Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

(Re)emphasizing discipline in dance training

Recommended Posts

In today's Links section, Mme. Hermine has posted the following article about Ethan Stiefel's innovations at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The focus is on teaching and reinforcing self-discipline among the dance students. Stiefel's techniques include stricter dress code and ocaasionally demanding 20 push-ups from male students who are clearly unprepared.


What do you think?

I've always been impressed by the level of self-discipline among high-school age ballet students I've observed -- certainly compared with the average US student in all but the most elite general-education schools. This seems to be more than just individual behavior: there's a culture of self-discipline which, ironically, makes people more able to work in grouups, to cooperate, and to see their place in a larger pattern than just their own lives. It's part of what makes it such a joy to observe well-conduced ballet classes.

The advantages of teaching discipline in any performing art are obvious.

-- WHICH kinds of discipline are most valuable?

-- How should they be taught?

-- How transferrable are they to other kinds of life work, when the dancer retires or if he or she decides not to follow a professional careeer?

And one matter that has always puzzled me

-- Is it possible to have a successful and long-lasting ballet career relying on talent primarily, without a firm, consistent self-discipline underlying it?

Link to comment

Regarding your last question, Bart, I would say no. Without firm, consistent self-discipline, it is not possible to reach an advanced level in ballet school, much less become proficient enough to be hired by a company.

Some of Stiefel's changes sound good (acting classes, for example), but I fail to see what push-ups as punishment are going to accomplish.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...