Purpose: The purpose of the Teaching LaB comes from the general approach we’ve had for LaBLove this year. LaBLove is a celebration of LaB, Lindy and Blues, as an organization that teaches and promotes multiple swing and blues dancing styles in the city of Philadelphia, but we also have a further reaching impact. Each of our dances has individuals that travel, sometimes multiple times in a month, to other dancing scenes in our region and in the nation and we wanted to bring to Philly some of the people who have been connected to this great organization through those individuals. In addition, one of LaB’s primary goals is learning, and we love seeing new, as well as experienced, teachers growing in their craft and teaching students. So we’re bringing the Teaching LaB as an opportunity for newer instructors in the region to come, hone their craft, and provide extra tidbits for our students!
Layout: At LaBLove this year we’ll be having two rooms with this activity, one with blues and one with swing to allow for the same / similar music, for about an hour at the end of the day of classes. We’ll have 3-4 instructor groups (either pairs or solo teachers) teaching 15 minute classes on a specific topic, something like side-by-side Charleston or perhaps Struttin’ Blues, and then there will be a short break for students to practice what they’ve learned and the instructor groups can meet with our staff of experienced teachers for some feedback on how to improve their class or better engage students in learning. We’ll then provide an opportunity for students to switch, rotate, or stay with the same instructor group and we’ll repeat until our time is up!
Get Involved: This year we wanted to explicitly reach out to regional dancing scenes and ask them about up-and-coming instructors and those contributing to their local scenes to generate the list of instructors for this activity. However time and connections can sometimes leave excellent people unnotticed or unapproached for this kind of opportunity. If you think you would like to participate as an instructor group (either a pair or solo), teach, and receive feedback, please e-mail Marc Longhenry at Marc@LindyAndBlues.com and we’ll see what can be arranged!
History: This is not actually a new idea, though it is not something we’ve seen in this format at a weekend event. This idea stems from a Teaching Workshop (in 2011?) taught by some of the original LaBtechs, founders and paragons of LaB’s ideals, where we brought dancers from the region to Philadelphia for a day to learn how to teach. What happened after that workshop is that Jon Darvil and Michelle Joelle (among others) contributed to a weekly opportunity at Tuesday LaB in the second hour after our regular classes where students from that Teaching Workshop could come and teach small classes a few times over and receive feedback for them to grow into many of the teachers we’ve had since then