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|Dance As Though You Know Someone Is Watching|
In March, 2011, I Started to Try to Find Out What Dancers REALLY Want. Here are some responses.
*"I want to feel healthier, happier and younger. Dancing does all of this for me. Just love it!!!"
*"I want to be able to feel free enough to allow the dancer within to express her beautiful spirit (w/o partner telling me I am doing this wrong or that wrong!)" N
*"Great question! Well, I love to dance, and as artists we dancers want to create beautiful art form through our enchanting body movements to the rhythm of music and express our unique ...and individual interpretation with the music and of the dance..." L
*"I want to become an excellent dancer. I want my every movement to be graceful and inspiring to anyone who watches me. I want to look as beautiful, strong, and feminine as I possibly can. I want to express my connection to the music fearlessly and with such a high level of confidence that when someone compliments my dancing I believe them." J
*"Impeccability, precision, and excellence are a "Must" to capture those "Moments" on the dance floor that remain memorable. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and with ease, relaxation, and fun. And its OK to make a wrong step and be creative to make it part of the dance. But, unless one strives for Impeccability, precision, and excellence, they will be an unsatisfied, mediocre dancer. Would you settle for that? I wouldn't! Why would you? What do you really want? ..actually, its not what I get out of Dance; the fruit is borne from what I put into Dance. If my mission statement is to ignite my heart and the hearts of those around me, to have an inspiring mind n to inspire the minds around me, and to illuminate my spirit and the spirits around me. Then, Dance fits into that statement!" J
*"We want to feel transcendent - beyond the steps - at one with the music - to become the sass, to become the elegant, to become the rhythm, to become the sultry!" B
*"The optimal goal as a dancer is be able to combine the mind, the soul and the body together and flow with the music as a single creature in the universe (will that be wonderful?!!!!) . Most importantly, the dancer will have a mentor to open the door and guide her / him to that arena." K
*"I think a dancer wants is what they hope to get among other things. After all, there are two main reasons to dance: to have fun and to be great at it. I think dancers also like to completely focus on their dancing and forget about everything else they have to do...I think each dancer wants something different, but most get what they want. Remembering my dance steps or dancing them helps me calm down when I am unhappy. I want dancing to take over my mind once in a while and for me to forget everything else. It works. I can think about dancing and block out everything else. It helps me because, even as a teenager, I worry too much. Dancing helps me get rid of my worry, most of it.. Each person is different and so is each dancer." N
*"1.A instructor who genuinely cares about me as a person and as a dancer.not just the money
2. A studio without drama. A place that makes you feel welcome,A studio where the staff is honest and not cut-throat.A studio where the social dancer is just as important as the competitive dancer . A studio that does not tolerate arrogance and manipulation and recognizes the difference.
3. A dance partner who is polite, kind to others, asks others to dance who have not danced yet, Understands patience, remembers they were a beginner once, does not always expect perfection because no one is perfect, Someone who truly loves to dance just because......" H
*"...Enjoyed the "What do dancers Really want" article. I'm sure there are as many "wants" as there are dancers.......everyone is different and it must be difficult for a teacher to try and fulfill them all.....and also give them what they really need at that stage in the learning process. I think a dancer's wants also change over time. When we started out 20 years ago, we just wanted to have fun, socialize and learn a few steps. We thought we were great dancers after a few lessons.. Now we want our dancing to feel good, we want people to enjoy watching us dance and we want to be the best dancers we can be." P
I asked for some feedback from the dancers at Universal. Here are some comments from our dancers, some are valuable and some are bizarre. If you have any to add, please email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Hi Sandy, Thanks again for a great lesson and your patience as we re establish our basics and fundamentals."
"Hi Sandra, Thank you very much for your time and talents you have given freely these past Fridays. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there this past week's lesson, but thoroughly enjoyed the others. I am looking forward to other dancing fun with you and your team at Universal. Hope to see you, soon. John"
"Sandy, The "kitchen shine" is great. It works in my kitchen too. LOL." (You can send a request for a step, a correction, some help on positioning, and I will send you a mini minute lesson from my kitchen on video email.)
"Sorry I could not make the class tonight due to a work obligation. I just wanted to say thank you for the Friday class. The shine steps were awesome and I used one of them during a cha cha at the Stardust Friday night. Hope I can retain them in my memory bank and use all of them!! K"
"Hi, Sandra, I got to use one of the cha cha shines tonight! Nobody saw me, but I amused myself, which is all that matters. Just thought you would be happy to know, --J"
"Sandy, Thank you for your generosity.The class last night was excellent.The dancers who went to the Stardust weredoing the shines. People who did not attend were inquiring about them. Those people missed a great lesson for free. Thanks again you are fabulous."
"On your website you asked the following question:'...change Universal into a chain school. I've toyed with the idea for quite a while. Would you all still come to my studio if I make that change?' My reply is simple: I will take lessons wherever it is you teach. I am thrilled for you that you have your own studio. I think that suits you very well and you are clearly comfortable. I don't know what a "Chain School" is, but if that was the place to get a lesson from you, then that is the place I would go." D
"If "chain school" means branching out and duplicating the original Universal "blueprint", it would be TREMENDOUSLY successful. Here's just a few reasons why (in no particular order):
1. The web site is fantastic. I get the feeling of the studio's atmosphere, and I've never been to Universal (yet).
2. Class notes posted on the web site.
3. Innovative fresh ideas like the Friday free class. If I lived in Philly/S.NJ, I'd be there!
4. Competition participation (and lots of it). Fantastic competition commentary posted on the web site.
5. Always offering specials.
6. Wheelchair dancing.
7. Themed dance parties that look very fun (and not cheesy).
I hope you don't think that I am a real goofball, but I am a little passionate about ballroom dancing and a Universal Dance Center in the Detroit area would be great.
Now if "chain school" doesn't mean branching out, please forgive me for babbling on and on and on above. :)
Thank you for the bit of news that you posted about Brian. We (Brian's "fan club") over at Brian's web site have been dying for even a tiny piece of news. It's been too quiet over at his site lately. Thank you Sandra! Have a great day. M"
"Dear Sandi, Thank you for teaching. I have wanted to be in Pdr class for so long. Thank you for adding it on Tuesday night so I can attend. I like and love it. I also have discovered that I have some bad habits, and that I can improve my posture.
I enjoy the class very much. The other dancers are all so good. I love to watch Hannah, and I love to watch you dancing. I hope that someday I will become a little bit better dancer.
Actually, I enjoy all the classes you teach us. I love the Tuesday Gold class and I enjoy it very much. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.
Thank you for teaching us, Sandi. SC"
"As a newcomer to International Style, I find the pace of your classes challenging--especially after a long monday at the office--but it does keep me on my toes--hopefully alert and paying attention, and I am getting better at this. When I am given a verbal instruction, I don't necessarily "get it" the first time, but need to actually run through it a few times--I am getting better at "listening and doing," however. I personally love the detail--that's what makes the class special--again it's challenging, but if you want to learn you've got to work. And I like learning things right the first time around--it's better than having to correct mistakes later. The size of the classes is fine. If they get a little bigger, we get a chance to practice with more partners. I've never felt like they were too big. What I especially like is the way you teach the whole class but at the same time give individual dancers pointers here and there--It's very very helpful. And you reinforce what's done well! That's nice. You are really attuned to everyone in the room. My impression is that you teach at a high level, which has the advantage of keeping the more advanced dancers interested and challenged, while you gradually bring the "newbies" up to a higher level than where they started. You'd lose people if you taught at the lowest or even middle levels, but you knew that! D"
"Remove me from the email list....only because i sent an email and never received a response."
".....By the way thanks for another great lesson."
"Thank you for the fantastic lesson Sunday night. We are all looking forward to next week. I'm trying to practice keeping my leg straight and having eye contact with my partner."
This one was verbal, not by email. At the end of a Wednesday night lesson, I said to a newer student, "Wow, we had 9 lessons already." He said, "I think of it this way: We ONLY had 9 lessons and I learned alot-alot of what I should have learned on all the many lessons I've taken before." That was good to hear.