One of my favorite parts of attending workshops such as this weekend’s Swingin at the Crossroads is listening to other instructors – hearing how they teach, the things they say, etc. It’s nice confirmation to hear out of town instructors saying the same things I say. But it’s especially nice to hear them say largely the same things I say when I’m teaching, but phrase them differently.
My favorite example from this weekend is Alison answering a student question about how the follower knows whether or not to put her hand on the leader’s shoulder during any given move. Alison responded that she never assumes a basic step, she notices the leader asking her to move forward, and then when she notices his hand has connected with her back, then her hand is the last thing to connect with his arm. The last thing.
This is a concept I also convey to our classes, but I don’t phrase it nearly as succinctly nor as clearly. I usually dance (pardon the pun) around the concept a bit, talking about how I can do the dance without using my left arm at all, that I am not holding or grabbing onto the leader, etc. Then hearing Alison say the same thing but using about 1/4 of the words… well, that’s my strange idea of a good time!