First of all, even if it seems like a silly question to ask, we have to ask ourselves why does learning how to dance have to be fun?
A lot of the time, teachers want to teach as much as possible, giving lots of information to their students without noticing that a good part of it won’t do any good.
Think of eating for example, when you are hungry you have a nice dish and it feels delicious, that is until you are full and then you stop.
Think of information as food, and instead of giving a lot of boring information, focus on giving just enough tasty information so that it is both fun and pleasant
Help Your Students Express Themselves
Dancing is a form of art but more importantly it is a way to express yourself, and “letting go” is definitely a very important part of learning how to dance.
As a teacher, your job is to make sense of all the boring parts of dancing and make your students understand them.
The thing is that it’s a very human thing to have fun dancing, because of this, going against that feeling can be a very negative thing for the learning process.
One of the first hurdles that you will encounter while trying to make this an easy thing to do, is that many of your students may be too shy.
This is a very common thing in stage arts such as music, dancing or acting. However the more they are able to confront their insecurities, the more fun they’ll have.
Besides, while many believe that dance students always dance outside their lessons, this is not always the case, so as teachers, this sort of consistent wish to dance has to be encouraged.
Feeling of Accomplishment
It may not be directly related to having fun but the sense of accomplishment is such a great feeling that pushes you towards getting better and better.
This eventually leads to your students having more fun at learning because they want to feel that sense of accomplishment which will be encouraged by you, their teacher.
There are many ways to encourage this feeling, starting with going slow.
The idea is not to make it seem like they are very far from learning how to do certain combinations and moves, it is to make them feel like they are making progress.
With baby steps, students will feel a lot more confident about letting loose because they feel like they know something, from there it’s just a matter of maintaining that excitement by understanding the value of a student’s interpretations and unique ways of expressing themselves.
Healthy Fun Environment
Lessons will go a lot more smoothly if your students get along, not only will you avoid any sort of trouble between them, but it will be a lot easier to have fun in a class environment.
An easy way to achieve this is to have open floor dancing, without leaving a single student out of the activity.
This way dancing becomes pure fun and a good way to build friendships between your students.
This also opens up various possibilities and ideas to make it more interesting but the main focus would be to help everyone loosen up, dance with each other and make a connection through dancing.
Silly (Controlled) Fun
Always remember that even if sometimes fun takes over your students, the goal is learning, so it’s a matter of maintaining a good balance between the fun parts and the most demanding parts.
Dance is art. When students feel the value of what they do, when they dance with others and feel the joy of it, when they dance for others and feel the joy of it, they nurture themselves and spread light out into the world. Social dance is the backbone of our art form, people enjoying themselves together, feeling good about themselves and each other.
Learn, dance, and remember to always have fun.