There is a constant struggle with drop-in classes to keep the regular students learning and entertained while also making sure the new people learn the basics and do not feel overwhelmed. New students come to club every week, which is truly wonderful, and I hope I am doing a good job at structuring the lessons for them. After the live band dance we got another handful of new students so I spent most of class reviewing lindy hop basics. For those who already knew these steps, I added a good way to transition from 6-count to 8-count (a send out).
I am always impressed at how quickly new students pick up the steps that some students have already been working on for several weeks. I applaud their efforts and enthusiasm for the dance and trying something new.
The club is toying with the idea of having two simultaneous lessons during the first hour beginning next quarter. The room we held the live band dance in has a divider which means the beginner lesson could happen at the same time as the intermediate lesson. This would allow time during the second hour for either social dancing or a joint lesson like the big apple, shim sham, etc.
The disadvantage of this is that there would be no intermediate “ringers” in the first class to help the new students learn. I have always liked this aspect of club even though most beginner lessons do not have it. However, one good thing about the switch to simultaneous lessons is that it would give some of the more experienced dancers a chance to teach the beginners. Teaching can help your dancing tremendously and it would be great to give some of the students that opportunity.
For the second hour of week six Colin and I taught what I called “moves with unusual timing.” Looking back at it, it was actually variations on basic turns with unusual timing. We prepared four moves but only taught two. The reason for this, as I told the students, is that I would rather them get two moves down really well than only sort of be able to do four. The other two will be taught at a later time.