This post is inspired by Asa Heedman post and Sam’s subsequent blog post. My response was inspired by what Sam wrote: “So when i read that some teachers charge for social dancing, i ask myself, “what experiences have led them to this action?”” Since no one has really cared to ask why, here are some examples from my life as a traveling instructor.
Here are situations I’ve been in that would make me add a social dancing payment element:
– Recent grade 1 ankle sprain where I taught 4-5 hours of lindy hop & blues and was teaching aerials the next day.
– Balboa dance featuring non-swing music
– Dance night featuring bad swing remixes, electroswing, and too much fast music after teaching 4-5 hours
– Smoking inside the dance venues
– Not a native speaker and shy combined with the need for downtime after giving so much in earlier classes
– Going straight from teaching to walking around forever for food and then straight to the dance
One organizer said they like me as a teacher but would never hire me since I don’t dance enough with the students. This was after teaching all day, wandering around for food, in a country where I barely speak with the language, where students would hardly engage me, where I didn’t get downtime before the dance and had to teach again the next day.
Another organizer inserted a social dancing clause into one of our contracts. I can’t find it the original contract, but I knew the organizer and they did it in a nice way with reasonable expectations.
Other organizers have thought I don’t social dance enough. At this point, I’ve been swing dancing for 20 years. I no longer have the boundless enthusiasm nor the insatiable lust to dance that others do. I admire those people and have no idea how they do it.
I still enjoy dancing and love music that inspires me. It just gets especially exhausting when I have to find inspiration deep inside me to share with my partner and the music when I just did this for 5 hours.
That is why I’ve used these difficult experiences to construct a contract that I like that takes care of me and my teaching partner. Happy teacher = great event = rewarded students.