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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Company-affiliated ballet schools: company members teach?


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...have you ever had any members of your school's company teach your classes, whether it be regularly or as a substitue teacher? I've had 2 company members from NJB teach classes (they were substituting for non-company-member teachers) and they were great. Just wonder if any of you have had the same experience. :)

 

(100th post!)

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Guest TinyDancer1205

Yes, i've been lucky enough to have class taught by three different NJB company members in my time studying there :) . Two of the teachers were my regularly scheduled teahcers, but i've had members as substitutes also.

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Some of the dancers in the company affiliated with my dd's school teach during the summer session at another school but, as far as I know they do not teach at her school (that is the company's own school.)

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Two of my regular teachers are company members and also we often have company members. My teachers give amazing classes so I don't mind if they are in the company.

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My DD's school has company members teach regularly, and one has her own class. The students love to have them share their experiences AND their experience!

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My DD has had company members teach at her school as well as at some Sis that she has attended. Some of her best teachers have been members of a ballet company; some of her worst teachers have been members of a ballet company who did not want to upset the students and were friendly and fun, but gave no corrections to anyone. They did, however, pose for endless photos with the students and sign autographs.

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My dd has two regular teachers who are company members, so she has the opportunity to see them dance fairly often as well as having them as teachers. Also, on occasion, other company members "sub" for the regular teachers, which the kids find refreshing. My dd loves having the chance to work with new teachers, although she wouldn't necessarily want to trade in her regular teachers, whom she loves. All but one or two of her teachers were at one point dancers in the company, at one level or another.

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  • 1 month later...

The subs at my DD's school are some of the more recently retired Company members. The school believes that it takes years of experience to become a good ballet teacher so the faculty members have all been teaching for a number of years.

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At my school, one of the regular contemporary teachers was formally a company member, we also have a current member of the company come and teach and choreograph and we have also had the AD of the company choreograph a piece for the 2nd year. Hope it happens again, I would love to be in a piece choreographed by the AD!!

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We have one teacher from the local professional company, and we feel very lucky to have her. Not all good dancers make good teachers, but this one is terrific.

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Guest pique_arabesque

At my school, almost all of my teachers are current or former company members. It's true that not all of them are good teachers, but I can learn a lot just watching them.

 

(One downside is that they're always grumpy after a long day of rehearsing, and we students get the brunt of it!)

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I believe that company members teaching can be beneficial to students, however, from what I have seen, relying upon these individuals on a regular basis simply does not work well. For one thing, their primary focus and priority is their paying job and sometimes they are teaching only for supplemental income. While this doesn't necessarily mean they will be bad teachers, it does raise the question for parents as to whether the best ballet instructor is someone who is only teaching to pay bills. Another issue is the conflict with performance and rehearsal schedules and teaching schedules. Often the teaching schedule is the one that is sacrificed first.

 

I think while it is fun, exciting, and beneficial for students to have the opportunity to learn from company members, the real training should come from trained teachers whose primary focus is teaching.

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Guest dancer522

Yup. At the SI, company members will sometimes guest and teach master classes, and during the year, one of my teachers was a dancer who had just retired from dancing.

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