Learning and Teaching with Kris Swearingen

Everyone of us who dances West Coast Swing had to learn how to do this dance at some point. To get good at the dance, we need to continue to learn and develop new skills. And along the way, we need teachers who impart knowledge and nurture our abilities. Learning and teaching are such an essential part of what we do as dancers, and they can shape both our understanding of the dance and how we do it. To learn more about learning, Eric sat down with Kris Swearingen, Champion-level dancer and middle school English teacher, to talk about how people learn and how to teach. They chatted about Kris’s background and experience as an educator. They discussed a framework for understanding how people learn as well as how people differ in their learning abilities. Kris shared how he develops his students in the classroom and how he applies similar techniques to teaching dance. Eric asked Kris what he would like to see from teachers in our West Coast Swing community, and they ended with a conversation about how people can be better students of the dance. Whether you’re a student of the dance, a teacher, or just curious about how humans work, this conversation will enlighten and give you a new perspective.

Bloom’s Taxonomy – Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (Amazon.com)
“Mind Over Matter: Attitude and Mindset” on nakedbasics.com (blog)
A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley (Amazon.com)
The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey (Amazon.com)
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Amazon.com)

1 Comment

  1. I think it is a good idea to communicate with partners during a class regarding how a move felt; however, many instructors regard those types of comments as teaching on the floor which is discouraged. And because of that, some dancers don’t appreciate communication of that sort.

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