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My Dance-Related Unpopular Opinions – Part 1

For the first article of 2022, I thought I would spill some tea and share some of my unpopular opinions about dance. You might not agree with all of these but I assure you I do not mean to offend anybody but to offer a different perspective.

1# Dance Teachers Should Also Teach, Not Only Demonstrate

I have been to multiple classes where the instructors show us the moves, but don’t truly teach. By teaching, I mean using specific techniques to make something more easily understandable and setting students up for success. A very famous heels instructor prided himself in that – he said students need to do the work and figure it out themselves; he is not there to tell them what to do. My question is, what exactly am I paying for, to be in your radiant presence?? If I wanted to see the moves and figure it out myself, I would have simply downloaded one of your videos, mirrored it, and played it in slow motion – all for free at home.

2# If Women Need to Perform Half-Naked, so Should Men

I have seen so many dance performances where women are essentially dressed in swimsuits, whereas the guys are wearing long-sleeve shirts and full-length pants. (See Warsaw Salsa Festival photos for example). It has pretty much become the norm. I don’t know about you but it doesn’t seem fair to me – why do women have to be half-naked? Is it a remnant of past times where women were dancing to entertain men? Is it somehow more comfortable to perform when you are not wearing a lot of clothes? Guys should, at least out of solidarity, have the same amount of coverage as women.

3# Dance Teachers Should Speak the Most Common Language in the Class

When I was in Lisbon for 3 weeks in 2018, I visited some dance studios for classes. I never expected local dance instructors to change from Portuguese to English just because I was there, and they didn’t. At this one samba de gafieira group, almost half of the students were from abroad, but the class was still taught in Portuguese. Likewise, all classes I have taken in Spain have been in Spanish. However here in Estonia, even when ONE person is attending who doesn’t speak Estonian, the whole class is automatically switched to English. Please, Estonians, we can do better. Could we start by raising the limit to three foreigners, perhaps?

4# If You Don’t Like the Music, Don’t Learn the Dance

I find that so strange – if you don’t like bachata/salsa/etc music, why would you want to learn the dance? Isn’t music the primary reason we dance, where every move originates from? You won’t be able to keep dancing for very long if you are learning it only to impress other people, since you are not genuinely enjoying it. Also, “feeling the music” is an important part of dancing well and if you lack in that area, your progress will get stuck. Lastly, I don’t think I have to mention it but starting social dance classes just to flirt with women/men is just nasty.

These were some of my perhaps more controversial opinions related to dance, inspired by both social dance and solo dance communities. Does anyone else agree with any of these or am I the only one? Let me know!

Check out part 2 for more opinions, follow me on instagram @jettence and subscribe to the blog by scrolling down to the footer!

3 thoughts on “My Dance-Related Unpopular Opinions – Part 1”

  1. I agree with most. I didn’t know about the language thing but it’s a good point.
    About the dance outfits, I think there are so many ways to make women look gorgeous in dance clothing, I have not got a clue why strip down to almost nothing and have the audience holding their breath hoping they won’t see a wardrobe malfunction. It’s the same issue that’s in warrior fiction with female armor, it has no business being so revealing.

  2. I must say, I was performing Afro-Cuban more naked than any girl at festivals ever: basically, shorts only, barefoot 🙂 When I see typical costumes, it looks like men usually show chests, and girls bellies and legs. I’m ok with fewer clothes for men; I think it’s more comfortable if you sweat a lot!

    The language that does make the most sense in the class is the language that is understood by the biggest number of people. If everybody understands English, but some people don’t understand Estonian, it does make sense to use English.

    But if some people don’t understand Estonian, and some don’t understand English, then you can pick a local language and say “sorry” to foreigners or speak the most important information in both languages. Considering how little dance teachers earn, I guess saying “sorry” to some students is not the best option.

    With the music, for me, was the opposite. I started to dance bachata, and I started to like music later. I know I’m not the only one! But in the end, yes — you need to like the music to dance well.

    Good read, thanks!

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