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21 November 2012 @ 10:54 pm
tap class  
I've been taking a tap class at Dance Ireland.

It makes me want to teach a tap class.

Now, let me make this clear: I had a *very* good tap teacher when I was a kid. It is *extremely* difficult for anybody to live up to Jean McMaster. I know that. I am willing to make allowances.

The first few weeks I was pretty happy with the class, but in large part because I already know the moves and could end-route around the bizarre choices this teacher made in teaching some of them. Mom (she's been taking it too) and I enjoyed discussing things we'd have done differently.

But tonight I'm pissed. The teacher has been doing this thing all along where she has us practice a step and then when we put it to music, she does it twice as fast as we've been practicing. Often she's just showing off, like "Look how much better I am than you are!" but tonight she did that with a considerably more difficult combination and expected us to do it too, without even once having us do a dry run at it at that speed without music. OF COURSE NOBODY GOT IT. Not even me, and I'm a good tap dancer with years of practice, albeit long out of practice practice.

I called her on it. I said, "That was twice as fast as you've been having us do it." She said, "Oooh, we're having open rebellion!" (Another woman had asked earlier if we could break something down in time with the music instead of doing a more complicated version of the step.) Then she said it was important to do it fast because your brain gets in the way otherwise. Which is *true*, it's absolutely true in tap, but you have to be competent enough at the step, and we weren't, to start speeding it up.

It, I, just *arghgghlghg*. There are SO MANY problems. I mean, I've accepted that nobody who isn't Master Dance trained is ever going to start people off on their left foot because the left is almost everyone's weaker side, even though it's SMART. I have *not* accepted that apparently all other teachers are inclined to give you 234523407 practice attempts on the right and like 7 on the left, which is aggravating and stupid and argh, but it appears to be the way it goes for the vast majority of dance teachers.

It's that she's not doing the basics. She teaches complicated steps without doing the foundation. She doesn't count well. She doesn't keep time well. She does things wrong, then scolds the class for doing them the way she's doing them. Seriously, tonight she did a step out of rhythm, so badly out of rhythm that I could not do what she was doing. Then she stopped, told us we were doing it wrong, and then did it correctly. I could do the step when she did it rhythmically, but holy fuck, it was not the *class* who was doing it wrong. She plays the music too loudly and doesn't call out the steps, and then does shit like the above where she's not doing it in time, either.

It's really frustrating to me, because I really, really want to take a decent tap class. I recognize I'm on the wrong side of the pond for it, but so far the two classes I've taken, I could do a far better job of teaching them than the teachers have done. But it's a little hard to imagine taking my pudgy self in to Dance Ireland and saying "Hire me to teach a tap class," and not having them laugh at me. And I want to *take* one, of course, not teach one, although it would be more fun to teach one than be frustrated by the teachers, so :p
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
mevennenmevennen on November 21st, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Aaargh! This sort of thing drives me mad.
kit: xmen_killyouwithmybrainmizkit on November 21st, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)

Seriously. So frustrated. Arglghghl.
TuftEars: Questioningtuftears on November 21st, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
Try to find another teacher?
kitmizkit on November 21st, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
There are vanishingly few here. I probably have more tap experience than 99.9% of Ireland's population.
TuftEars: Goofytuftears on November 22nd, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
There's only one solution. *nod*

Dance-off! Winner teaches the class.
Flitterbyflit on November 22nd, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Arrrgh fist of death time! :)
Geek of Weird Shit: sensualgows on November 22nd, 2012 02:42 am (UTC)
"Arghgghlghg" is right! How does a dance teacher not understand how proprioception works?

it's a little hard to imagine taking my pudgy self in to Dance Ireland and saying "Hire me to teach a tap class," and not having them laugh at me.

So use this class to dust off your rusty skills, audition, and blow 'em away.

And I want to *take* one, of course, not teach one, although it would be more fun to teach one than be frustrated by the teachers, so :p

Knowing you, I suspect that your desire to take a class has less to do with "learning new skills" as "getting back in the game, being more active, and meeting new people" . . . all of which could be accomplished via teaching.

I'm jus' sayin'.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on November 22nd, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
I find bellydance teachers also often give short shrift to practicing left sides. *sigh* Or they don't actually understand the muscle groups involved.

good luck!
tamagotamago on November 22nd, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah. This too. I remember when a whole bunch of people got into belly dance a few years ago, and I could NOT bear the local classes because I had taken middle eastern dance back in the day from someone who was really good and dedicated who made us really work hard and the current teachers were all... very meh. Frustratingly poor at communicating things that I, total amateur and completely rusty, could have said/shown better and more easily.

I feel your pain. I ended up quitting and taking up English Country Dance instead.