On Ori Tahiti Teaching
Dance is a collective art, but there exist many different methods of instruction according to the individual needs of the students, including but not limited to age, motivation, and what they expect to achieve from their dance practice and lessons.
An individual’s ability to dance has nothing to do with one’s age. My eldest student is a 76-year-old Japanese woman.
The traditional dance of French Polynesia allows everyone an opportunity to dance throughout all stages of their life.
See my book: Dance in Society
The instructional method of Tahitian dance differs from one school to another. There is no standard method.
Some dance schools prefer to explain their style of dancing in intricate detail while others prefer to simply demonstrate their movements, which allows students to learn by immersion at their own pace rather than memorization. Students can choose their preferred method according to their own personal preferences.
Some schools correct their students while other schools do not. Because many students are learning Tahitian dance as a recreational sport, they do not feel the need to be corrected as they are enjoying the art of dancing. Similarly, they do not desire an instructional method that displays the intricacies of bodily movement.
In other words, dance instruction has become a lucrative economic activity and schools have learned to adapt to their students’ demands.
As you can see, every school has its own teaching methods and philosophy regarding those methods. Dance is a collective art, but it is taught in many different ways.
At this point I would like to introduce my own philosophy of Tahitian dance instruction. One must understand that there are two different ways of learning dance: by a form of immersion that involves watching and copying dance moves or my understanding moves and mentally integrating them into their routine.
The knowledge of dance moves is gained by correcting the students’ mistakes on the spot then explaining the details of the mistake at a later time.
This method allows students to learn faster while enjoying the early stages of their training with a higher level of comfort. This ensures a level of joy and satisfaction to be obtained from the training received.
This is my method of instruction, which does not insist upon correction when the student does not desire it.