I recently came across Joshua Johnson's story. He busks with tap dancing in NYC train rides to pay for his college funds. He's been featured in Ellen Degeneres, and his skills are quite impeccable for someone who has been tap dancing for only 6 years. I guess it's really in the drive that allows someone to learn quickly and get over the plateaus.
Anyway, back on the subject at hand. As I gain experience as a dancer that explores many different genres, I have the tendency to forget basic etiquette, especially in dances where I consider myself an "intermediate" level student. I form dance cliques, and then get comfortable with the same people you see every time. Then, almost on autopilot, I shut off people who are new to the class. I don't know if it's got anything to do with me being an introvert or not, but this behaviour definitely needs correction. I'm trying to correct it with my west coast swing classes now with the exploded classroom size. I have to accept that people come from different dance backgrounds, and some don't even have a dance background at all. This should especially apply in social dances: no one wants to dance with an arrogant twit. I've at least complimented two guys on the social dance floor last week even though they were beginners.
I always find myself more encouraging to my classmates in tap than in my other dances, and I don't mind revisiting basics again and again just to make sure that my sounds always come out correctly. I remember once lying that I only picked up the wing steps much later than a girl in my class, and used that little story to encourage her and give her hope that she can indeed surpass other people's skill level if she works hard at it.
The same also applies to when I'm a complete beginner. In my ballet and contemporary dance classes, though I do focus in class, I was still able to socialise around with my classmates. I must say that my contemporary classmates are really enthusiastic - they've already formed a whatsapp group and are starting to talk about dance like crazy. In the future, I hope we can be welcoming to the newer people in our open classes, and act like we're all in the same level, with the same goal in mind, "Have fun in dance."