Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.


How to get your students to listen and apply their corrections


Teacher article



This is always a fun topic. Don't you just love it when you see a student do something wrong and you excitedly give them the correction only to be told "I didn't do that" Oh really, then what am I doing here? Just imagining things or giving you a hard time for fun! Boy does that one bring me to a boil! How about the look of disgust, the one of hurt, anger and so on. There is also the one who looks at you, says ok, and can never seem to get it right. Who said teaching dance was going to be easy?

The first thing we need to do is to get the students to listen to our words and absorb them like a sponge. We try to show them what they are doing wrong and then how to correct it. We try to get them to first see it in the mirror concentrating on it more visually, then to feel the difference in their bodies by putting them in the Incorrect position followed by the correct position. Let's say, for example, you are working on pirouettes and someone is dropping their elbows when they turn. Without turning have the student put their foot in pass and their arms in first position. Have them hold the right position, then the wrong one, then back to the right one. Have them really focus on what they are feeling in their bodies. We have found that by breaking it down this way it is most effective. Some students learn better by watching, some by feel and others just by listening. Since we have different kinds of learners in class, this way we will use all three methods to help them apply the correction best. There are lots of methods that we have tried through the years to really get the students to apply and use all of the corrections that they are given. The one we like to focus on and that seems to get the best results is what we like to call the gift from your teacher.

We say to the students that when you receive a correction it is a special gift just for you. You wouldn't be upset or mad and you certainly would not throw away a gift you get from someone would you? We like to have them hold their hands out like they are getting a present when we give a correction and have them pull it to their heart when we are done so that they take ownership of it. It makes it fun for them to get the correction and we like to have them say thank you after getting one so that it becomes a big plus and not a minus when they are singled out for this special attention. We also have the students bring a note book to class and write down all corrections after class. This way when they have some time they can read what they need to do and see how they can make the correcttions


Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Steve and Angela have owned and directed their dance studio in Fairfield, CT for the past twenty two years and in 2005 added music and vocal classes to their curriculum. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, Steve continues to adjudicate and teach for major dance organizations. Recently taught at the Interdanz conference in San Jose, Costa Rica, He choreographs for theatres, television and conventions and DValda & Sirico are currently in production choreographing the opening to the National Speakers Association convention on Broadway at the Marriott Marquis for August of 2008. Steve is co-owner and director with his wife, Angela, of the website Dance Teacher Web designed as an online resource for teachers worldwide.

1580 Post Road Fairfield, CT © Copyright 2022 by