Facts to Set You Straight

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You DON'T need a partner to Learn

Everyone seems to think they need a partner to learn with.  Wow, what a mistake!

If you're planning to learn on your own, go right ahead, book a lesson, and rest assured that it's the best way for you to learn.

If you're planning to learn with a partner, please read on.

First of all, congratulations on your decision to do something so beautiful together!  Throughout our teaching, we will maintain the priority of getting each of you to a stage where you can dance happily together.

There will be a few hurdles to overcome in that process - it's not hard, but it's important that you're aware of the nature of the learning process.

Partner dancing is a language, a constant communication of touch and movement between the two partners.  The most important thing about dancing with a partner is the way it FEELS.

If you're dancing with your teacher, he or she can immediately feel what you're doing and how to improve it.  If you're dancing with another partner, your teacher is restricted to standing outside and watching what's happening.  We can catch some problems by watching, but it's very hard to pick up on the subtleties of your movement from outside.

Apart from that, you and your partner will have different needs in your learning.  For a start, one partner leads and the other follows, and these are separate skills that need to be taught quite differently.  Secondly, any two learners will have different strengths and weaknesses, and we'll need to work on those differently with each of you.  Finally, chances are that the two of you will respond to different teaching styles.

There are two layers to learning with a partner.  First, each of you needs to be taught at your own pace and in your own learning style.  Second, you need to learn to put your skills together and to adapt to each other's strengths and weaknesses.  Here's how we approach that.

We'll get you to take your first few lessons separately, so that we can give each of you a basic foundation, and so that we can learn about the way you learn.  Once you're on your way, we'll put together a learning plan for you that combines separate lessons with shared lessons.  On your separate lessons, we'll work on your own dancing - especially on aspects of partnership - and we'll teach in a way that suits you as an individual.  On your shared lessons, we'll work on making sure you can dance, lead, and follow the steps you're learning on your other lessons.

You will ALWAYS find your teacher easier to dance with than your partner.  Your teacher has years of experience and can make up for any faults of weaknesses instinctively.  Your partner, on the other hand loves you and wants very much to dance with you.  So be nice when it's tricky, accept that your partner is also a learner, and support each other in the learning process.  If you do that, the two of you will have a beautiful skill that you can keep for the whole of your lives.  Fantastic, let's get started!

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