancers with a talent/attitude/opportunity to teach and tranfer the knowledge to others.
I cant call myself an instructor as I have so many flaws and things I dont know but have I taught peple certain things? Hell yea lol
Salsa is not difficult. The way is taught make people think is difficult.
Answering some other people posts in regards of Susie Q. This is just an example that was easy for me to bring up as the name is common and can be easily be googled for those who might not know what it is or know it with different name, etc. Other steps or shines more complex than susie q that I have seen students getting fustrated with it.
Can a person dance good salsa without knowing Susie Q? Yes.
Can a person dance salsa without knowing right/left turns, cross body lead, hammer lock, copa and other basic lmoves? Well, yes maybe but not so sure.
When an adult pays for a salsa adult course, level 1 or level 2 and they are being taught things that are "nice to know" but student thinks, they are "must have" and they cant do it. What do you think they will do?
The only person who knows what is a "must have" vs a "nice to know" is the teacher.
Btw in regarda of shines. I have only 1 shine that I do once in a blue moon with my gf. Idk the name of it. The thing is that she knows me so well that as soon as I lift my leg in a certain discrete way. She knows whats coming and what she should do. I dont expect any other woman to know or follow me on this.
It seems to me you have a different opinion on what shines are than I do. Call it out! Better to be blunt than wishy-washy.
You have your opinion, all I can do is show you the reasoning behind my opinion. The way I approach shines comes from the antecedent of bomba, where it's a game between the drummer and dancer. This 'game' in shines can be loosely defined. You can either choose to 'imitate,' try to one-up your partner, connect to the music along with your partner, or anything else that helps maintain communication, even if you're not touching each other.
As far as being inventive and 'NOT choreod,' you're joking, right? If it's free-form and inventive, then do you teach 'shines' or any steps apart from partnerwork at all? If you do, (of course you do), what's the point? You could easily just tell them 'do what the music tells you to' and not show them how to move.
Paradoxically, the only way beginners get rid of that 'deer in headlights' look when they start doing footwork in a song is through regular and repeated practice of 'choreod' movements. In any dance...
I am not sure about that. What makes you say so? Also, what is your metric for 'accomplished'?
At least amongst firsts of his most famous students that I personally know become famous after being on his team. ET always had an eye to select very talented dancers. Isn't it to his credit that he had a such a good eye than saying, his students are always talented. From very little I know, back in nineties you couldn't walk up and join his team. You had to get invited. I could be wrong, but that is how it was told to me.
I didn't read terence's post, but I read the quote that you are responding to. If this is the qoute:
I fully agree with terence on this based on my personal experience and dancing. I can't really tell if you are opposing what he said or merely expanding. I don't match my partner when doing shines because I can't. I see some others do - and I can recognize those shines as something that they have worked on. They have worked on them enough that they appear free form expression when they danced and I have nothing against it. Like myself, I know several others whose shines don't come from practicing in choreod shine classes and are indeed free form. I like to be inventive, because I don't have a stock of shines to fall back on. That doesn't mean those who have practiced shines through a choreod routine can't be inventive. In short there can be multiple pathways to become a good dancer and get good at shines.
Your body and my body will never move the same way. My body will not move the same way that ET and FM does (besides the huge fact that I have probably put in only 0.00001% of effort to improve my footwork compared to them). As you mature as a dancer, you come to recognize your own limitations and strengths.
This is not to argue against going to shines class. Whether it is shines or partnerwork, knowing basics and techniques is a must to grow as a dancer. You can equally argue that partnerwork is choreod class. Yet when you get down on the dance floor, you might only use 10% of what you learnt in partnerwork or shine class. Later you might start stringing your own partnerwork and shines based on what you learnt. At some point with enough dancing experience and muscle memory, you will own these as your own. Then you can be free from and not choreod as terence claims.
I am keeping teaching of beginners out of this discussion. Just wanted to say that terence seems right to me as far as this part is concerned
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