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strathspey@strathspey.org:27675

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  • Martin.Sheffield

    Martin.Sheffield Oct. 2, 2001, 10:01 p.m. (Message 27675)

    Re: What do you think about this?

    At 06:43 02/10/01 -0400, you wrote:
    >So the challenge remains - how do teachers balance the need to 
    >maintain the fundamental character of SCD (i.e., proper technique) 
    >with the need to develop (or keep) lots of dancers on the floor? 
    > Striking the right balance is, I expect, far from 
    >easy.  
    
    Yes, indeed.
    (I might even say impossible, since every class and every dancer is different)
    My way of looking at the problem is to *try* and give people what they seem
    to be looking for, even if it does jot follow what is prescribed in teacher
    training. You can usually feel when the class/club members want more of
    this and less of that, but you'll be lucky if they are unanimous in
    wanting, for example, more pre-dance exercises, or more new dances, or less
    "let's just dance", or less "let's just make tea and have a chat."
    
    I have also done a lot of foreign language teaching. It is very similar to
    dance teaching, in that you have to keep people happy as well as getting
    something into their heads: if the students don't feel relaxed, they won't
    be ready to join in participatory exercises, question & answer drills, etc.
    Similarly, if the dancers don't feel they are getting the
    relaxation/footwork practise, or whatever they happen to wish for, they may
    well drop out. However much the teacehr may dispporiove of his students'
    ungrammatical utterances, he has to encourage them and keep a happy smile
    on everyone's faces. In the same way, whatever we think of our fellow
    dancers' footwork, we have to show them how glad we are to have them in our
    classes.
    
    Striking a balance means giving a littel bit of everything, not forcing
    anyone to do more than they want to (and fingers crossed taht the "little
    bit" will be suffciient to get at least some of the class to imporve their
    style little by little.
    If you have read all this before, then I have been on the Strathspey list
    for too long ! 
    Perhaps I'd better take up contra dancing and see how it compares.
    
    Martin, 
    in Grenoble, where summer has returned, skies are incredibly blue, the
    dancing season has begun ,and all is well.
          

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