3 tips to better private lessons

Looking forward to a private lesson with a big name Pro? Many years ago I came away from my first private lesson with a ‘big name instructor’ frustrated and disappointed. I had spent almost $300 for 2 hours of lessons and I felt like it was a waste. I learned a valuable lesson that day that I would like to pass on to you.

3 Tips to get the most out of your private lesson

First let me say this. My biggest mistake in my first big time private lesson was that I didn’t not take control of it. I wandered into the lesson not having a clue what was about to happen. Had I had something as simple of these 3 tips, I would have most assuredly had a much better experience!

Tip #1 – Know what you want out of the lesson

You need to be specific in what you are trying to achieve with the lesson. Are you looking to learn new patterns? Do you have questions about a specific subject? The lead of a pattern or perhaps you are having trouble with a spin? Know ahead of time what you are looking to achieve then communicate that to your teacher.

Tip #2 – Communicate with your teacher

Chat briefly about your experience level at the top of the lesson. Its important for your teacher to know where you are coming from. Letting your teacher know how long you have been dancing, classes you attend regularly, your private lesson background and practice habits are all important things to talk about at the top of the lesson. Its also helpful if you know your own learning style. Some people are very visual. If that is you then your teacher can demonstrate more doing your lesson. Some people are very ‘feel’ oriented. If thats the case then you might need to dance more on your lesson. Yet others still are extremely detail oriented. Knowing this your teacher can help fill in all the details for you.

Tip #3 – Let your teacher teach

Once you trust that your teacher know a little bit about you, your goals and your learning style its time to sit back and be the student. This does not mean that you shouldn’t ask questions (you absolutely should ask plenty of questions) but you need to allow your teacher to work through the material he or she has been asked to convey to you. Often times as a teacher I will resist answering a questions until give my answer a little context first. This is the type of expertise you are paying for. Your Pro often has years of communicating their knowledge.

So to sum it up… begin with the end in mind, communicate (especially right in the beginning) then ask questions as you let your teacher quite you though what will hopefully be a much better experience than my first lesson with a ‘big time pro’ BTW if you want to know who the Pro was??? It was a latin dude. I’m sure he couldn’t west coast swing a lick!

What about group classes and workshops?

Looking to maximize your practice after a workshop to retain what you’ve learned? We have a handy resource for you. How to practice after a workshop. If you take group classes regularly, you’ll want to check out how to get the most out of group classes. Inside you’ll get out most helpful hints to get more out of your lessons!

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