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Thread: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    A big gulf, from my point of view. IMO it seems silly to say the quality was equally low.
    In a large scale class, you can only learn a routine. You actually need to be quite experienced to get value from a large class - because if you have experience you can break the routine down into components whilst learning it, and start to think about how you can use those components in the dancing.

    Whereas in a smaller-scale class, the teacher should be doing such analysis for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    But I do notice a tendency for people who do private lessons to dismiss anything else.
    Well, that's equally silly of course.

    The most effective learning process is a blend of group classes, practice sessions, private lessons, and social dancing. Doing nothing but privates is not effective. I suspect anyone who eulogises private lessons as The One True Way is simply the sort of person who always looks fo a magic bullet.

    Although I will say that, as time goes on, the most effective "blend" changes, and that you tend to take relatively more privates and relatively less group classes. Again, it's a matter of proportion. The dancers who progress the most seem to be the ones who do all of these, especially practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Anton and Erin are famous. That isn't any guarantee of being good teachers.
    I thought they were OK, but what do I know. It doesn't matter - it's an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    So what is the critical size. At around the 40 people mark I haven't noticed much benefit over a far larger class.
    I'd say anything over 30 myself - yes, at that point whether it's 40 or 400 doesn't matter much. For me, the ideal size for a 2-hour class is about 15-20. It gives people enough variety of partners to keep things interesting, but allows the teacher to spend some time on each individual. But Your Mileage May Vary on that one.

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    A poor teacher with 20 students will do much, much better than a genius teacher with 100 students.
    It depends on your experience, but in mine, I always go for the great teacher who has a full class over the 'ok' one who has a tiny one.

    Its true, I do prefer it when the great teacher has less students, and if there simply isn't enough space to move then even the great teacher's class can be a waste of time. And who you consider 'great' depends on your goals and ability, so it changes with time, but class size is only a consideration for me when comparing teachers that I rate equally.

    In general, I think great dancers are great partly because of their passion, partly their dedication, but indespensible is their understanding of the dance, which you simply will never get from a poor teacher. (and if you do, then they are not as poor as you thought. Although they may still have a tiny one.)

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    In a large scale class, ... if you have experience you can break the routine down into components whilst learning it,
    Whereas in a smaller-scale class, the teacher should be doing such analysis for you.
    Why can't a teacher do that in a big class?

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    Why can't a teacher do that in a big class?
    I'm sure a genius teacher such as yourself could

    But in my experience, small-scale classes simply seem to be more technique-focussed than larger ones. In general, large ones seem to be much more about the routine. Maybe it's a function of teaching in the round vs. teaching on a stage?

    Also, as DT says, smaller classes allow interaction.

    A good teacher can put technique tips in a large class, of course - Marc and Rachel do this all the time. But size, ahem, matters.

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    [QUOTE=David Bailey;584676]. But size, ahem, matters./QUOTE]

    We agree on that, we just disagree how much it matters, and why. You've probably been to very different classes from me, but the good teachers I have seen teach much the same with 40 or 100 people. The technical information they give is the same. The class size only changes how likely individual interaction is, which I agree does matter. But like I've been saying (what the hell, good teaching is partly repetition) above a certain number, individual attention is non-existent, so size no longer matters as long as everyone can see, hear, and have room to practise.

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    IBut in my experience, small-scale classes simply seem to be more technique-focussed than larger ones. In general, large ones seem to be much more about the routine. Maybe it's a function of teaching in the round vs. teaching on a stage?
    I've been to workshops of around 100 people, which were extremely technique-focussed, and they worked very well indeed. They were mostly taught in a large circle with the teachers in the centre. I admit I'd have preferred the classes to be smaller, and I'm sure the teachers had to work a little harder with more people... but as a punter, I don't think my learning was much harmed by the class size, except on those occasions where the room was too crowded (different problem)

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    Registered User frodo's Avatar
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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Trouble View Post
    .
    In one class in particular (H & Kim's), H danced with every follower in the room several times. He did this by including himself on the rotation and as the circle of people was quite small everyone could see what he was doing without him having to be on a stage 50 feet away.
    Fair enough being able to see the stage is important (but well placed video screens at a reasonable venue will handle that (a possibly give different angles at once).

    I don't think leaders get as much benefit from a teacher follower in rotation (and they're relatively rare anyway).

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    I don't think leaders get as much benefit from a teacher follower in rotation (and they're relatively rare anyway).
    Couldn't disagree more - a teacher follower in the rotation can not only give feedback to the individual, she can also pick up common leading issues and relay them to the whole class - most beneficial to all!!

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    Senior Member rubyred's Avatar
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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    It depends on your experience, but in mine, I always go for the great teacher who has a full class over the 'ok' one who has a tiny one.

    Its true, I do prefer it when the great teacher has less students, and if there simply isn't enough space to move then even the great teacher's class can be a waste of time. And who you consider 'great' depends on your goals and ability, so it changes with time, but class size is only a consideration for me when comparing teachers that I rate equally.
    I can relate this to my experience of being taught by Ricardo and Jenny at Southport. Last October at Southport they taught classes to a fully packed main room which included barridas and volcadas. They broke each part of the figure down and I felt that that the leaders were absorbing what they were taught. It was probably a taster for some, but I did appreciate the way that they were able to fuse the technical stuff in a humourous and friendly manner which took a lot of the 'Oh My God what the ' I can't do this' feeling out of the lesson and made it fun.
    Similary I have had ballroom lessons with Vincent and Flavia at local to me ballroom dance schools and also at Jive Addiction events and they have proved to be very successful in the way they can get the technical side across with humour and just plain speaking.
    For me the teachers are the key and not the size of the class.
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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Fair enough being able to see the stage is important (but well placed video screens at a reasonable venue will handle that (a possibly give different angles at once).
    I think there's a different feel to a stage-based teacher than there is to a teacher who's on the same level to you (in the round). If they're physically closer to you, it seems easier to inteeract with them; I also think it's easier for them to spot and problems people are having.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    I don't think leaders get as much benefit from a teacher follower in rotation.
    Why not?

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Why not?
    A leader can essentially alter what they do to gather information. They can try things.

    A follower is much more reliant on what they're given by the leader.

    Fault finding is so much easier if you can tweak stuff.


    But in a sense it is a side issue, if the situation is a rare one.

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    A leader can essentially alter what they do to gather information. They can try things.

    A follower is much more reliant on what they're given by the leader.
    On the other hand, a good enough / teacher follower can simply "play dumb" and refuse to do the move unless it's led correctly. Which should give most leads a clear if sharp lesson that they should be leading.

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    A leader can essentially alter what they do to gather information. They can try things.

    A follower is much more reliant on what they're given by the leader.

    Fault finding is so much easier if you can tweak stuff.
    I'm afraid you've lost me here - can you explain that a little further?

    From personal experience, having been in a few technique-heavy classes where a teaching follower has joined in the rotation, their feedback has - almost every time - been absolutely wonderful - they've been able to give me instant feedback that has made a significant and positive change to my dancing.

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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    I'm afraid you've lost me here
    No way... Frodo loose someone?... never!

    Only jokin'
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    Re: Metropolis - The Aftermath Jan 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    A follower is much more reliant on what they're given by the leader.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    On the other hand, a good enough / teacher follower can simply "play dumb" and refuse to do the move unless it's led correctly. Which should give most leads a clear if sharp lesson that they should be leading.
    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    From personal experience, having been in a few technique-heavy classes where a teaching follower has joined in the rotation, their feedback has - almost every time - been absolutely wonderful - they've been able to give me instant feedback that has made a significant and positive change to my dancing.

    Indeed, when I've found myself in a class running through moves with a teacher-follower or one of the more experienced followers; yes, they only have what I give them to work with, but if I'm doing it wrong or what I'm doing could be improved, they're perfectly positioned to help me; Whereas a less experienced follower might back-lead me or let it go wrong and stare at me blankly (or more likely give me the 'you useless tw4t' glare).

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