Question By Progtastic
I’ve been taking salsa lessons and going social dancing for about 7 months now. I’ll be taking three 2 hour private lessons this month as a lead. I want to get the most out of these lessons and so I’m wondering if anyone has any tips for what I should be focusing on in a private lessons setting.I’m thinking about focusing on foundational body movement mechanics and isolations that will make my basic look more natural.
My advice for anyone who is taking or wants to take private lessons is to know what, specifically, you want to improve. You’re talking about foundational skills, etc. That’s good. But that, in my opinion, should come from your instructor. You, as the student, should instead, be focusing on what you want the end result to be.
You stated “To make my basic look more natural” there you go. Lead with that. Maybe have some video of what you do and show it to your instructor and say “See how stiff/weird I look?” or whatever you want. I remember asking a teacher to help me look more smooth when I’m thinking up what to do next, and she gave me tips on what to do as “autopilot” moves while coming up with whatever turn pattern I wanted to do next in my head. (Surprise, it was to do a lot more CBL and turns rather than straight basics.
So yeah, go to a private with a specific end-goal in mind. Hopefully your instructor can actually help with it. Also, if you want stuff to train/practice on your own, I’d mention that. At the beginning is usually good, but then remind them during the class with a simple “Is there a drill I can do to make this easier?
Sometimes they don’t have any drills, but will just tell you to practice the whole move/whatever. Other times you’ll get a nice little drill you can do by yourself at home or at the gym.
Ditto this. I just had my first private 2 nights ago. First thing they ask is what you want to improve most. They’ll obviously correct mistakes as you go, but if they know what bothers you the most they can make that the goal of the lesson. For me it was giving clear queues when leading so the lesson focused mainly on handwork.
Ask questions, even if it’s just “why is it done that way?” Also, take some notes straight after your lesson. Have fun!
I agree with RegisteredDancer that it’s important to have some high level goals and then to let the instructor assess your skills and figure out priorities.
Here are some things that I have brought to private lessons.
– Many times I’ve taken a new sequence I like from a group class to a private lesson. This may be a shine, or partner work. Bringing a demonstration video from the group class is often helpful.
– Another example is when I have something in my standard bag of tricks that may have a lurking problem. This is something that works most of the time in social dance, but occasionally confuses followers. That leads me to suspect there’s something ambiguous in my lead. For stuff like that, I like to lead the instructor without first describing it, so they can assess the clarity of my lead without any preconceptions.