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Training: Style and technique


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I have been wondering about this for a while now and am finally getting the guts up to ask. Which "style" or technique is universally preferred? Which one has more of a chance of landing a job, not just here in the states, but in other countries also? I know that there will be different opinions, but it will be interesting to find out which is the most popular opinion. :)

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I think that the dancer who manages to slip back and forth between the different styles will be the one most likely to get the job. This is one of the benefits of having many teachers. An analogy would be riding horses. :) Each horse that one rides can be considered to be a different teacher of sorts and they are all very different in what they require to not only ride them successfully but look great and confident and beautiful doing it. If you only ride one familiar horse in your life, you diminish your options for learning to acclimate to different horses in the future.


The more and varied experiences our dancing kids have with different teachers, and SI's that teach different styles and techniques, the more prepared they will be to 'step in' and dance like they know it. Most performers are very good mimics, it's fairly easy for them to take up a style and fairly quickly look like they have done it for ages.


Of course, I am just a parent, not a dancer, teacher or any sort of professional, so this is an unofficial opinion.

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A well trained classical dancer with a solid technique should be able to adapt to most styles in a relatively short period of time. Those who do not adapt well are those trained totally in only one style, at least if that style is very distinctly different from the more traditional style. By the advanced years of training, generally 15 or 16 and up, the dancers can handle varying styles pretty well, as long as their basics are very solid and they are OPEN to doing things slightly differently. The problem comes when they are "married" to only one way of doing something. If the teaching in their basic method allows for choreographic variations in the technique, particularly in the upper body but also in some basic exercises, then they will be ready for anything. If the training is too rigidly one way, they will have more difficulty.

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As long as you can adapt and have a strong core technique, I don't think any stylistic differences matter. Just do whatever the Artistic Director seems to want. Show that you're willing to change and adapt to the style of the company.


I think that any decent teacher/AD/choreographer is aware of training differences. They've seen it all. It doesn't take a whole lot of time to show an AD what they want to see, so long as you make the effort, and they're clear in telling you what they want.


I don't have tons of experience, but I've gotten the general impression that an artistic director needs certain "types" that can fit various roles in thier rep. They need a certain number of "tall" girls, a certain number of "short" ones, etc... As long as you're strong, enthusiastic, and reliable, and fit with what they need, you're most likely to get hired.

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Thank you all for your replies. :wub:

As a parent of a student, I try to gather as much info as I can and from time to time can get confused by all that I hear because people's opinions can be so strong. In the past I have heard comments from various sources that for instance, Balanchine technique can limit a dancer, yet there are so many Blanchine dancers out there in the US. I've heard some people swear by Vaganova method because it opens them up to the European market, etc., etc.


I've never worried before because DD was in a school that taught the American mix. It was mostly Cecchetti, but other things too, just clean and classical. When she participated in YAGP in Denver last year, she took a class at one of the schools there and didn't look bad at all even though she hadn't ever done strictly Vaganova before so from that memory I understand what everybody has been saying. Now DD is in a school that teaches ONLY Balanchine. I guess you can tell that I am a little uneasy about that. :)


According to SAB's Recent Professional Employment page, only 4 dancers since the year 2000 has found employment outside of the US. What conclusions could one draw from that?

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Well, my DD had a conclusion for me. She said "It's because SAB students find jobs in the US, Duh!?" :D


Time for me to stop worrying about the small stuff. My DD has declared that she is a Balanchine dancer and loves it, so that is that. :blush:


Good night all, and Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Kwanzaa! :jump:


And Happy New Year!! :party::dry:

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