Hey there, dancers and welcome back to From the Top! In today’s blog post we’re talking about a small issue that most every dance teacher faces and that is figuring out how to get the most out of your one-hour class timeslot. In the world of dance and teaching, there are literally so many things that you want to cover in what seems like so little time. However, what if I told you that you could get in everything you wanted for your class in just that one hour? Well I’m here to tell you that it is surely possible, BUT you just have to know the right way to do it. How do you do it, you may ask? Keep reading to find out.
“Stretching Is Important, But Doesn’t Take Forever”
If you’ve been apart of the From the Top family for a while, then you know that stretching is the absolute holy grail in our eyes. Stretching prevents injury in almost every form and is a sure-fire way that everyone in the class will be warm enough to handle whatever you throw at them. However, even though it is necessary to stretch at the beginning of every class, it is not necessary to stretch for a thousand years, sort to speak. If you spend a huge amount of time on stretching at the very start of the class, you won’t have time for anything else. So only take about 10 – 15 minutes to warm/stretch and during this 10 – 15 minutes, make sure you do very effective stretches, such as lunges, straddle, splits, etc., After you are positive that everyone is warm and ready to go, let’s move on to the next task.
“Try Not To Over Explain”
Have you ever been in a dance class where the teacher goes around the world and back to explain one simple detail? Yeah, let’s try not to be that teacher. By rambling and over explaining simple things throughout the class, you risk wasting valuable time that could be spent covering more class material. I will admit, I have been majorly guilty of violating this rule in the past, but once I corrected myself on it, I noticed how much time I saved and how smoothly the class was able to flow. So, whatever point you are wanting to get a across, explain it in a clear and concise manner and then simply move on. This alone will help the class move at a very fluent and healthy pace.
“Stay Time Conscious During Across The Floor and Center Work”
Across the floor is a pretty significant aspect of any dance class. However, if you wish to teach a combo towards the end of the class, you may want to keep across the floor work on a shorter time schedule. As mentioned in our blog post, “Class Is Now In Session: What To Know Before Teaching Your First Dance Class, one of our top five tips for teachers is to always keep a journal to write down your class outline. Writing out your class plan is a great way to help your class move at a steady and very productive pace. When you write out your class plan, write down about three to five across the floor combos, making sure to execute them from the right side, as well as reversing them to the left. From there, if you’d like, waste no time in moving on to center work, covering a few things there, and after which, moving on to the next thing that you have set for your students.
This is usually one of the most important points of every class and the most fun as well. Class combos are super important because they apply everything that has been learned throughout the class/class course and teaches the students how to put it in a dance. This is a part of the class that you will probably want to block off about 15 to 20 minutes for, depending on the size of the class. If you are teaching a smaller class, learning and repeating a combo will take less time. However, tip #2 is also extremely important when teaching a class combo in a short amount of time. Remember, give precise, concise and clear explanation of each move, open the floor for question as you go, answer those questions, ask if there are any more questions and then continue teaching the combo. After you have taught, rehearsed, divided dancers into separate groups and/or even film the class combo, feel free to take about 5 minutes for a short class cool down session and wah-lah! You’ve made it through another successful class!
Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope these tips can help take the pressure of time off your shoulders while teaching your next dance class. See you all next week, have a great weekend and remember…