S01E10 The Reason I Was Loosing Best Students

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I am not anymore.

When I started teaching classes, I wanted to train some new talents for the scene. I wanted to show how good I am in teaching and how fast I can train someone who is talented.

I failed. I lost so many students who should have been able to be next Pamela, Elzė, Arnas, Eglė, Povilas, Austėja. You might know at least a few of these guys. I feel proud of them and feel happy I had an opportunity to be a part of them becoming superstars.

But I know there were so many more people capable of reaching the same. But they stopped dancing too soon.

In classes I was focusing on them, trying to teach them as much as possible, showing them extra moves and ideas, spending extra time explaining things. And they stopped dancing, while some students, who I didn’t think are talented kept coming to classes.

I questioned a lot what was happening and why I was losing my most talented students.

Over years my focus in classes changed. Instead of focusing on most talented, I spent most time helping least talented ones. Especially if they show up to classes and socials all the time.

What was surprising, best students kept coming back and not dropping out.

Why?

That’s only my thoughts, but… People start doing Lindy Hop because it’s fun. You dance in a class, learn a new move, go social dancing. It’s fun. It’s not fun when you know moves but there are no leaders or followers you could do that move.

That’s the reason, in my opinion, talented students stop coming to classes. It’s not challenging anymore, they might feel they already learned that and everyone else is too slow. Why bother coming to classes and not being able to do what you learned.

So focus on people who show up, who care, who try and who want to. Make everyone feel good by keeping them on the same page.

You might think moving better students level up might be a solution, but it’s not. But that goes for next Friday.

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Responses (2)

  1. Vu
    2017-10-01 at 21:40 · Reply

    I write this message just want to let you know I’m crazy about your blogs. Matynas, you are an amazing instructor for instructors. I’ve just started doing the lindy hop but in Viet Nam, where I live, there is no choice for students like me because the scene is too young. No leader, no teacher, no jazz band. no place to create the social dance. But I was lucky. A man from Srilanka taught us for free. He has 18 years experience in dancing but I think his teaching skills are not really good. After reading ”The reason I was loosing best students” I know why he didn’t teach me anything new. Seems like he read this article too, haha. I’m sad because It has been a long time I didn’t learn new moves or footwork from him. I have to research it by watching videos, practice it by myself alone. To be honest, I think teaching extra things is needed for talented. I will never leave the class just because others are slow. I’m not sure but about my aptitude but after reading ”Levels in Lindy Hop: “Intermediate””, I can say now I’m at intermediate in 2.5 months practicing( I started on 15th May and have 75 mins in class per week). My dream is to become the leader of the scene and bring this dance to many people in Viet Nam. It will be getting harder for me because my teacher will leave us on March. I’m 20 years old I wish I could know about lindy hop earlier. 🙂 Just wanna share with you my stories. I hope we can meet someday

    You fan,
    Vu

    • Vu
      2017-10-02 at 02:32 · Reply

      *Martynas :)) sorry for wrong spelling

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