Taking the positive points first, as every educative critique should:
- Most attendees said that they learnt a lot, from a really different, interesting and refreshing perspective.
- They felt it was good to hear from someone of my background and experience.
- Even self-confessed non-instructor dancers learned more than they thought they were going to.
- A number would attend my workshops again.
- There were a few who felt it was a little biased towards my way of teaching and therefore not sufficiently relevant to themselves.
- Many felt the Saturday was too long.
- A couple said there was not enough dancing.
It's clear from the title, schedules and course blurb that the 'Year In A Day' is exactly what it says on the tin - progressive over one year and skills-based.
But I surmise that the comment comes from a different place: from those who conduct mainly stand-alone combination-based sessions. I'd sensed that a few couldn't see the relevance in possessing a Hierarchy of Development plan which extended beyond a discrete one hour lesson.
I would have to disagree on the basis that such lessons would still be reliant upon returning students in the short-to-mid term, and that therefore a Hierarchy could be applied to the benefit of the individual at remedial level. Such a treatment would add value to the learning experience, augmenting it above commodity level and convert returners into the mid-to-long term. However there would be an increased effort cost that some instructors might be unwilling to pay.
Thoughts on Point 2
In terms of duration, the Saturday was advertised as beginning at 10:00hrs and ending at 18:45hrs; it actually ran from 10.30hrs until 19:00hrs.
I suspect that this comment was more in response to the sustained cognitive load generated by the session; "long" is an expression used commonly by students to describe learning saturation. The onset of saturation could have been delayed if the stream of concepts had been broken up with assimilation practices, but that was not an option available.
I have, however, already taken this under advisement and will make much firmer recommendations regarding session content in future.
Thoughts on Point 3
Again, this I would interpret as being an alternate expression to Point 2 - the desire for more assimilation time at the expense of content. It's a piece of feedback that I'd anticipated, and one that I wholeheartedly agree with.
The dryness of the feedback shouldn't be allowed to overshadow what a pleasurable experience it was; to meet so many engaging instructors who take their own personal development, to the benefit of their students, so seriously - Ali, Penny, Sharon, Chunky, and Marco to name but a few. It's been invaluable to keep apace of the challenges they that face in an increasingly competitive arena.
Also reassuring, to me personally, was the affirmation that there is indeed an audience for an alternative skills-based approach; and that I had all the facilities at my disposal which allowed for effective delivery of content, by way of literature, music and instruments. Special mention must be made of the LP compact congas which really came into their own that weekend.
"Some people have been really raving over how great they were", said Sharon.
That's good to know.