A MESSAGE FOR THE DANCE TEACHERS - WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
I just came back home after one bachata party in Zagreb and have loads of inspiration to write a first article in this fresh new blog.
Where that inspiration comes from? From not being able to understand, what I saw and constantly keep seeing the same in every party... Why many ladies sit all the evening on chairs and the teacher, who is a DJ and the host of the party is chilling by the PC or dancing just with few selected women during all night?
Ignoring your students during a party makes me think you are teaching just because of money and shiny fame. And where is passion and compassion? Simple etiquette?
Don't get me wrong - I don't mean only one particular party. I see it in every, everywhere. And not only in Croatia.
First let me to be more clear and describe the situation better. I am not talking about the huge party, when half of people are students of the host's school and the host is dancing with everybody non stop or managing the music. Not when you see the organiser of the party really busy, or taking a minute (a minute!) to rest in between dancing and DJ-ing. No. I am talking about the situation, when the teacher, who people expect to be a representative authority of etiquette, half of the party is dancing with his partner and few colleagues and the rest of the party doing nothing, just chilling and watching people, while many ladies from his school are sitting on chairs almost for the whole evening. I am always watching and following the situation during every party - checking, how the host cares, who comes and supports his party and how they (hosts) treat guests. And that, what I see in many places, makes me seriously ask all teachers: "why are you doing this? Why are you teaching dance?"
Is it really just because of money and fake shiny fame (showing off) ? I am sorry, if I am wrong. I just can't find any other explanation, when I see the same ladies constantly promoting your school by sharing posts in facebook, coming to every of your party, supporting it by money and theirs presence, going to your classes (!), paying you even bigger money and then in your party receiving treatment, as you don't know them, you don't see them, like they don't exist.
I don't know, at least for me teaching dancing is a pleasure of sharing what I know and gratitude for each person, who, first of all, trusts and chooses to come. And, the biggest satisfaction is to see my students happy on the dance floor. I remember, when I just have started teaching Kizomba and I saw my first students (Sanjica and Tomislav) dancing in the party for the first time - I melted from happiness! :)
What I noticed during last 8 years of dancing in different countries, different parties, here are 2 situations of similar behaviour:
1. The host dances just with his students (the most common situation). Like having a gang. Well, I don't say it is a bad idea to maintain community relationships with your students. But too extreme is also not good. By not showing them, by your own behaviour, that you are inviting any random lady, you just don't give validation to your men and don't encourage them, that it is ok and even very beneficial for them to invite ladies, who they don't know personally. Beneficial because of faster learning and improving social skills. Opposite - you just cut men's self esteem, that they won't be able to lead partners from other schools. What does it tell about your teaching skills then and your self esteem, ha...? :)
2. The host doesn't dance neither with their students! This such extreme case I, probably, had never seen before... What does it tell me about the teacher and organiser of the party...? Yeh, right. You got me well ;)
So by this article I want to start point a finger to the issue and tell in public, that yes, we do have an issue on Zagreb's dance scene. And I don't want to have such one (dance scene). Neither here, neither experience it in any other country or city. And also got tired of all these whispers of people, when the problem is discussed silently and nobody is taking actions to solve it. Somehow I feel, that people are just too shy and afraid to say any critic to the teacher, because of a fear that their actions will not be validated, a fear of loosing friends, because of that out of date understanding, that a teacher is an authority and you must listen them and don't criticise.
But dears, we, teachers, are here FOR YOU, not the way around. You are that force, who dictates us (ok ok, advices us :) ), what you want and what you don't, what would be better and where to improve. The same analogy goes for the government and nation as well... You are the force for changes and if that force won't have any courage and energy to do sth, nothing will change. I also could stay in silence and not write this article, for which now I might (and most likely I will) collect many anti-friends. But how is it told...? That's how you test, who is who and that's how you filter your environment of friends :)
And for teachers (not all of course), I want to remind... All stars eventually fall after some time... ;)
Have a beautiful day! And lets become a better version of ourselves, than we were yesterday ;)