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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Correction Face


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When DD came out of ballet class today I asked my ususal question, "how was class?"...very original, I know. She said she was confused by her teacher's actions. Today the teacher gave her many different corrections (not all for the same thing), and gave very few corrections to the other girls. She felt a little targeted, and although she doesn't feel she is the "super student", she feels there are other girls whose technique is sorely lacking. She does take another technique class that is one level higher than this one and she has concluded that the teacher is picking on her because of that.


My gut feeling is that for whatever reason the teacher has decided to help her "polish" her technique a little more than the other girls. She is, in some cases, two years older than some of the other girls in this class. She got a later start in ballet, but the two years have given her a little more body control and the maturity to focus and work a little harder than some of her classmates. I have tried to explain that to her. I have also explained that everyone has their weaknesses - turn out appears to be hers. She has very nice musicality, beautiful arms, and a nice arch in pointe shoes. She was not full on upset, just worried that her perception of her technique is way off base.


Can you give advice helping me to help her understand that corrections are not necessarily a bad thing?

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Quite the contrary! Corrections are a GOOD thing. The teacher has apparently decided, "all right, now it's time for some more progress" and gives corrections and attention in order to get it. If the teacher didn't feel the ability to progress is there, there would be no corrections! You have no idea how hard some dancers try to get a teacher to notice enough to give ONE correction! :wink:

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Oh gosh, I second Major Mel's comments. My daughter, and all her friends, LIVE for those corrections! If she doesn't get any in the course of a class, she's miserable. She finds that there's no better day than one in which she's been steadily fed corrections. Dancers consider corrections to be golden.

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A year ago, I would never have thought my daughter would want a correction but Major Johnson and Vagansmom are right on target. My daughter is disappointed when no corrections are given. Days with substitute instructors are the worse. Thank heavens, substitution isn't frequent.


It did take DD some time to become accustomed to corrections. She changed to her current school from one where there were no corrections and many meaningless, condensending platitudes after each class. :wink:


Corrections are golden and for my daughter, the quest is not to have the same correction repeated. The corrections give her specific goals to work toward and a sense of accomplishment and improvement when achieved.

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Very true! :grinning: Mine is sooooo happy if she feels that the teacher is watching and correcting her and very concerned and troubled if she has a class when no corrections are given directly to her. :huepfen: You better believe that in the next class with that teacher she will be front and center working her heart out to try to show the teacher that she is "worthy" of corrections! :wink:

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She should realize this means the teacher cares about her. My kids are in a funk if they don't get many. And I counted the number of my corrections, even in my forties. I probably shouldn't admit it, but if I didn't get one, it upset me most of the day.


In my opinion, and I expect some people will disagree, not getting any corrections can mean the teacher doesn't think the student has a lot of potential or doesn't care, so they spend their energy elsewhere. Or sometimes students take corrections so badly it's not worth the hassle for teachers to even try. I've particularly seen this last one happen in adult classes and when these students do get corrections, they are are offended or argue with the teacher, saying they weren't really trying or they knew or some goofy thing...silly people.

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Thank you all.


I passed along your responses to my daughter. I think she gets it now. It is also much more believable coming from people other than mom... :wink:

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Isn't that the truth, Mickey Fan... my 14 yr. old son takes ballet and sometimes he'll come home from class and show me a combo that they did in class. He'll ask me what the name of the step is and when I tell him, he'll say," No that's not the name of it, you're wrong!"-and I teach ballet!!!! B)


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I have also heard teachers say that they stop giving corrections when a talented student is not indicating that the corrections they are giving are making any difference. I am sure it gets ever so tiring to say the same thing ten different ways and never see any difference in the dancer's work. B) So, I think that sometimes the lack of corrections is due to frustration on the part of the teacher.


Of course, there are also off days for teachers too and I am sure that they have their days when they want to do nothing more than get thru the class and then very few corrections are given. I also know of some teachers who give very few personal corrections and instead just give generic ones to the whole class.


But, by and large, if students are working hard and reflect the corrections in their dance, they should be getting corrections routinely from their teachers. Any kind of classroom setting always involves give and take and both the teacher and the student have to do their part to make it a satisfying educational experience!

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And just a little comment here: we are all talking about good teachers here, that is teachers who truly have each student's best interests at heart. Teachers such as this will give corrections to all and if they feel a student is not picking up on them and/or ignoring them, I have to believe that the teacher will speak to the student, preferably outside of the studio classroom.


I just wanted to stick my little caveat in here on the off chance that there just could be some dancers who are perfectly good and/or even talented and who do work hard, but nevertheless are not given much attention by particular teachers. I know this does happen, sadly, though it should not. B)

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I noticed you use the term good teachers. Not to be confused with the term professional teacher?

Just kidding....there has been so much discussed about professional, etc.



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Guest kristinene

Just to throw my two cents in as a former child student and a current 'adult' student (I don't think I'll ever feel like a 'grown up').


As a kid I didn't like getting corrections, especially if I felt the teacher was only concentrating on me. I thought that I must be the worst one, and that I was behind the other girls. As I got a little older (12 or so, just before I had to stop) I realized it was good that my instructor was paying attention to my dancing.


Now as an adult I appreciate corrections, I am more capable of understanding what I need to do and how I'm suppossed to do it. (And I'm not afraid to ask questions, after class.) However, if I get a lot of corrections all at once I sometimes get down on myself, "Geez, I can't do anything right." But knowing in my head and deep down that corrections will help me improve, that they are the only way that I can improve, and that they indicate instructors are keeping tabs on my progress, I'm able to put it all in perspective. This can be hard if not impossible for a very young student, and only progressively easier for older children.


I think it is always difficuly for a perfectionist (and all dancers are shooting for that impossible goal of perfection) to hear that they are not perfect. We may be dancers, but we are still human! B)

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I know this isn't my category...but I just wanted to comment on this topic.


Corrections in class are really good! It means that your teacher was watching you dance. And they feel that you have room for improvement. At my studio, only the students with the most potential to improve get corrected. That's why I get corrections I get a smile on my face knowing that my teacher was watching me dance instead of the other students. B)

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I felt kind of sorry for my daughter tonight. When I went into pick her up, her instructor was standing by her making her do some move over & over. It reminded me of Debbie Allen in Fame beating her stick against the floor & making the dancers sweat! :rolleyes::angry:

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