AP-D How to Be A Teaching Buddy (A Crash Course)
- The lesson plans are just suggestions, take it or leave it. The important thing is finding a good connection, so feel free to improvise a bit or do whatever feels supportive for both.
- Most beginners are very anxious about taking up “too much” of your time. When they are rushing it is harder to learn. Help them relax with by moving and talking slowly, and using phrases like this:
“there is absolutely no rush”
“we have all the time in the world”
“take all the time you need to work it out”
“I’m in no hurry”
- Many beginners feel a little uncomfortable when standing directly facing someone. Stand a little catty-corner or to the side to defuse the tension.
- When you’re showing something new, slow it down really, really, really slow so that the person can see what is going on.
- Mini friendly “quizzes” where you ask the learner to say or do something help them retain. “What part of the step am I doing now?” “What do we call this embrace?” Etc.
- Help them by telling them clearly what to do. Tell them which leg you are on. Tell them which leg they should move. Tell them where to put it. For instance: “Okay, you’re on your right leg. Stretch your left leg out sideways.” Telling them what to do while you are facing them takes practice, because you have to remember which is THEIR left/right!
- Things work better when the dancer focuses on their partner’s body. But, most beginners are too worried about themselves and tend to focus on their own body or thoughts. Ask them questions that focus their attention on YOUR body:
“where am I?”
“which of my legs is free?”
“how can you get on the same side as me?”
“which leg am I on?”
“how did our distance change?”
- Show things in practice hold first. Then practice embrace. Then tango embrace.
- The leading partner needs to know the follower’s part before they can lead it.
- Re-read the mission and teaching notes before you help a student. Think about how this mission has helped YOU personally, what you think is important about it and let them know that.
- At the end, encourage them to continue. You can say, “Okay, now find someone to practice with.” or “See you next week?”
Fixes? Questions? Feedback?
If you have suggestions for improving this mission, please submit an issue on GitHub and include the mission number. For anything else incluing new mission ideas, sharing your experience, or your interest in learning to teach this manual, get in touch via email.
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