Country Dancing

Thoughts In The New Year

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Over the past several months I had this article in my mind; however, I put it on the ‘back burner’ until I was ready to bare my opinions to you. What better time than expressing my thoughts in the New Year?

Honestly, I have been struggling with frustration over teaching line dance and all the drama that goes along with it. Don’t get me wrong, I feel I was put on this earth to teach dance and I usually love to do it. Here I’ll address different groups of people with the hope that if you see yourself in my article, you will reply in the comment section below with your feedback.

First, a shout out to all the other line dance teachers; only you know how much time and effort we put into finding venues to teach in and learning new dances with the hope that our students will enjoy them. In addition, there’s email and social media communication to stay in touch with our students and answer any questions or keep them informed of classes and workshops. I would like to know if you have any tips to deal with all the personalities that you have to somehow bring together to conduct a harmonious environment?

Second, my message to line dance choreographers is two-fold: I want to thank you for all the interesting dances you choreograph, from ultra-beginner to advanced. I also want to ask how your process works to come up with unique step combinations that propel your dance to stand out amongst all the others?

Third, and most importantly, I need to speak to the line dance students out there, whether you take my class now, in the past, or have never been my student but attend class elsewhere. Please be patient with your instructor and other dancers in your class. Your teacher is trying his/her best to keep everyone happy and engaged to continue to come back. We were all beginners once, and a little compassion goes a long way to make someone feel welcome in a new class.

If you stopped attending my class, I need to know why so I can fix the issue if possible. I’m a line dance teacher, not a mind reader. That also applies if you’re taking class and you have a question or problem; I can’t help you unless I know you’re struggling. Believe me, you aren’t the only one who would benefit from another 8-count review of the previous step combination. Or for that matter, a complete review of a dance we haven’t done recently. Please speak up!!

In conclusion, thanks to all the readers out there for your continued support of my articles; I appreciate having this forum to discuss country line dancing with all its trials and tribulations, along with the ‘little rays of light’ when someone writes a personal note to thank me for my patience. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio and at the Cortland Ohio SCOPE Center on Fridays.

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4 Comments

  1. Dee Blansett

    January 9, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Great article!

    With my classes I try to keep the mood fun and friendly and not too series. I work hard at teaching the dances but don’t worry about perfection, just that they are comfortable and have learned the steps I taught them.

    Most people just want a night out having some fun and don’t want to work hard at line dancing. Trying to keep the class not so series allows the people to have fun! When they are relaxed an just having fun, they tolerate different personalities better.

    When choreographing dances, I listen to the song over and over. I chart it out and just come up with steps that feel good to me. No magic formula.

    • Dori

      January 11, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Dee,

      Thanks for the compliment and your feedback! I’ve taken Dee’s lesson at Jewels Dance Hall in Austinburg, OH. She teaches at other locations too; for anyone who’s interested in Dee’s classes, visit her website for schedule: http://www.udancers.com

  2. Sandy Goodman

    January 11, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    I feel your frustration. It is not always easy to deal with different personalities, and you’re right none of us can read minds!! I try to ask my students if they enjoyed the dance that I just taught them & hope they give me an honest answer. I try to gauge a dance by the over all acceptance or non acceptance and go from there. Why go over a dance if no one seems to like it after a couple times around. All classes different & some are more enjoyable for the teacher than others. Thankfully the classes I have now are great, but that’s not always the case….we’ve all had difficult classes/students at one time or another. I just try to figure out what to do different in those situations. (Not always easy to figure out what to do!!) I personally think that you are a great teacher, very patient & willing to get everyone to have fun while dancing. As far a choreography, I have to like a song first, then count it out to see how it fits ( any tags, restarts etc.)and if I think it would work for most people, I try to fit some steps to match the music. If it feels good to me, I ask a couple of my teacher friends to look at it & give me their opinion. If they like it, I go with it.

    • Dori

      January 14, 2020 at 11:36 am

      Sandy,

      Thanks for the sweet compliment, feedback, and suggestions! I personally haven’t been able to attend one of Sandy’s classes; however I’ve taught and will continue to teach dances she has choreographed! Check out her website: http://sgoody.com/

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