"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #53, Thursday, May 31, 2001
Preparation for a Lesson
Preparation for a lesson is required not only on the student's part but also
the teacher. However if the teacher has reached a level beyond exceptional
abilities, disregard the teacher part and let us concentrate on the Student's
preparation for the lesson.
1. Physical Preparation: I am not kidding, how many students come dashing in from workplace as if they were trying to catch a flight after a traffic jam. That is stupid. It is your investment and for that kind of money you must make an effort to get as much back as possible. Allow for travel time, schedule a lesson keeping in mind that you will have sometime before the lesson to comprehend what you did on the previous lesson. Get to the studio at least 1/2 hr earlier. This way you can just sit there and see what is being taught to the other couple. You will be amazed how interesting that is and how much you learn in that time, for free!
Hygiene. It is an embarrassing subject but important. I read some postings on Dancescape and therefore have more courage to summarize those comments.
"Body Odor and Bad Breath: Much of that may have to do with what we eat. Highly seasoned foods specially garlic, ginger, onions taco, pizza and others may be the culprit. Choose a rather neutral and simple meal. Clothing does not have to be fancy. Actually freshly laundered simple clothing gives a crisp feeling. It is not a bad idea to have a separate section in your closet for dance clothes and create priority laundry basket. For Ballroom long sleeves are preferred so that the armpit hair and perspiration is not exposed. Many coaches prefer you to be in a shirt and Tie for a ballroom lesson. This gets your neck used to actual conditions when you are dancing in a Tuxedo or Suit.
Of course Ladies have a better sense when it comes to dancewear. However because ladies clothes are a little more elaborate, does not mean that they can be worn again and again out of the closet without washes, it is a common problem. There were many postings on excessive sweat. A shower prior to lesson is a good idea. Sore Throats, Illness, Fever should be automatic cancellations.
2. Psychological Preparation: Do you feel upto par? How does your partner feel. It helps to condition the mind that yes, you want to take a lesson. You have to be enthused and wanting to make the best out of that hour. Mind over body, Use it.
Review: You must have a lesson plan. Of course if you are in yours first ten hours, leave it to your good teacher but soon you must be able to develop a sense of which way your training is going.
Syllabus: At an early stage familiarize yourself with syllabus. A good teacher soon will give you and out line. Two of you can start setting up some realistic Goals. It takes several hours of going over your lesson. If you are not taking notes or videotaping your lesson, it will be almost impossible to retain the info given to you. You must review the whole lesson and jot down the salient points within 24 hours.
I hesitated to send this letter but then if you gotta say it, say it!.....Best Wishes for the Blackpool Competitors...Max.
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.