Dance Communication: Receiving Corrections Gracefully

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Appreciate Corrections!

Don’t feel self-conscious or worry that you’re doing badly if your new dance teacher singles you out and “criticizes” you!

It’s common for inexperienced dancers to mistakenly feel picked on when the teacher stops to correct their movements. Especially if it happens repeatedly during a class, they may feel self-conscious or even hurt.

When you feel like the focus of more than your share of an instructor’s critiques, it may seem natural to assume that the teacher thinks your dancing is very poor, or is even irritated by your presence in class. But this is rarely the case!

Giving a new student feedback is usually a welcoming gesture from a dance instructor, intended to show that they value having you in their class. Teachers view corrections as positive, because they provide an opportunity to learn. Giving them demonstrates commitment to your progress.

There’s also no need to be embarrassed that your classmates’ attention is being drawn to your errors. More experienced students know that dancers of all skill levels benefit from corrections. In fact, many dancers hope for them!

Fellow students—and your teacher—are only likely to form a negative impression if you react defensively when given corrections, or ignore them. Appreciation and effort to improve are the expected response. Incorporate corrections into your dancing as soon as possible, to the best of your ability, and you’ll demonstrate your willingness to learn.

If you receive lots of corrections, bask in your good fortune! Giving personal corrections is a gift of the teacher’s time and expertise that comes at the cost of slowing down the teaching of class. Lots of experienced dancers wish their teacher had more time to give them individual attention!

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