How did I actually become a dance teacher?

It's Saturday, I'm sitting on the sofa and planning my dance lesson for tomorrow. We're going to learn a new move in the tango πŸ’ƒ. A wonderful, passionate couple's dance that tempts you to move horizontally when you really feel it 😏. Suddenly the thought occurs to me: "How on earth did I become a dance teacher?"

Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking myself this question because of a lack of talent, but rather due to the fact that I was never the greatest dancer. I didn't run off to dance school as a child or teenager or was part of a cool dance crew with regular performances, etc. I was always more the musician who plays the tune that other people move their bodies to πŸ•ΊπŸΌ. However, when I take a look at the school I am teaching in, almost all of my colleagues have been dancing hip-hop or salsa since childhood -- one of them is even part of a crew. Well, I have many years of experience in one-armed beer dancing... I guess, my career can't exactly be logically deduced from the past.

So I ask myself the question, how did it actually start? When did the immobile guy at the bar become a serious dancer?

It was all based on an idea that my girlfriend and I had: "Let's go to dance school together. It could be a nice hobby for the two of us."

Okay, here we go! A year before the corona pandemic, we started regularly attending classes at a local dance school. Disco fox, tango, waltz, and so on. All the dances you usually see in movies and on TV were on the curriculum. After a few weeks, it became a nice routine, we got to know the other course participants and enjoyed the evenings together. And then... BAAAM! Covid. Bye. After a little over a year, the lessons became more and more restrictive due to the well-known distancing rules, but we didn't want to let that stop us. But in the end, our dance school also had to close its doors for the lockdown. After a few weeks without dancing, we looked for new hobbies and, at least I, lost interest in dancing.

What a pity.

Let me fast forward. During the pandemic, we moved 5 meters away from another dance school. We walked past it almost every day until we had the idea to try it again. Just sign up and see how we like it. Nothing can go wrong, right?

Everything was a little different, there was a huge course program with countless courses at 3 locations. You could literally choose your own favorite slots and attend classes several times a week. Oh boy, that woke something up in me! In the early days, we were at the dance school almost every day, taking everything we could find. We enjoyed salsa the most, such a free and summery dance! Wow!

And then came the day that turned my entire year upside down.

Shortly before, we switched from the salsa level 1 to the salsa level 2 course and got to know a new dance teacher. She was just in her last year of training, always in a good mood and really talented. I have to briefly mention that you usually teach with an assistant so that you can demonstrate the moves better. But she currently didn't have an assistant.

At the end of the dance lesson on that day, she asked me if I would like to assist her in the future. Phew, I dunno, am I even good enough to perform something in front of paying students? She said it wouldn't be a problem as she would teach me everything. It wasn't a problem for my girlfriend either. Okay, cool... then from today on I'll probably be an assistant to a dance teacher πŸ€”.

Over the next few weeks and months I trained with her several times a week and did my best to learn all the little things that separate the average dancer from the teacher. Constantly improving and being able to dance a little better every time was my motivation to keep going. Once I learned one thing, I forgot another little thing... It was really a huge task for me to learn all the standard and latin dances and, in addition to the steps and moves, also pay attention to my posture πŸ˜†. That was quite a different level I tell you! For a long time this had nothing to do with uncontrolled beer dancing anymore.

After receiving increasingly positive feedback on my development, I asked myself whether I could become a dance teacher myself at some point in the future. I was certainly miles away from the quality that my trained colleagues demonstrated, but I wanted to test the knowledge I had learned.

First of all, I asked my teacher and mentor for advice. We talked for a long time about whether such a development would make sense for me and whether the required potential and talent was even there. Luckily, she encouraged me and put me on an improvement plan. So I was able to submit my suggestion to the management and also get confirmation from the official side. In addition to the assistance hours and my training, I also spent several hours in a set period of time with the manager of the dance school. This enabled me to acquire further knowledge and get to know other perspectives.

So it happened that I gave my first dance lesson on October 22, 2023. Was it the best hour? No idea. Have I made any mistakes? Certainly. Did everyone have fun? In any case!

In retrospect, my path in this case seems to have somehow built itself. My path to becoming a dance teacher has many curves, a few potholes, but overall it leads towards the sun.

Personally, this rather spontaneous decision to become an assistant was one of my best in recent years. Through dancing I do sports almost every day, meet new people at dance events, see the world from a completely different perspective and live in the moment of the dance class. I am happier and healthier than ever.

Music on. Now let's dance!