Although this is primarily a blog about about Shag, I guess this post could relate to any dance style.
The last couple of years has seen a slow but steady stream of US Shag teachers arrive in the UK to meet an every increasing demand for top class shag tuition. You cannot believe how happy I am that this is happening. It helps break the cycle of repeated beginners workshops, and moves our favourite dance onwards and upwards into a more mature domain. That’s got to be a good thing.
Over the years, Sharon and I have been fortunate to have been able to travel across Europe, Canada and the USA, to take classes and workshops from the best Shag dancers and teachers in the world. Its given us a great opportunity to enhance our Shag specific teaching skills and understand what makes those great dancers so great. However the opportunity to learn from a multitude of the best does not come without it’s own challenges. You see what works for teacher A, may not necessarily work for teacher B, or C, or D for that matter, and that means that their teaching methods and advice may on occasion conflict with each other. Students From around the country have brought this to my attention over the last 12 months, and its something Sharon and I learned to deal with many years ago.
The simple fact is the conflict doesn’t matter. What teachers are teaching works for them. Their experience, fitness, technique all come together to make them the great dancers they are, right? So if you copy exactly what they tell you to do, you will be a great dancer too right? Well maybe. What works for them may not necessarily work for you. Your experience, fitness and technique make you a slightly different dancer. The important thing to find when learning from multiple teachers is what works for you best; what are you most comfortable with; and use that. I’ve found over the years a pick and mix approach works best. A hand full of stuff from class A, with sprinkling from workshop B, including a little je ne sais quois from watching teacher C in that awesome performance they did on YouTube.
The fact is, all those teachers are correct even when they are wrong for you. You just need to find who’s correct for you, when.