A female instructor friend of mine says, "Yea, but the people who really need your music class won't attend! They think they 'feel it' but don't realize they have it so wrong."
She's restating the "they don't know what they don't know" syndrome, which is big among a large set of social dancers.
I had to agree. Many dancers have invested years building their movement skills, but never learned enough about the music to make it one of their partners in the dance. They get it right some of the time because they've heard the same tunes over and over, but they don't know how it really works.
When you hear the music well, it's obvious they aren't hearing it because so little is reflected in their dancing. They have great body control and patterns, but are missing one part of the excellence equation.
I respect these guys for their effort and movement accomplishments, but sometimes feel bad because much of their effort is wasted. When they dance off the time, blow through the obvious breaks, endings and major feel changes in the music, the stronger partners get frustrated at points but often just hang on and make the most of it.
If their patterns are interesting, their partners often make the most of that and step up to the challenge of dancing without following the music. Most will tell you that's not dancing, that's an aerobics class.
None of their partners are going to tell them, because some aspects of their dancing are way above average. (See my article titled, "Better Dancing, More Partner Lying" for details.)
My challenge to you: How do we reach those people? I don't have great answers except I'm obviously putting my effort into teaching the music. But that doesn't mean those who need it the most will attend. So how do we get the word to them?
I suspect the answer is we don't, but instead focus on the ones who seek out the music information. That said, I'm looking for more ways to reach those dancers, so let me know your thoughts on making that happen.