Last week I went to a blues dance class run by a one Mark Christopoulos. I have had lessons with Mark before and found him to be an excellent teacher. If you take a look at the link to a zoon profile on him, then you will see that Mark is "Commonly referred to around Melbourne as THE best guy to dance with on the social dance floor." He gained this reputation for the smoothness of his movement. When I told a friend of mine about Mark's reputation, my friend was then dead keen to come to the class as well to see what this guy was like.
After the lesson we spoke about what it was that made Mark a good teacher, and probably a good dancer too.
My friend and I went over a few theories ranging from physique to enjoyment. I do think that Mark has a light frame, which helps with dance, and he certainly seems to love dance, which makes it easier for him to practice, helps with intuition and rubs off on the students.
However, I noticed that mark did something that I rarely see other teachers do. Every step that mark taught or explained was explained using imaging. Very rarely did he simply explain the effect that should be had at the end. For every step he would explain how it would feel and how one could imagine the movement to help.
This method of explanation works with the natural way we learn. Mark seems to have cottoned on to this way of learning and used it for his own learning and teaching.
This is a lesson for both students and teachers.
If you're a student, then try to think of ways of visualising any step you're working on.
If you're a teacher, then do the same and share it with your students.