I Wanna Dance Like You!

One of my students yesterday brought to class her favorite song and asked me to show how I would dance to it. As a dancer, I wouldn’t hesitate a second – I’m always ready to show off. As a teacher – now that’s another story! I asked her why she wants to see me dance.

Student’s response was: “Because I want to know my potential. I want to know what to strive for”.

Well, that’s nice but how are you going to know YOUR potential by watching another person dance? I’d understand if you wanted to watch me dance to find inspiration, some ideas that you could incorporate in your freestyle but to look for your potential in what I’m doing? Not so much.

One thing you have to understand: I don’t want to and I’m not going to teach you to dance like me. That’s easy. MY GOAL IS TO TEACH YOU TO DANCE LIKE YOU. Now that’s a challenge!

You see, in the majority of dance studios we are used to learning through emulation. We copy the teacher. We start off copying his movements; then we copy his style, subtle qualities of his performance.

How many times you caught yourself thinking: “I want to dance just like him/her”?

I believe that successful dance learning calls both for emulation and discovery. It starts off with emulation – just like when you learned how to walk. You’ve watched your parents first to know how walking is supposed to look like. Then you discovered just how to make that happen. Things you discovered, they belong to you. Nobody will take them away from you. They are permanent.

Do you remember some choreography you did a month ago?

How permanent is that?