Bob Urbon was gracious enough to provide me with his thoughts for my article “First Steps: Find the Best Dance Teacher for You”. Here is an uncensored version of his contribution.
In my opinion, a good dance teacher is one that has a high degree of knowledge and is able to communicate that knowledge easily to students.
The best teachers love what they do and really care about their students and their progress, regardless of their level of dance. They make the learning experience enjoyable even though it may consist of a lot of hard work of the students and themselves.
Rather than spending a lot of time trying to sell more lessons, a good teacher will create in the student a degree of excitement, a desire to improve and continue taking lessons.
While constructive criticism is good, the student must also feel good about their successes. The teacher needs to be aware of the students’ abilities and maintain a positive environment.
I don’t think there is much difference in these requirements between ballroom and other forms of dance.
As far as finding a good teacher, one needs to contact different teachers, studios and schools and perhaps try out different instructors to see if the fit is good. personalities do come into play between students and teachers and not all will necessarily work well with one another.
Certainly in this day and age, the internet is probably the best source for information about dance instruction. Another good idea of course would be to seek out others that might have taken lessons and ask about their instructors.
Bob Urbon started teaching in 1962 while working as an electrical contractor. He established ballroomchicago.com as a vehicle to promote the joy of ballroom dance by providing easy access to information on where to take class or lessons.
Related Chicago Dance Gazette Articles:
First Steps: Find the Best Dance Teacher for You
Spotlight On: Bob and Penny Urbon, BallroomChicago.com
Select list of dance instruction in Chicago
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