I was having a discussion the other day about group classes, and their pros and cons. One of the biggest issues in our community is that people tend to overestimate their level of skill/competence/ability, so often I have shown up for an intermediate class, unsure if I am actually up to the level of the class, only to realize that half the class are actually beginners. There were many times when I would seek out the instructor before class began to ask them if they thought I was up to the level of the class. I would often get a bemused look, and they would usually dance a song with me and tell me that I was fine to stay. The fact that there are often people out of their league in class tends to be frustrating, not only for those in the class, but I am sure also for the instructors.
There was one solution to this issue that I brought up during the discussion, when Ney Melo and Jennifer Brat were here teaching classes they addressed this very issue. They were teaching an intermediate milonga class, however most of the dancers that showed up for the class were at a beginner level. They came up with a brilliant solution, in my mind anyway, they taught to the basic level and then they pulled aside the more advanced dancers aside and taught them a higher level of what they just taught. It was great. everyone learned from the class and went away happy.
I am not sure if this is common practice, it is the only time in my limited experience that this was utilized by instructors to address the disparity in levels amongst the class. I would be curious to hear from others if they have come across this in other class with other instructors. It seems to me to be a great solution, and there have been a few classes that I have taken where I wished that the instructors had done this.
What do you think about this? Any other solutions to this issue that you have experienced?