Being a teacher of hip-hop dance classes involves much more than just knowing how to do certain dance moves and routines. How you plan your class schedule, your knowledge of the associated cultural roots, how you conduct yourself and continuing to strive to learn more will help you as a teacher to improve your dance classes. Through these few simple things, you can push your teaching skills to another level and ensure that your students both develop their skills and continue to return week after week.
Structure Your Classes
It is important to see the bigger picture and create a structured plan over a period of time. You will want to build on previous weeks and this will help students to consolidate the things they have learned before. The students themselves will want to see their own development and their motivation will increase as they see that they are getting better as well as understanding how previously explored techniques and moves link into others you cover in later classes.
Link It to the Culture
One of the aspects of hip hop dancing which attracts so many people to it is the culture and lifestyle associated with it. Most dancing has strong connections with history and there are representations of cultures throughout. Embrace this and make sure you know your stuff. Your students will appreciate your classes even more if they can see you enthuse the culture and lifestyle and they will bounce off this and you will gain even more respect from them. Dancing is an expression of one’s personality so you do not have to pretend to be something you are not but at the same time if you don’t link it to any cultural roots it could feel a little empty and hollow.
Be a Role Model
This goes without saying in any teaching role and quite simply just in life in general. It is a common adage that respect is earned and not given to make sure you conduct yourself with the relevant behaviours and attitudes you would expect if you were in the position of the student. Remember that in effect you are representing the hip-hop community as a dance teacher. Be mindful of your language and dress code, make sure that you are always punctual and reliable and that students can have trust in you to honour your word. If you can portray a positive outlook you will get a positive response in return.
The cardinal sin of any teacher is to assume you have learned everything. Try to remind yourself that you are not the fountain of knowledge who is simply passing on your superior knowledge to others. Instead, let the dancers in your class feel like you are exploring and learning it with them. Dancing styles adapt and what was once deemed as being fashionable can quickly change over time. Your students might want to start introducing some moves they have recently seen in a music video or by one of their favourite dancers. Don’t be afraid to introduce new moves and make sure you’re always learning new things so that you can develop new techniques.