PdT: What is the most important quality in a dance teacher?

by Henrik on August 31, 2010

First of all, if you don’t already know, Pas de Trois is Catherine, David and my new playground for dance-interested. We want to create a forum for dance-folks to meet, discuss, share experiences and maybe some cookies too! Read more about the project here!

So, to the question of the week: What, in my humble opinion, is the most important quality in a dance teacher, hereafter referred to as Master (you know, those conservative eastern europeans I trained at, they don’t settle with a “teachers” degree. Teachers is for normal folks. Dancers have Masters).

Peter Martins teaching boys ballet class class

Ballet Master Peter Martins teaching boys class at School of American ballet. Photo © Steven Caras All rights reserved

Well, it’s hard to pick just one. We already had some great inputs at the post on Pas de Trois already, people have pointed out that the teacher should have passion for his art and his students, he (or she) should be devoted and caring, and able to see all the students in the room as individuals. While these are all great abilities, I think I have to go with authority.

To respect your teacher is, in my opinion, the key to success. Now, that doesn’t mean that the master needs to be cruel, the best masters are those who just radiate a certain aura saying: don’t try! The most important part of learning to dance is to realize that the only person you’re up against, is yourself. Now, that’s a hard lesson, at least, I didn’t get it until I was long out of school. My master is as kind as nobody, still he has this aura, you just do it. Ballet is not for pussies, it’s tough. It hurts. My master didn’t care. So neither did I…

Keep looking back for more on Tights and Tiaras. And be sure to check out David and Catherine’s, and all the other great people that join the discussion at Dancing3.com.

See you soon

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