One thing I’ve learned in my 24 years of teaching dance is that not everyone hears a correction or explanation the same way. As an instructor, you are trying to give students that “aha” moment, and it can be a challenge. In order to be effective, you need to come up with a variety of ways of saying the same thing. Just because it makes sense to you doesn’t mean it will ring true for everyone else.
I was thinking about this in class last night when I was teaching. I had instructors who would always say the exact same thing. “Pull up–like there is a string attached to the top of your head” or “tuck your bottom under” – and I don’t think they made a lot of sense to me. When I pulled up under those directions, I became stiff and held my breath. When I “tucked my bottom” I would respectively hunch my shoulders forward.
This isn’t to say that these corrections are wrong–I understand the meaning now–but at the time I didn’t understand how to make my body obey. If the teachers would have given several different explanations, it may have saved me some time.
You never know what a student will respond best to, so the more ways you can communicate what you are trying to say, the better. It will challenge your mind as a teacher, and it will help students have a larger framework to draw from as they try to master technique. Make it part of your lesson plan time–you won’t regret it.