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article in Dance magazine


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#16 fendrock

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 09:01 AM

I suppose we could quibble over what retains students, and whether or not the market is asking for "Solid teaching, with a well-defined curriculum and syllabus."

Offering a financial award to teachers who retain students is not, in and of itself, a sign of schlocky teaching.

I suspect that the primary distinction between a good school and a Dolly Dinkle school is its attitude toward the end of year performance.

Do students attend to learn ballet, or do they attend to practice a routine they will display in rented costumes in May?

#17 Treefrog

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 09:03 AM

I find that pretty disturbing too! :eek:

#18 Cabriole

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 04:40 AM

Originally posted by fendrock
I think it is an interesting question, because I want my daughter to get a "good" ballet education, and I do believe that takes more than one class a week, even if she has no professional aspirations.

For those who are opposed to recreational training, are any opposed because they feel it is not really possible to train recreationally and learn ballet in a significant way?


In my original post I mentioned that the venue was, in my opinion, not the issue in determining quality dance training. I guess I was less clear in my position, as grace pointed out, is probably more with the semantics of the word recreational . I think Treefrog was closer to it, by acknowledging intensity of schedule, etc. not quality of training. So, yes, fendrock , I DO believe that significant training can and SHOULD be available for those not necessarily on the pro-track.

From a business prospective, I would think that a studio owner with a qualified staff could indeed find exemplary training profitable, as such training is quite addictive;)

#19 PK

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 06:14 AM

Another problem I have with this type of school described is that many do indeed put those "babes" on point. Of course not every child needs to wish to become a future dancer. But when dance is taught incorrectly it becomes a matter of doing harm to a body. I have a problem with that!

#20 Garyecht

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 06:50 AM

Garnet’s point about financial incentives is a good one I think. In the business world, financial incentives seem to be the rage. I know one company I used to work for uses them extensively now (they had none when I was there). But I will argue that when they are as garnet quoted from the article, they actually harm the business in the long run whether the business is a dance studio or a factory.

The problem with immediate financial rewards such as a bonus for reenrolled students is that it encourages the teacher or whomever to ignore the aim of the school and do anything to get the bonus. That is just dangerous to the long-term prospects, both professional and financial, of the studio.

I’m not saying that all teachers would do that, but given a long enough time, it is almost sure that eventually one will harm the school as a result of the bonus policy.

#21 Garyecht

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 07:19 AM

To address Mel’s point about 5-year olds on pointe, offering tap, hip hop as a means to get people into ballet, I think it really depends on the studio owner’s aim. Ignoring the obviously dangerous stuff like 5-year olds on pointe, no one can serve the whole market, and so the notion of “doing whatever any parent wants” isn’t an aim at all or is it really serving the market at all. An aim has to be more specific than that. For someone like Mel, it would seem that an appropriate aim might be created around simply providing a ballet education, for example. That could certainly have a recreational focus. And offering things like tap or hip hop might be inconsistent with an aim of providing a ballet education.

Another studio owner might go for tap, hip hop, or something that is more popular. He or she might have a little introductory ballet class, but if that owner knows his or her aim, the most profitable part of the business will come from tap and hip hop, and most of his or her students will gravitate there. I see nothing wrong with that either.

No single studio or school can do it all. Parents and students seem to learn that and they can change schools as they better understand what they are seeking in a dance experience.

#22 Fraildove

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 06:59 PM

Hi All,

Thisarticle is very disturbin in my opinion. I understand te need for 'recreatonal training' but going about that is very touchy business. There isa school in my area that is the most profitable school around. Most ofthe dancers thre are recreational. They have a jazz team that is very good, mainly because the teacher requires at least 2 ballet classes a week. In this same school, several students have attended SI and year round programs at kirov academy, SAB, Nutmeg, VSA, Harid and so on. This school really is the best of both worlds.

Another school in he area offeres incredible technique and produced many good dancers, but ent out of business because the teacher refused to recognize the needs of the children in her classes. Here is an example of needs going beforequility. No matter how good the teaching, if the teacher tears down her students the parents will eventually step up.

There is no easy answer to this question. The focus of a studio need to be to take care of the students in the most professional manner possible. A child can have 'fun' in a good ballet school if the teacher can relate to a studens need. But the needs of a student should not undermine good training. Good training does not need to bankrupt a teacher. And so th world goes round!


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