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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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  1. Today
  2. dancemaven

    Brava email?

    Everyone should hear when their work is appreciated!
  3. Yesterday
  4. Noodles

    Brava email?

    I would agree with Eligus, a simple "that was amazing work" does not mean you are trying to gain favor for your child.
  5. Eligus

    Brava email?

    I - personally - never hesitate to tell artists that I love their work.
  6. smilingcyclist

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    OMG yes!! All this! It may seem like things are lovely and mature from your perspective. But perhaps not. Let's truly, truly hope that is that case and the teacher was having a bad day. Hugs to you and your daughter!
  7. smilingcyclist

    Brava email?

    DD is a freshman at a small collegiate dance program. I don't want to do the wrong thing here and would appreciate advice. This weekend she danced in her first college performance. It was fabulous!! After the show last night I wanted to approach the choreographer of her piece to say something but there was a huge crowd around him and i didn't get an opportunity. Would it be appropriate to send an email? To the choreographer? To the dean? I would not want it to be perceived as trying to gain favor for my child. It was simply a genius work and worthy of applause! So my question is two-fold. What are your thoughts on this situation specifically? And bigger than that, what is the protocol for when your dancers get to college and beyond. Thanks!
  8. MEWDancer

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    I guess the reason I thought to mention it to the Principal was because of the way the teacher said “all of the teachers notice it...” and the threat to remove their piece, when I don’t actually think she has that power. But maybe it is best to say nothing at this point.
  9. Eligus

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    SAME! I had a friend whose DD had a completely different perspective of my DD's behavior/actions, based on HER DD's perceptions. I have to admit to being shocked at the perception. And while I still don't agree with the perception as relayed to me, it was a growing experience for ALL of us, mom included. I'm not saying that is exactly what is happening in your case, but exploring different people's perceptions of your behavior can be enlightening.
  10. dancemaven

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    My mother always told us kids (there were 6 of us): “If the shoe fits, wear it.” She meant that those of us to whom her warning did not apply, should recognize that and ignore it. Those that did, should recognize their behavior and change it. I would agree that more likely than not, this admonition given to the group at large was intended for certain members to hear and straighten up—without being called out by name. On the other hand, I always thought our younger daughter’s school cohort was pretty friendly across clique lines. It certainly seemed so to me when I drove field trip carpools, and chaperoned field trips, both local and overnight ones. I was always so pleased to chaperone her class trips because the girls and boys would all chatter to everyone regardless of who was in the car. I could not say that for our older daughter’s class. Those field trip driving and chaperoning could be painful because some girls would whisper behind their hands and blatantly ignore others in the car. We are several years past that time period now and yet there is a group of mothers’ of my younger daughter’s class that still get together monthly to chat and share. We started this back when the kids were in third grade and continue even now, even as those kids have graduated college and are beginning to marry. I tell you this because what I have learned over the years from these mothers (of girls mine did not really hang out with) is a number of their daughters DID feel left out and ostracized all those years. I never saw it. But I only saw the vast difference between what went on in the field trips and carpool driving for those trips. Not all the girls, of course, were friends; everyone always has groups, but I had been under the impression that everyone felt pretty comfortable and that clique lines were not verboten to cross. Apparently, I missed a lot. I’ve never heard that my DD was part of the snobbery, but . . . . I do know she could be exclusionary at her athletic endeavor when certain team mates drove her to distraction, so I don’t doubt for a second that she did not interact with some of her classmates in school, but I don’t think she was downright mean. She would be more likely to ignore or walk away. So, something like that may be going on in the dance cohort. And some may be mean when they think they can get away with it. There are those “angels” that know how to play to the adults and yet terrorize their peers.
  11. Eligus

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    Well... IMO only, 14 is a good age to start discussing with dancers how to handle issues with adults/authority on their own (but with your thoughts and guidance). And I would encourage the one on one with the teacher who made the statement, not with anyone else. When my DD had an issue she needed to discuss with teachers at this age, I asked for a meeting (so it wasn't during class time) and I went with her (for moral support and another set of ears), but had her make a list of questions before hand and ask the questions/have the discussion herself. Obviously, this was a slightly more serious issue than what you described here, but the underlying idea is the same.... You could see this as a potential opportunity to provide guidance to your DD on how to handle herself when she hears something she disagrees with or is confused by from authority figures. A calm "I heard you say this in class the other day, and I wanted to ask you more about what you meant" kind of a talk. I see it more about seeking clarification of a correction, rather than a straight up confrontational, "you're wrong, how can you think this?" sort of comment... And it IS scary and intimidating to do this... particularly for a 14 yo. But it is GREAT practice of a necessary and valuable skill the dancer (and human) will need throughout their life. But -- then again -- it's also not a huge, major issue. If she doesn't feel ready to address the teacher, there is no need to tilt at this particular windmill. To me, it just seems like a low grade, low risk opportunity to learn some "adulting" skills.
  12. MEWDancer

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    She is 14. Age of class is 14-15. Should she speak to the teacher who said it or the teacher who is a school Principal? She tends to be a bit shy with adults. The other interesting thing to note is that the level below them, which is much larger, and actually does act this way, was scolded by the Principal for the very behavior this other teacher claimed was being observed in my Dd’s class. And I wonder if the teacher who addressed my daughter’s group had her levels confused (she teaches both).
  13. Eligus

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    remind us how old your DD is? I know you said the class/level is serious and committed, but also somewhat young enough for you to consider getting involved, but my thoughts on your involvement would depend on how mature (age-wise and emotion-wise) your DD is. I, too, would hesitate on inserting myself into or in any way "escalating" this situation, so I appreciate the fact that you are asking the question here on BT4D. Depending on your DD's age and maturity level, I might consider advising your DD to talk to the teacher privately in a non-confrontational manner, and one-on-one to get the teacher's perspective and try to understand what the comment really meant and to whom it was addressed (sometimes things spoken to the whole class, even a small one, is addressed at certain individuals and not the group as a whole). I would hesitate speculating about the teacher's motivation or meaning with any of the other dancers you carpool with, at least until your DD understands more about the teacher's perspective.
  14. 5uptown

    What to do? Teacher issue.

    I think it sounds reasonable to ask the ballet teacher/head of school what is going on, particularly since there was an announcement of a threatened repercussion regarding the end-of-year performance. Perhaps there is a problem that your daughter is unaware of, but this does sound like a strange way to address it even if there is a problem. I would start by just asking for a phone or face-to-face meeting, staying non-confrontational-- just to let her know what your daughter reported to you and how confusing that was for your daughter and for you. And perhaps to ask for some clarification.
  15. My dd dances at a large school. Her class is small and close knit, they all genuinely like each other and there is little to no girl drama. The other day their once a week, non-ballet teacher started class by saying they are so mean to each other and talk about each other and all the teachers notice but she was the only one brave enough to say anything. That this was their only warning or she would pull their piece from the spring performance. They were all shocked. We carpool with 1/4 of the class, they were all baffled by where this was coming from. I see their interactions with each other, they are not “mean gossips”. They seemed to shake it off pretty easily though. As an adult, looking at the bigger picture, I am wondering if this needs to be brought up to their ballet teacher, who is also a head of the school? The things that are concerning to me are 1.) Where did this accusation come from? 2.) Is it true that “all of the teachers” feel this? and if so, why? These girls certainly don’t want to be thought of this way, especially since it is not true. They are at a level where they take ballet very seriously, and most of their free time is spent at the studio, most want to become dancers, and I think it is in their best interest to clear this up. Another thing to note, this teacher has always been the “fun” teacher. Their four day a week teacher, who is a school head, can be intimidating. They are still young, but at an age where they need to start handling things on their own and I am not sure if I should speak up. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
  16. Sarah-B

    Finding soft shoes

    Thanks so much everyone for all your advice! I finally found a shoe I like! I'll see if it's comfy after a few outings but so far so good. I struggled to get some of the styles mentioned - I live in a more rural area (Scotland) so the dance shop is quite small! I got the MDM online but it just didn't suit my feet at all unfortunately. I ended up with a Roch Valley shoe - their canvas stretch one. It feels great, canvas was definitely the way to go, and the heel pad sits far back enough so that it doesn't dig in. Just thought I'd update in case anyone else in the UK was having the same problem. Thanks again!
  17. Last week
  18. DanceMumNYC

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    I forgot to add that there are a handful of schools in the NY area that allow you to select which week(s) you’d like to attend their program. Choosing to go 1-3 weeks instead of the whole summer can save you a lot of money!
  19. cchow

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    I think training is most important. I’m not very willing to spend thousands for an ‘experience’ that includes training that isn’t any better than at home - and in some cases, inferior. SI that costs only hundreds isn’t likely unless there is a fairly large scholarship and it’s within driving distance. Being in a competitive environment/using SI as a gauge to where a dancer is in comparison to others - isn’t necessarily that relevant at age 10-11. A lot can change into the teen years - progress, physique, etc.
  20. DanceMumNYC

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    I agree with the above posts. It’s really a personal decision that depends on your goals & expectations from a program. I think SIs for younger dancers have several benefits, including preparing kids for more advanced SIs in the future—from the audition process to managing being away from home. Many dancers who attend SIs, young or older, are given the opportunity to train with world-renowned teachers & facilities. Lifelong connections & friendships are built. They are also fun & even sometimes expose kids to other dance forms (dd attended 2 summer dance programs that offered jazz & modern in addition to daily ballet classes). It’s a great life experience. Summer is also a good time for kids to try out a school they may be interested in potentially attending to see if it’s the right fit. I know many great schools who also scout kids (not just teens) from their SIs & invite them into the year-round program. In terms of training, it honestly depends on the program. In our experience, summer programs are great. My dd (10 soon to be 11) received corrections & learned in each program she’s attended, which also gave her a jump start into her year-round program (she was “ahead” in some areas). At such a young age, I don’t think it’s necessary to attend summer-long programs (5+ weeks), but training for just a few weeks in the summer can definitely have technical benefits. Whether your year-round school offers a better/more beneficial summer program than these young dancer programs in question personally depends on where your child currently dances. I’m sure there are many SIs that exist as money-makers to fund the school or scholarships for select dancers. Dd attended a large summer program, but it was a large school. There were about 7 levels to place children in, so the classes wound up being about the same size as her year-round class. Another program dd attended had less than 10 kids in her class. They were very selective & some of their year-round students didn’t make it into the SI. However, I believe most summer programs generally accept more students than year-round programs to look for talent. It doesn’t mean the classes are overcrowded though. In making your decision, you can call the schools & ask what the average class size is for the SI. I found that there is usually a cap. In regards to finances, many programs cost thousands, but we’ve found more reasonably priced programs for a couple hundred dollars. To our surprise, dd was also given a partial scholarship one summer, so please note that they’re not exclusive to older dancers. I also know some schools offer need-based aid. My advice is to just take it one step at a time by letting your dd audition for programs, wait for results, & go from there.
  21. Spencedance

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    DanceDaddy, yes. Depending on the quality and availability of programs in your area. My DD is fortunate to attend an outstanding year round school. In my opinion, the level and quality of training at other local studios or schools nearby is not comparable to her school. And frankly, the reason for attending any away SI has never been to receive "better" training than she receives year round. It is to experience new places, different ballet styles or focus, different teachers, etc. And to provide growth opportunities in terms of life management skills. Something my DD may need in this world at a younger age than my non dancing child.
  22. DanceDaddy

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    Is a good point. But, couldn't you also get that by attending a camp/workshop at another studio in your area? I'm personally insisting that my DD dances a week at another studio this summer. Part of it is diverse experience and the other part is I just don't trust that our current studio will be open by the time she finishes high school. I will say that we might consider Steps on Broadway. But, we would video tape audition and can stay with a family member.
  23. Victoria Leigh

    Hello

    Welcome, Pmking11! We are glad you have joined us, and hope you enjoy participating in our forums. 😀
  24. Pmking11

    Hello

    I'm mom to an aspiring dancer. she is now 18 and in a great trainee program. But, of course, there is always more to learn. Looking forward to gaining lots of knowledge
  25. Spencedance

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    Regarding the topic of whether the cost of attending an SI as a 10/11 year old is "worth it," my experience would be...it depends on what the goals are in attending. If the goal is a broader exposure and diverse experience, then I believe a benefit exists. I allowed my younger dancer to attend away programs, but the goal was to experience the audition process, get a taste of different styles of ballet than her home school provided, and provide some level of outside benchmarking (this last goal being probably the least valuable). I structured the intensives around family vacations, so that the overall focus was not only my DD's training. I also wanted to sort of evaluate my DD's potential to one day handle an intensive on her own in a boarding environment (she never boarded as a young dancer). The result was a broader world view (for lack of better term) of ballet for both my DD and myself. Now that she is 12, she is able to research and target programs based on what they may offer her in training enhancement, and I can better target programs that offer support in areas I believe my DD needs (life management sort of areas). She will be 13 this summer, and has experience with audition classes, diverse teaching styles, program considerations, and more. All things that were gained as she took a sort of "softer," learning curve approach to intensives as a young dancer. And helped her prepare for last summer's non junior intensive experience. The differences between the young dancer programs, and her first "true" intensive were significant. Were the young dancer programs crucial for her current technical level? No. She most likely could have achieved the same progress by staying home. But her view of, and approach to summer training is now focused on what it can bring her. For her own growth. And I believe her experiences in a couple young dancer programs created that mindset. I alternated summers with letting her go, then having her stay. And always limited the duration and scope of the financial and logistical commitment. But the bit she was allowed to experience as a young dancer broadened her world. And we had some great family time in fun locations. Now that my DD is seriously considering programs, and I am considering the possibility of her training at an away SI on her own, I am glad we all had a couple softer experiences with the world of intensives. It helped to get our feet wet slowly. Because ballet can get very real, very quickly...once they approach 13/14. In my experience with my daughter, at least.
  26. dancemaven

    Your age and # of years you've danced

    Sorr Marie. It is BT4D Rules and Policies that we do not participate in homework projects. Therefore, I must close your thread(s). Good luck in your project. 🙂
  27. meatball77

    SI worth the money for 10/11 year olds?

    Young dancer programs can be a good way for dancers to identify that they are in the wrong program and should move to a program with better teaching. They're also good in all the same way that summer camps are useful, teaching independence. It's also a nice test before jumping into a five week program (if the young dancer program has housing) to be able to spend a week or two and see if they like spending all that time away and dancing all day. Technically there's no benefit (and it may be a disadvantage because you have teachers who don't know you) compared to what most studios offer in the summer. It can be a nice addition to an existing program and a replacement for summer camp if your child wants to go away.
  28. hello, my name is Marie Mashhour. I have been dancing for 10 years now and I am doing a research project for my IB class. I need 75 people to comment your age as well as the numbers of years you have dance please. Thank you so much!
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