Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Advice: How to Teach Adults

Thinking of building an adult dance program at your studio? Here's a fantastic article from Dance Teacher Magazine called "Feature: Night School" with advice on how to get started, attract adults, and teach them. It's fairly long, so here are some highlights:
  • The Joffrey Ballet School attributes their 150% growth in the adult program to the weeklong seminars and intensive dance workshops they added to their calendar for adults. 
  • Most adult classes are between 6:30 and 9:00 p.m. 
  • Teachers are vital to an adult program's success, as adults are drawn to classes in which they love the personality of the teacher and connect with him or her. Connecting with each student on an individual level also keeps their interest high. 
  • Teachers should be highly aware of how an adult feels in class. It is challenging for an adult to try something new, or come back to ballet after a long time. Make sure your corrections are positive and constructive so they don't feel it's personal criticism. 
  • Safety is of utmost important as adult bodies are much more limited than that of children. Do not push them beyond what they can do or handle. This includes strengthening the core and including exercises that are gentle on the joints like the knees and hips, and take a longer time to warm up.

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