Behind the Urge to Teach Others to Dance


a workshop with the late Frankie Manning

Teaching with Frankie Manning–joy personified!

I recently saw a video that gave me another insight into why I so love teaching dance.  It was a science experiment in which altruism was proven to be a natural instinct not only in humans but also in chimpanzees.  You can check it out here:

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I’ve written in the past about rhythm being our birthright, and how some people shut down the instinct to respond naturally to music at a young age as an act of survival.   This video made me wonder if everyone starts out with the natural urge to be of service to others.  Just as some people shut down their connection to music, I can see why some might find it necessary at a young age to squelch the natural urge to help others, in order to survive.


The desire to be of service is the main motivation behind teaching for me certainly, and I’d guess also for most others who love to teach.  It’s especially true since I teach dance.  I taught a lot of other things before I became a dance teacher, and many were important and rewarding.  But dance is pure joy.


Because I specialize in teaching people who consider themselves unteachable (specifically in dance, not everything!) I get to share the joy of the world’s most fun activity with people who previously believed it was unavailable to them.


What could be better than that?


by LaurieAnn Lepoff

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