3 Essential Hard-Skills Every Dance Instructor Must Have

๐Ÿ”ข 1. Cueing & Counting (For Your Students)

The very first skills you must-have to be able to command the attention of your entire class. 

“The last thing your students need is to struggle to follow your instructions.

Your checklist: 

  • Can you cue, in co-ordination with your basic step while leading the class?
  • Are you starting on the correct count?
  • Can your students hear you loud and clear?
  • Are you too counting too slowly compared to the music of the choreography?
  • Are you creating confusion because you’re not consistently counting the same way?
  • Can you drop-in keywords in between your counts to remind your students of the techniques they need to remember?

How well you cue or count your students to follow your instructions affects the efficiency and productivity of the class directly.

Practice this skill by yourself before you start teaching, not in class or in front of your students! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

๐Ÿฅฑ 2. Not over-explaining

The worst classes Iโ€™ve been to are when the instructor spend the bulk of the time over-explaining, leaving too little time for the students to practice.

A great instructor knows how to:

  • Give the top 1-2 techniques to focus on per explanation: your students wonโ€™t be able to retain more than that and execute them all perfectly at the same time.
    (Too many pointers ๐Ÿ‘‰ longer explanations ๐Ÿ‘‰ students canโ€™t execute them all at once ๐Ÿ‘‰ re-explaining ๐Ÿ‘‰ students have to drill again ๐Ÿ‘‰ same cycle ๐Ÿ‘‰ waste of time.)
  • No explanation should be longer than 30 seconds: Nobody wants to stand around listening to their instructor talk for minutes on end in a dance class. Keep them moving while you explain, make them drill the techniques with you so that they can FEEL IT instead of just watching you do it. 

โฐ 3: Time Management 

As a dance instructor, your ability to manage time effectively can make or break the learning experience for your students.

Incomplete classes or rushed instruction can leave students feeling really unfulfilled and unmotivated – whether it is because they felt they learned too little, or because they didnโ€™t get enough time to practice the moves (to the music) before the class ended.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Learn to structure and dedicate your time well – the warm up, teaching of choreography, practice runs to music, and the cool down, to make the most of every minute in your dance class.ย 

I hope this blog post is helpful to my fellow dance instructors out here! ๐Ÿ‘‡Comment below if you want me to share more teach tips!

Love, B.

ยฉ Brenda Liew 2023. 

One response to “3 Essential Hard-Skills Every Dance Instructor Must Have”

  1. Thomas avatar

    Your three points cover a good range.

    It’s hard to follow an instructor when they call the next move late (= after the move already started). It makes the instructor look good and the students like they don’t know what they are doing. (I’ve had instructors on purpose to make wrong calls to drill the class to learn to focus on his physical example immune to distractions, but that’s different.)

    The over explaining comes natural. As an instructor, you want to give your students a lot. And so you try to give them anything that you can think of. But as a student, you can really only retain one thing, try to apply, and once you succeed, you are ready for the next thing.

    Also, play music. If class sucks, at least I can zone out and enjoy the music ๐Ÿ™‚


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