By Jerod Williams
You’ve danced all your life. People have told you that your style is incomparable and so unique that your talent needs to be shared with the world. So you make the conscious decision to share your passion and start inspiring others to help them own their swag on the dance floor while staying healthy. It’s a purpose that you want to fulfill. However, the question beckons: how does one go from years of dancing and showcasing their talent to translating that passion to others? The process may look easy, but in the end it takes more than fly moves and wicked creativity to become an awe-inspiring dance instructor.
The same can also be said for the front row diva/divo who repeatedly comes to class week after week to dance it out with their favorite instructor. How can the novice who has never taught a dance class a day in their life make the transition from student to instructor?
Here are a few tips that may provide a foundation on where to begin this journey, no matter how much experience one may have.
KNOW YOUR ROUTINES
This is a no-brainer. Nothing can be more disheartening for that first time person who has mustered enough courage to attend one of your classes than to not know what you’re teaching them. Knowing your routines will not only instill confidence, but also will help you engage with your students in giving them the best class experience ever.
BE STUDENT MINDED
You will have ALL levels of people dropping into your class and while you may know your routine in your sleep, keep in mind others will not. Guide your participants on the dance floor like a GPS and give them the basic visual and motivational cues that helps them slay that choreography. It’s a win-win for everyone and will keep them coming back.
People have to know that your class exists, right? There will be places that already have a clientele that will more than likely do a basic newsletter announcing a new offering or do some sort of advertisement, but essentially the footwork and the word of mouth has to come from you. From good old fashioned guerilla marketing and hitting the pavement with copies of your class flyer to a simple post on your social media, the word about your class has to come from you.
GET TO KNOW YOUR CREW
The people who drop into your class are essentially your crew. Whether it is 1 or 20, engage and get to know who has come to take from you. How did they find out about the class? What’s their name? Did they enjoy class? You never know what compelling reason a participant will offer about themselves as to what led them through the door.
The beauty of this never-ending process of teaching is that you are always evolving. There will be days where you will be empowered and feel accomplished as well as days where you will feel defeated and exhausted. Always reflect back on the “why” you decided to make this leap. If the passion is strong enough, the growth and the development will follow.