Each instructor is different and has different methodologies, and finding the right one for you is important if you want to achieve the most out of your dance instruction.
My personal philosophy is that in my very basic introductory class, you should be able to at least move around the dance floor with your dance partner when you leave, and feel like you’ve learned how to dance (even if you haven’t learned specific dance styles). I believe by teaching you as much as possible during your very first lesson, you will want to come back for more. Granted, you’re not going to look like a professional or someone you might seen on Dancing with the Stars, but you should be able to dance. I don’t “withhold” any dance instruction as a method to keep you coming back … I will teach you as much as I can in every lesson, taking into account the level of other students in the class and what anyone is realistically able to absorb in one lesson.
I focus on strengths, and never tell you that you’ve done a step wrong. We have “variations” – not mistakes. I will point out the variation and how it’s different than the step I originally taught you, but if your goal is enjoying dancing with your partner, then worrying about doing a step a bit differently than what you’ve learned only inhibits your dance growth. I encourage “choreography” in our beginner dancers! Only those who want to focus on the very technical aspects and moving beyond social-level dancing will focus on the details and technicalities of each step.
I have also had a lot of training in adult learning theory, and how our brains learn best. This means that I don’t start with you focusing on “left” and “right” or counting “1, 2 3”, because we want to initially focus on the very instinctual way that your body moves and switching to more analytical thinking required of directions and counting flips your brain into thinking in a very different manner than is what you need to focus on as a beginner dancer. So if you think you have no rhythm, or are worried about not being able to tell your left from your right, those aren’t things you need to be worried about initially in your dance training. Directions and counting come along as you continue your dance training past the basic beginner classes.
And remember, most of the other people in your class also won’t know much about dancing, so if you’re worried about being embarrassed by not looking like you know what you’re doing – probably no one else does either so you will be among friends! You don’t come to a dance instructor because you’re an expert at what you’re doing – you come to learn how to dance, or learn more about how to dance, and increase your skill level no matter what dance skill level you begin at.
Because finding the right dance instructor means a lot to your personal dance success, feel free to ask me any questions about my training methods and philosophies.