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Instructors versus YouTube

One of my biggest competitors over the last few years in the Dance industry has not been other studios or even other instructors, it has been YouTube. With internet connectivity at an all-time high, more and more people are looking to our old friend YouTube in order to learn how to dance.

YouTube is a wonderful tool and has many good resources for learning to dance including instructional videos from around the world for a variety of dances, step by step guides to movements, styling and everything in between.

So why would anyone bother coming to a studio and learning from an instructor?

Glad you asked.

Whilst the breadth of knowledge that YouTube provides is vast, details can sometimes be hard to extract. You can't ask a video “sorry, what did you mean by that?” or “what should I be feeling?” or even “is this right?” It's a very one dimensional conversation and you're limited by the content of any given video.

YouTube is now the home of millions of dance videos, each with their own syllabus of steps, style of teaching and relative dance style and YouTube has no real way of distinguishing between each of these aside from grouping videos based on naming and tagging content. There are also different ‘types’ of dancing: Lead and Follow, Dancesport, New Vogue/Sequence Dancing which all have inherent and very different characteristics. YouTube won't be able to ascertain which style you WANT to learn or which style you OUGHT to learn.

Finally, YouTube won't necessarily be able to teach you AND someone else (like your partner for instance) as every has different learning styles. While you may resonate with a video and understand its teachings, your partner may find it confusing and difficult to understand, in which case YOU will have to be the one to translate and become the ‘teacher’. Ever tried to teach your partner something that you've only just learned yourself? It's not easy.

On top of all of this is time. In order for YouTube to teach you how to dance, you need to put time aside to find the correct video, learn the movements based on whatever teaching style the video possesses, dance the movements, and then spend the rest of the time wondering if what you did was actually correct.

Now don't get me wrong, as a visual aid YouTube can be fantastic for steps that you have yet to complete so you can gain some insight to the overall aesthetic or movement/timing structure, however in the grand scheme of things, nothing will beat coming into a studio and learning from an instructor.

We are capable of dealing with all learning types, all heights, all ages, all backgrounds. We can be asked questions and ask questions in return. We can explain feelings, we can lead movements, we can mirror or shadow you in real time. We work with a syllabus that has been designed to complement itself and provide logical step progression, which also brings a lot of consistency to the table. We use logic and reasoning, we can grasp concepts like “I want to look like x,y,z” or “can we do something like this…?”

And we have space. Our dance space is bigger than yours, not to brag or anything.

So whatever reason you have for wanting to dance, your wedding, fitness, fun, socialising, a lifelong dream, by all means, use YouTube as an aid, but come and see us first.

“Never trust a handyman to lay the foundation of your house.”

Sincerely, on behalf of Professional Dance Teachers everywhere,

James
Dance Generation Dance Studios
Adelaide, South Australia

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Posted 16/10/2014 / Tags:


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