I want to discuss the different roles that workshops and regular lessons have for my dance education. I attended regular lessons as well as workshops in Germany and South Korea, but I have very little knowledge how they work in different countries. I did not spend an extended period of time just learning to dance by myself, so it is very hard for me to assess how effective learning by myself would be. I do, however, see that just attending lessons or workshop is not enough for me and I definitely need to practice alone. I also know a couple of people who never attended a single lesson or workshop, but are doing extremely well.
First of all, lessons as well as workshops seem to do much better in South Korea than in Germany. Overall there are more courses and they are still attended much better than the ones in Germany. On top of that, lessons in South Korea tend to be more expensive. This really helps workshops a lot. Workshops are effectively the same price as regular lessons, but without the commitment of having to pay for a full month. In comparison, lessons in Germany are pretty cheap and you can generally get discounts if you take more than one lesson. Workshops are a little bit difficult. They end up being more expensive and still lose money for the organizers as not enough people attend.
Lessons are the foundation of my dance education. I personally need a regular input for my training. Training alone with videos or attending a workshop from time to time is just not going to do it. In my life, I always needed a very strict structure to work most effectively. Additionally, having someone who completely knows my skill level and has a long term plan for my development feels very reassuring. It keeps me on a steady path upwards.
However, I notice time and time again that just attending regular lessons makes me complacent. The teacher adjusts the level to your level and you feel good about your skill. You inadvertently feel better than you actually are. You also start to imitate your teachers style a lot. To keep things fresh, I need to take a workshop from time to time. You suddenly see one of the world’s best show you something you have never seen before and it is eye opening. Whenever I attend a workshop, it always reignites my flame and passion. I always think that I should train harder and more than ever before.
Lessons are the structure and foundation of my dance education. It gives me a very clear path that I follow and it keeps me dedicated to practice. On the other hand, workshops and an active exchange with other dancers fuel my passion. I am very interested to hear how other people train!