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Teacher Tips: Teaching Master Classes

School is out, summer is on its way and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for conventions, intensives and master classes galore! This is the time of year where dance students from all over begin to pack their bags to embark on days and even months of classes that will increase their skill set and their overall ability as a dancer. But of course, on the other side of students who are participating in the master classes, there are the teachers who are sharing their knowledge! Teaching master classes are an absolute joy to experience as a dance teacher and I’m sure there are many of you who have your summer schedules filled with upcoming master class dates! In this upcoming summer season, if you are a teacher who happens to be embarking on teaching your very first master class, first let me start out by saying that is absolutely awesome and for this great milestone, your friends here at From the Top would love to share with you a few tips to help make this new experience one to remember! Let’s get right into it!

Teacher Tip #1
“Get To Know The Level Of Your Students”

Just like every other dance class, master classes come in different difficulty levels and one of the most important things to know before creating your class curriculum is what level of students you will be teaching. Master classes are meant to grow and push students to new heights that they have never been before, and while you don’t want the class to be too easy, you also don’t want it to be too difficult either. A class that is too easy will bore the class to sleep and creating a class that is too hard can leave your students feeling defeated. However, knowing what class level you are teaching is beneficial to know up front, so this way you’ll be able to create class curriculum that is effective, productive, fitting to the class skill set and fun, with just the right amount of difficulty and push. So, for example, if the students in your master class are at an intermediate level, create a class plan that is intermediate level that also has advanced level exercises to push the class a little out of their comfort zone. If the students are advanced, create a class plan that is advanced level and includes a few pre-professional exercises to help create that perfect and fitting amount of push!

Teacher Tip #2
“Utilize Your Time To The Fullest”

One of the most important things when teaching a master class is to utilize your class slot to the fullest, not just for the sake of being time sensitive, but to create the perfect overall experience for your class. Know the amount of time that you are given and create your class outline in a way that you’ll be able to get the most out of every second! A great way to set this into practice is by writing down your class outline (warm-up, combo, across the floor, cyphers, everything) on your phone, tablet or in a notebook and refer to it as you teach. This will also prevent any rush and help your class flow at an awesome pace. So whatever time slot you are given on the schedule, be sure to get the most out of it and share with your pupils as much knowledge as you can in your given amount of time.

Teacher Tip #3
“Don’t Be Afraid To Share”

Our third and final tip to keep in mind when teaching your first master class is to not be afraid to share you knowledge. The word “master class” can be a bit intimidating and pressurising when you’re doing this for the first time, but in all honesty, they are just like every other class that you have ever taught. Don’t be nervous and don’t put pressure on yourself to be the greatest teacher the world has ever seen, because if you ask me, you already are! Just go into this class, have fun and be excited to share your knowledge with those who are there to learn. The reason your students are there in the first place is because they want to experience the dance insight that you have to offer. In addition to fulfilling your duties as a teacher, never forget to make a connection with your students. Some of my fondest dance memories have been made in master classes and I know so many dancers that can say the same. Master classes are much more than just a class for your students, it’s a new opportunity to learn and being able to make a connection with your teachers is something dancer never forgets. So don’t be afraid to let your guard down a little, relax, be open and inviting. It yields the most rewarding feeling a teacher could ever have!

Thanks so much for stopping by From the Top this afternoon. I wish you all the best of luck as you tackle a brand new experience in your dance teacher journey! Have a great weekend and remember…

Keep dancing!

-Lexi

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