We are so fortunate to have a system that keeps us striving and reaching for the best! One of those ways is the Traveling Consultant program. Our Coaches are amazing in so many aspects of dance. They would not be brought into the studio unless they have been through the trenches themselves and have received top recognition for their work. From teaching, training, managing, competing, and becoming adjudicators, they are more than just great dancers! I have always said just because you’re a good dancer does not mean you’re a good teacher, but the coaches at Arthur Murray are both! In every sport you will find coaches that will get you where you want to be faster. Even the coaches, have coaches. So today, I want to share with you how to get the most out of your coaches.
Have a Plan
A key aspect to having a successful experience is to have a plan of what you would like to accomplish on your lesson and to communicate that to the coach. The more information you give about where you are and where you would like to go, the better your lesson will be! By doing so, the coach will be able to pin point your needs faster.
Be Clear on the Time Frame
There are many types of coaching lessons; technique, choreography, and showmanship to name a few. However, there is a right time for each of these topics. Choosing what you want to work on should be based on the time frame you have available. For example, if you have a competition in 2 weeks, that would NOT be the time to develop your technique or make major changes to your choreography. Instead it is an excellent time to work on your showmanship, expression, and emotion while you dance. Communicating the time frame that you have to accomplish your goals is vital to your coaching lesson in order to be successful. Be sure the coach is clear on what you want to accomplish and how long you have to develop it.
Warm up First, Review Second
Try not to come into your lesson cold. Before your coaching session, arrive at the studio early, get your shoes on, and start to stretch or practice your basics in the mirror. You can even take a personal or group lesson before your coaching lesson; this is an especially good idea if you plan on developing choreography with the coach, therefore that choreography will be fresh in your mind. By doing these things, your body and dancing brain are warmed up and ready to go, that way you can get to the good stuff right away. Having everything you already know fresh on your mind will clear a pathway to take in new information. After your coaching lesson it is vitally important to immediately have a follow up lesson with your instructor. If you can’t work with your teacher for the lesson directly following your coaching lesson, try to schedule something for later that same day or next day at the latest. Having a follow up lesson is so important because it will give you an opportunity to review and practice all the new things you learn, helping it get ingrained in your muscle memory and making sure you don’t forget it for your next lesson.
Know the Strengths of the Coach
Ballroom dance coaches know a lot about a variety of different dances, they have to be ready for anything and they can help you with so many different aspects of dancing. That being said, they may have a particular area in which they are superb. Ballroom aside, there are so many different specialty and fad dances that have been popular throughout the years. The coach you are working with may have a particular expertise in that area, so be sure you and your teacher do your homework. I would typically advise you not to use your precious time with coaches for choreography, even if they are great choreographers. It’s not as important what you do (choreography), but how well you do it (technique), and they are the ones to help you do it.
Take Advantage of These Experts as Often as Possible
Most studios have coaches in at least once a month, some even more. Take advantage of the coaching cycle as much as you can. It is great to give your dancing a boost at the beginning of each month, then you have the rest of the month to rehearse and refine the new information. You will find by taking advantage of this program your dancing will progress so much faster.
Schedule Sessions with a Variety of Coaches
Most often the coaches that we love the most speak our language. In other words, they feel the most familiar to us. Step out of your comfort zone and learn from coaches that have strengths in the areas you may find yourself struggling. They will be able to pull new concepts out of you and help you get over any hurtle you may be going through.
I could literally go on and on about why coaching lessons are so beneficial. You are never too new or too good to learn from those more advanced than you. Be sure to get the most from them when you do.
Live, love, dance, and enjoy!
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