Workshops.... What's the big deal?

So you/your child goes to a class every week. They love their teacher and the style of dance and they are progressing well. So what is the point in paying for an extra class over the holidays or a two hour workshop with a different teacher? I’m about to tell you……

Firstly, workshops allow teachers to spend more time with their class members as class sizes are usually smaller and they are longer in length giving the teacher more time to work with students. In a workshop it gives the teacher the opportunity to demonstrate more challenging choreography as they have more time to explain and help students who are struggling.  Therefore dancers have the opportunity to learn something that may never be covered in class at their level. It could also give them a head start on choreography or steps that will be taught in a future class of theirs.

 Curtis has a packed out breakin' workshop for charity

Curtis has a packed out breakin' workshop for charity

At Sylk we try to get in teachers from outside our staff who are either highly recommended or are professional dancers/choreographers. Again this gives dancers the chance to not only learn from someone new but also from someone who has experience with auditioning, performing and competitions. There is also the opportunity as with in any workshop to ask more questions and find out more about how the teacher got to the level they are at as a dancer now. Outside teachers often bring something new to a class such as a real focus on technique or they may be more strict and really drill a routine. It gives us as regular teachers the chance to see how much our dancers can be pushed as well as the dancers challenging themselves. There is often the need to impress in an outsiders class so everyone usually puts that little bit extra in to the class! Everyone wants to be top of the class don’t they?!!

 

 A trip to Manchester to learn from one of Usher's backing dancers!

A trip to Manchester to learn from one of Usher's backing dancers!

Finally, I want to be clear that my passion for workshops doesn’t just promote what we do at Sylk. I try to get inspiring teachers from different backgrounds who teach a variety of styles so we can offer our students the best. However I would encourage any of our dancers to take workshops all over, no matter what dance school or brand it is, it doesn’t matter! It’s the learning that counts not where its coming from. I am a believer in creating fantastic dancers, giving children confidence and opportunities to progress. If another teacher somewhere else can help me with that goal than fantastic!

Get out there and find a workshop now! Get inspired, try something new. Keep an eye out for our Sylk Summer workshops which are listed in the newsletter and soon on the FB page  :)

 

Workshops allow dancers to take a class from a teacher that doesn’t currently teach their class. This is an extremely valuable experience as every teacher is different. Even if it’s the same style, same move that is being taught there are so many variations that you can learn. Teachers have different styles of delivering a class also which means you/your child might respond better or faster to one than another; something might click that didn’t in a previous class or simply a quieter environment with more intimate instruction might help you/your child to crack a move!!

 Lizzie Gough: Professional dancer, judge and star of 'So you think you can Dance?' 

Lizzie Gough: Professional dancer, judge and star of 'So you think you can Dance?' 

From a non-learning perspective workshops also give the opportunity to mix with other dancers from different classes and different age groups and abilities. The benefits of this are that dancers can make new friendships, learn from other participants as well as the teacher taking the class and enjoy being part of the larger scale of Sylk Dance rather than experiencing  just what happens in the regular weekly class. Workshops are often different to regular classes and allow participants to express themselves a lot more. There are often more opportunities to share and perform, battle or even play games or do tasks that involve progressing in a particular skill. They are fabulous for confidence building!

 School Holidays Cheerleading workshop

School Holidays Cheerleading workshop

I don’t just believe workshops are beneficial for our dancers but also for our teachers. I have been teaching myself for 13 years now and when you teach so many classes a week it can sometimes be a struggle to be inspired or to find something new to offer. After all, once you have passed on all that you know to your dancers surely you are no longer a worthy teacher? I strongly believe that as a teacher it is still important to learn from others. Even professional dancers who perform on TV and in shows are always training and taking regular classes to keep improving. The great thing about dance is that you can learn from anyone. I learn things and get inspiration from dancers in my classes all the time! The more you are out there experiencing new things with different people, teachers and events the better dancer and teacher you become.

 'Move it' dance convention London. Experiencing workshops, performances and up & coming styles/trends. 

'Move it' dance convention London. Experiencing workshops, performances and up & coming styles/trends.