Of course, they need to know how to dance and how to teach it, but even more important, a great dance instructor must communicate well with all sorts of people and in all sorts of situations.
You might think being a great dancer is requirement #1. You’d be wrong!
A great dance instructor is a good dancer, of course, and a great dance instructor loves to teach dance. But the overwhelming characteristic that sets a great dance instructor apart from an average or ineffective one is their ability to communicate.
What’s more, you must be aware of how people learn. You must be able to assess a student or a couple and decipher their different approaches to learning. Everyone learns differently. Instructors have to identify a student’s best learning path – is it visual? Auditory? Kinesthetic?
Without clear communication, it’s hard to know how best to teach someone. And if you’re not teaching them in a way that they can learn, they’ll never love dancing.
In any relationship – and teacher-student is an important one – communication is key. Do it well, or the relationship crumbles. And the key to doing it well is truly understanding how each person in the relationship functions.
I’ve had some of the most amazing dancers in our studio, but that doesn’t mean they’re great instructors. Being a great athlete does not mean you’ll be a great coach.