Archive for May, 2011
I think the question needs to be asked “what makes a good teacher” I have said in my other posts about how a great teacher can inspire a student but yet again a teacher needs to inspire with a goal that is achievable to create joy and progresses within a student. There is no point shooting for the stars before we can even lift off the earth.
Last night on DWTS the judges gave some harsh but realistic feedback to Samantha. I have read allot of the posts on the Forums and I think there needs to be a clearer message given to anyone who is not a dance teacher or in the dance industry.
I have been teaching dancing now for almost 12 years and I have truly never met anyone who cannot dance. I have met people who learn slow or may not have rhythm but never who can’t dance. I have however met allot of Dancers who cannot teach, people who think that because they have an award to their name or won a trophy that they can tell someone they are a professional dance teacher. A true professional in this industry can teach the best Tina Sparkle and the worst Marry Blog and make both of them feel and look as good as they are possibly going to look in relation to their ability and what they understand.
It’s not just about making a student stand in front of a mirror because if the person has image issues that is the worst thing you can do to them and it does not mean you can tell them to look “sexy” when they have no idea what sexy is because they have never acted that way. Find the root of the issue and yes 90% of the time it is some sort of confidence or image issue and find a way to relate to the student on terms they can understand but most importantly feel.
I hope this was some insight
I was talking with a student today about my little adventure of writing these blogs and she brought up a very good point which was, “in some ways don’t you think they say what they say to get good ratings and make people start to talk about the show?”.In some ways she is right, as they say any loving is good loving, however I do not believe that it is a very positive way of getting what is wanted out of the show.
One thing I love about Australians is they have use the term ‘that is very un-Australian of you’, and until I moved here I had never heard anything like, it but it works. The theory of creating talk by negative comments is very un-Australian, but it does work and I follow the mentality of ’if you don’t have a better idea, then you can’t complain’, lucky I have a better idea.
In my first post I talked about not getting real stars onto the show because of the criticism that they were subjected to, and I stand by this fact. If the judges gave positive feedback and touched on the true benefits that learning to dance can do for people and has done for people on the show it would encourage more celebrities to look at the whole thing as a positive experience instead of public humiliation. The question has to be asked why do people watch the show and I feel the answer is for the stars! If they wanted to see profession dancing go watch a dance sport competition but if they want to see they favourite celebrity dance to raise money for charity then tune in.
The sad part is that if something does not change, then I feel this show may have run its course here in Australia and the public will lose what should be great family entertainment and the true joy of seeing stars be every day people and accomplish something amazing for themselves. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
See you on the Dance Floor!
In the last post on DWTS I said, “critiquing them on a level that is not applicable to their actual ability”, and that I would explain this in my next post. As this is a very important point, I felt I should make it its own individual post discussion.
I will clear up the fact that I do own an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. However my point of view comes from a very neutral place being that all industries or businesses have their positive and negative attributes, I am not here to debate that on dancing terms, but what is consistent in all areas and types of dance is what makes a good teacher and also what makes a good judge or adjudicator.
I read once that an average teacher tells a good teacher teaches, and a great teacher inspires! I think the same can be held true by a judge or adjudicator. Anyone sitting at home watching DWTS can tell if a star looked good or bad in there dance, but what should make a professional is a person who can tell them what they need to do to make it better. Very few people in this world are driven by negatives or an “I’ll show you” mentality and in truth as a teacher and as a business owner if my students where told all the time how bad they were doing as appose to this is what we can do to make it better than I would have no students and in turn have no business.
Another part that a professional judge or adjudicator should be able to do is put the positive or constructive criticism in relation to the level of student that they are judging, and I feel this is a point that is so often missed on DWTS. When the judges make comments, often they sound great but in no way shape or form are applicable to the level of that dancer and what their body is physically able to do. Our body and mind mature in dancing, just like in any sport, and before making any comment one should consider A) how long has this person been dancing for and B) are they going to be able to take my feedback and implement it.
There are a lot more to this topic, however I do not want to bore anyone and if I have not lost you by now. Another paragraph and you will be gone, so off I go to inspire another amazing student and the next post will talk about if the criticism and harsh comments are just for the ratings and if there a better way to get people watching.
See you on the dance floor!
When DWTS first started it was an amazing success because it gave the world a look into the life that people in the ballroom and Latin world go through, and an almost fairytale dream to the people at home being able to “dance like the stars”. Today’s version of the show is much different, as it takes supposed ‘stars’ who are actually not that well known, and subjects them to horrible criticism in an environment that no one would feel comfortable in (even the professionals).
I was speaking to a very well known presenter form channel 7 about why he has not participated in DWTS yet, his answer was “I would be so bad”. I think this is a perfect example of what the show is not meant to be about, the show is about “stars” taking their time to provide entertainment to the public to raise money for charity. Not about how good of a dancer someone is, and I am sure channel 7 is wondering why they cannot get any real celebrities/stars to go on the show. Would you go on the show know you would be subjected to some of the things that were said on Sunday night?
Often I am asked if DWTS has done great things for our industry, and the simple and true answer is no. The reason why is because average Joe sitting watching DWTS, are doing so to see their favorite celebrity/star get up and dance. To the average Joe watching the stars dance routine, they think they did quite well and “good on them for giving it a shot”, however they then watch as the star gets torn apart by a judge that is critiquing them on a level that is not applicable to their actual ability (I will get to what I mean by that in my next post). So average Joe says “if they say that person is bad, imagine how bad I would be!I am never going to try dancing” and that person never steps foot in a dance studio.
So everyone keep tunned in, because I am just getting started and if I can do anything from these posts, I hope to inform the public and the stars of all the (real/true) amazing benefits that learning to dance can do for everyone.
See you on the Dance Floor
Name: Dean Tapiki
Position at Arthur Murray: Owner/Franchisee
How long have you been dancing for: 20 years
Why did you go into dancing: Exercise
How long have you been with Arthur Murray for: 15 years
Styles taught: Ballroom and Latin American
- Top Teacher in Australia & 5th in the World
- Won Australian Pro/Am competition 2010
Best dance experience/memory: Watching all the students progress from beginners to amazing dancers
Favourite dance movie: Dirty Dancing
Favouite music to dance to: Latin Music (it just makes you want to move)
Dance Tips: Get your technique and style perfected, steps will come later
Name: Matthew Aker
Position at Arthur Murray: Owner/Franchisee
Arthur Murray Studio: Castle Hill
How long have you been dancing for? 12 years
Why did you go into dancing? I got into dancing because I thought it would be a great way to meet girls however in the end I have stayed not because of anything to do with meeting the girls but because of what teaching dancing does for people.
How long have you been with Arthur Murray for? 12 Years
Styles taught: All partnership dancing, if there is two people who want to dance together the rest is easy
Awards/Certificates: I have no idea what awards I have gotten over the years however if you come to the studio you will see my most prized awards of all, the students!
Best dance experience/memory: This is a hard one because I truly have hundreds. From students who have admitted to the fact that dancing saved their relationship to guys who have gained the confidence to dance and speak with women to women who have felt what it means to feel beautiful and confident about themselves. It is reasons like these that I do my job and they are things you see happen every day.
Favourite dance movie: Shaking what my Mumma gave me!
Favourite music to dance to: This is another hard one because we dance because it makes us feel so the music has to be reflective of how we feel in that moment or sometimes how we want the music to change the way we feel in that moment. At the end of the day if it has meaning and feeling I will always dance.
Dance Tips: In 12 years I have never met someone who can’t dance, I have met people who learn slow however it is our job to teach you. All someone has to do is give it a shot, just try and I can guarantee you will not regret it and if you do, come tell me so I can go to whoever that teacher was that gave you a bad experience and step on their toes! See you on the dance floor!!!