Dance lessons have a structure to them, and dancers typically start with a warm-up or barre work before working on the choreographed dance. The dance lessons can be fast paced with the instructors explaining the dance and showing how it is done in the beginning. Dancers then practice the steps in groups and individually, while the instructor gives them constructive criticism to improve their skills.
Dance classes are for students of all ages and abilities. It is important for teachers to understand the physical limitations of their students and adjust the class as needed. This may include lowering impact levels, slowing the tempo and simplifying memorization tasks. It can also mean making sure to give a range of movement options for those with limited mobility or other physical challenges.
The teacher is a powerful influence in the learning environment. Their verbal communication, body language and tone convey their belief in student abilities. This encouragement can help motivate dancers to push themselves in their dancing. Conversely, a teacher who dismisses their students’ accumulated personal style and attempts to tear it down will justifiably make dancers not want to come back to class.
Teachers are often seen as role models in the dance classroom. This can be in a traditional class model, or in the current environment of expanding pedagogy where teachers may choose a more student-directed approach to teaching. Regardless of their role model, dancers look to their teachers for guidance and leadership. The instructor can inspire and encourage dancers through energetic and constructive criticism and praise, while maintaining a disciplined and driven atmosphere.