1.   Dance with some different teachers:

A good teacher doesn’t need to be the best dancer in the room, but they should be the one most conscious of and interested in their partner.  A good teacher should have substance as well as style and should have a strong foundation in the dance.  A great teacher pays a high level of attention to students and is much less interested in showing off than in improving their students’ abilities

 2.  Ask questions:

Find out who the teacher learned from, how long they have been dancing and teaching (those should always be different numbers), and who are their idols in dance.  Teaching is a separate skill from dancing.  If you really want to learn to dance, keep in mind that learning dance informally can lead to a lot of bad habits that are hard to break!  It’s best to learn from a qualified teacher.

3.  Try a short session of classes:

Watch how they teach to see if you connect with their teaching style.  You might not catch on to the dance right away, but the directions should be clear and not confusing.  Don’t expect your body to internalize the movements right away.  Dancing is a progressive skill.  You should be patient but feel like you leave every class having learned something.  Don’t forget to have fun!

4.  Set up long-term goals:

A teacher should be able to help you plan how to get where you want to go with your dancing.  This might involve recommending private lessons or workshops with travelling professionals.

5.  Find out about the teacher’s plans for growth:

It’s easy for teachers to become complacent simply because they dance better than their students.  You want a teacher who continues to learn, cross trains, and works at upgrading and updating their skills.

6.  Look at how they treat their students and other social dancers:

A good teacher is kind to all dancers, not just the ones paying them.  They should be able to deal with unsafe or undesirable behaviour from other dancers in order to protect and promote the dance community.