Correction: Insult or Compliment?

“If you do not hear the advice,  corrections and words of your guide, it makes no difference how great the teacher.  You will never dance.”  - Author Unknown

        Dance is a bit of an enigma:  it is taught in a class setting and, yet, it is an individual sport.  Each person learns differently and every movement needs to be adapted to accommodate each individual body.
            Dancers learn the combinations, run through them in their heads and execute them as a class.  The teacher will quite often give group corrections, but because of the individuality of dance, it is also necessary to give individual corrections.  Today’s dance students often express feelings of defeat and discouragement when a teacher corrects them, yet they should be feeling quite the opposite way.
        Dance students need to realize that it is a very high compliment to be corrected.  A correction means that a teacher has noticed you, has seen potential in you and is willing to take the time to help you improve your dancing.
            Often students are asked to demonstrate a combination, and the teacher will make corrections as classmates look on.  The dance teacher has no other way to concretely describe the correct way to execute an exercise than to use a student as a visual aid.  Corrections in dance class are necessary and are never meant to humiliate students or injure self-esteem.  No teacher who loves his or her work and students would have that as a goal.
            A correction should instead make the student proud that he or she has attracted the teacher’s attention and is worthy of the time it takes to give a correction.  Those who are asked to demonstrate should be excited.  Not only have they been chosen to assist the teacher in conveying the correction, they have also been given the opportunity to try the correction while having the teacher’s full attention.
            Corrections should be taken to heart, they should be cherished as bits of wisdom that can improve technique, and they should always be received with a gracious smile and a sincere “Thank you.”