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Inaccurate statements


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Parents do not run schools. Owners and their administrators run schools. Parents who send their children to boarding schools generally have the right to ask questions and voice concerns. They do not have the right to expect that the school will answer their questions or address their concerns in exactly the way the parent would have them answer the question or address the concern. Were each parent able to get the answers they wanted and their concerns addressed in exactly the way they thought best, there would reign chaos. To think otherwise would be to assume that all parents wanted each and every issue addressed exactly the same way with the same outcome.

 

If the school does not adhere to your every whim and fancy you have the choice either to adhere to the rules and decisions of the school or try to change them in a dignified and professional manner and in a good faith exchange with the administration. Failing either of these two approaches, you have no choice but to remove your child and yourself from the school and find an environment that is more suited to your needs. Ad hominem attacks against the school reflect ill on you, your child, and the school. No one wins. There may be great emotional fulfillment when the “neighborhood” rallies around you but you have not thereby changed anything except the level of bile between the antagonists.

 

The original post, besides being laced with vague generalities, had one point that no one else seems to have had any problem with which I thought was a wee tad over the top. I can assure you that had my dd’s residency required her to dance in “below zero weather” with or without leg warmers and despite lacking the wisdom of having been a former dancer, I would have had her out of that school before the sun sank below the horizon that eve. In fact, and again despite my total lack of ballet training or experience, I know that many schools do not allow leg warmers in class and for good reason.

 

Regarding parts or roles in performances, we tried to instill in our daughter the fact that it mattered not one bit what role she was assigned but only with what attitude she approached the role, how well she prepared (on and off the floor), and how well she performed that role once the curtain went up. No one has ever asked her what roles she performed in residency (nor has she ever had to produce a resume thereof).

 

Enough said except to say that I am ever so thankful for training my dd received in her residency days. Even the apparent problem areas worked in her long term best interests. We simply made the necessary adjustments, kept our eye on the prize (the development of our dd’s gift) and maintained our confidence in the end result.

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Well said CDM. I notice you're from New Mexico.

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Kiwi sounds like she is feeling very angry and alone and maybe needs to be able to chat this out with other moms without offending the actual school. Although we all always want to know exactly which school :) someone is discussing, I don't think it is a wise decision. And not because of fear, but because there are two sides to every story. No one else on this board can possibly know everything about this situation like the people involved. So how can we take sides? I do understand pulling the thread and also wish things hadn't dissolved like that.

 

My dd had a 4th grade teacher who passed this wisdom onto us parents on that year's curriculum night:

 

"I'll believe half of what I hear about you, if you believe half of what you hear about me."

 

She was a very wise teacher.

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I would just like to state, that as always, when tough things happen here behind the scenes there are discussions to see how to better address them in the future. Contrary to the belief of some, we as moderators and the administrators do in fact listen and work tirelessly to help make the boards a better place. The SI boards as they exist now are the result of those discussions in prior years. Just like the addition of the PTA forum and the seperation of Parent groups into two were. There are many sides to this issue and many feelings. I would encourage everyone to take a deep breath and continue to discuss residential schools and their issues in general without throwing flames at anyone.

 

Thanks so much for your patience.

vj

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I was just going to answer when I read Momof 3darlings post and I agree with her completely. Let's look at balance. One of the best things about this board is that it is run by teachers and we can get really good fairly unbiased information and support as we try to go about navigating the ballet world most of which we have no control over. The moderators are really good on this board and human. We all have a frame of reference and if a moderator feels that something was out of control and violated the rules of the board then they have the right to remove the post.

 

I would challenge everyone to remember the 99% of the time they add insight, help, support and inspiration to the members, that would be a balanced approach. We are never going to agree with someones actions 100% of the time.

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Parents do not run schools. Owners and their administrators run schools. Parents who send their children to boarding schools generally have the right to ask questions and voice concerns. They do not have the right to expect that the school will answer their questions or address their concerns in exactly the way the parent would have them answer the question or address the concern.

 

The point of this original thread was IT'S THE PARENTS, not owners and administrators, who give birth to, nurture, feed, clothe, guide and financially support their children towards fulfilled lives. Part of this is an effort in trying one's best to find the best environment for that unique individual child. These young dance students are all unique with a shared dream and love for dance. NO ONE expects administrators or owners to provide only the answers parents want to hear. But parents do expect to know as much of the whole picture of a program before they make that "life altering" and financial commitment to a program. There are also basic courtesies and respect they are entitled to. If basic human rights are violated, that could be a red flag for some, but a comfort zone for others who prefer the blind faith method of living. I come from a background that taught we should always feel comfortable asking questions to people in authority if we are uncomfortable with something. A position of power has certain responsabilities associated with it. Authority is a privilege earned, not a right.

 

So what's the big deal about roles? It really isn't the roles at all, it's what is done with them that matters.

Carrot dangling of roles or promotions in front of students (in order to "give them hope...etc...etc...") and then pulling it away in the name of artististic privilege does occur more often then not in some programs. It happens to everyone at one time or another. Maybe the student didn't show enough strength when it mattered, or maybe attention fell to another dancer at the right moment the director was looking...who knows?

 

I agree the skills acquired during the program is the bigger objective, and that is why so many students and sometimes families make the move to a program in another state. That is the risk. Talking about the aspects of a program on every level shouldn't intimidate administration or instructors who are operating with integrity. It will just help families identify the correct environment for their particular child's personality as well as talent and skill level. There's nothing wrong with that either.

 

But there is no excuse for rudeness or hostility towards the very parents who financially support the program that will train their children. Even tax payers expect to have a say in how their taxes are spent without having to explain why they want to know. (Yes...and the politicians don't like to answer either!)

 

My hope is that we all do keep talking. I certainly want to learn as much as I can from others who have experiences in realms where I have never been. And maybe there's something I have learned that I can share. We are all still learning.

 

Kiwi sounds like she is feeling very angry and alone and maybe needs to be able to chat this out with other moms without offending the actual school. Although we all always want to know exactly which school :) someone is discussing, I don't think it is a wise decision. And not because of fear, but because there are two sides to every story. No one else on this board can possibly know everything about this situation like the people involved. So how can we take sides? I do understand pulling the thread and also wish things hadn't dissolved like that.

 

My dd had a 4th grade teacher who passed this wisdom onto us parents on that year's curriculum night:

 

"I'll believe half of what I hear about you, if you believe half of what you hear about me."

 

She was a very wise teacher.

I love that saying, thanks.
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basic human rights are violated

 

Has the UN been notified about this?

 

we should always feel comfortable asking questions to people in authority if we are uncomfortable with something.

 

I agree totally, but as CDM stated

 

Parents who send their children to boarding schools generally have the right to ask questions and voice concerns. They do not have the right to expect that the school will answer their questions or address their concerns in exactly the way the parent would have them answer the question or address the concern. Were each parent able to get the answers they wanted and their concerns addressed in exactly the way they thought best, there would reign chaos. To think otherwise would be to assume that all parents wanted each and every issue addressed exactly the same way with the same outcome.

 

 

Authority is a privilege earned, not a right.

 

That's true in a democratic government body, however in a business once a person is hired to a position they have the right of authority in that position. Whether those consumers, who associate with that person in authority, choose to respect that business authority is their choice at the risk of having their business turned away.

 

 

But there is no excuse for rudeness or hostility towards the very parents

 

Administrators are fallible human beings and sometimes when they have to deal with a rude or hostile parent they may lose their composure.

 

Even tax payers expect to have a say in how their taxes are spent without having to explain why they want to know.

 

Very true again for a democratic government body, however not applicable to business.

Edited by vicarious
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Okay folks, this is warning number 1. There will be no mudslinging on this thread and no further warnings. We are getting a bit personal again.

 

Next time a moderator feels uncomfortable with the discussion, the topic will be closed and participants may have to experience the consequences. :flowers: This moderator is tired. I have been watching the Board all last night and now all day today. The members will engage in discussions that do not contain personal attacks or passing of personal information about other members. If this cannot be done peacefully then there is nothing productive about the discourse.

 

LATER...Since the above post was edited politley by the member who posted it, this post sounds out of order. It was not at the time of the original post. Thank you for the edit vicarious. It is appreciated, however please all members be polite to each other, respect the privacy of others and remain mindful of the Rules of Conduct at BT4D.

Edited by vrsfanatic
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I am disheartened that there would be any mudslinging at all. (I am not referring to the specific situation that started the thread that was removed, I am just taking a general stance here.) We are all in the same general situation, folks. Parents of kids in residency programs and pre-pro programs are starting to feel the squeeze at the top of the funnel, but that must be nothing compared to what the kids themselves are going through. :flowers:

 

The teachers and administration can only do what they are being paid to do. Fact is, we are paying for training. There is nothing in those pretty brochures that promises anything else, no contract, no paycheck, no guarantee of anything. They know more than anybody else that in any given year, there may be a couple of kids a year that will get contracts somewhere, and not necessarily in their own school's company. Case in point, the school my DD is currently training at hired only one out of 40 in the professional division and it looks like it will be the same for next year.

 

If the teachers and administration were to be totally honest with each child and parent, the schools will go out of business and so will the companies. End of ballet.

 

Because the outcome of all this is so bleak, due to the fact that there will only be enough jobs for maybe 2% of the training population, the joy of the passion must be found in the journey of trying. Isn't that why most of us turned to this board to begin with? To find a community in common and gather helpful information? If we are realistic with the situation and still choose to be a part of it, then we owe it to each other to be helpful, understanding, and supportive. Then again, if one chooses to leave this world behind and pursue something with better odds and pay, they might be considered to be quite sane! :blink::)

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Amen, mylildancer.

 

There is a delicate balance in all of this. From the broad topic of the administration of ballet schools, to the topic of parental communication, to the narrower topic of how this particular Board is run. Count me as one tired moderator. As momof3darlings and vrsfanatic have stated, the Moderators have been working, discussing, debating, and trying our darndest to come up with even-handed opportunities for this membership to discuss, debate, disagree, and, hopefully, learn from each other's viewpoints. If anyone thinks this is easy, please let me say that after the last couple of days, I'd volunteer for a root canal!

 

We each have our vantage points: parent, student, administrator, teacher, professional at the end of the long journey. Each of those vantage points was reached by some means of "travel". We all learned things along the way, and some of those things are very different depending on (1) where we are in the journey and (2) what at vantage point we are. Sometimes we may be at a different vantage point at different phases of our journey. I daresay the young dancer just graduating and beginning the realization (or not) of that professional career has a different vantage point than one just a few years farther along. The same with parents. I know, for example, that things I thought were absolutely horrible when I was a student in, take your pick, high school, college, grad school, when viewed from a vantage point of several years later or even a decade later, I realized were the very things that had turned out to be of the most valuable for my growth and preparation for what came later.

 

We need to all remember: There is nothing fair in the world of ballet. We can beg, plead, stomp, and demand that "fairness" be applied to all our DKs. But the reality is: There is nothing fair in ballet. Not the fact that certain bodies are born for dance; not the fact that other bodies can be molded for dancer; not the fact that no matter how talented, gifted, determined or pig-headed our dancers or ourselves are, in the end it is neither the dancer nor the parent who has control over whether that dream is realized--in the end, someone else's vision for their company is what makes that decision. Our dancers' fate is always going to be largely in the hands of someone else.

 

Now, personally, I believe that to some extent the "unfairness" a dancer experiences in a school, in a casting decision, in an audition better prepares them to deal with the harsh realities of the ballet world. I believe that the dancer's ability to adapt to those situations, to learn to find the "key" to curry the "favor" (if you will) of the chooser, to learn to perservere in the face of "unfairness" will give them a leg up when it comes to finding and making their way in that harsh world. If a child whines that they are not the favorite, or that they should have gotten such and such a role, or that that teacher hates them, or if their parent constantly intercedes on their behalf and reinforces the expectation that everything must be fair, then I believe the parent and the child are setting that child up for disappointment. Those are the kids that do not learn to adapt to the situations and do not build the fortitude that is needed to be successful in this harsh world.

 

I have experience with private schools. Yes, by virtue of paying tuition, we parents do believe we have an entitlement to explanations that satisfy our beliefs in what IT should be. Sit with me for coffee and I can assure you I definitely know how better to run that school. But when it comes right down to it---what do I really know? I don't really know what has to be balanced against what. I am not qualified to run that school. Do I have ideas that might be useful. Yes. I am happy if there is an open communication that lets me discuss that with the administration. Would I like them to see things my way, yes, but if they can't, I'm happy with an explanation of their reasoning and rationale. If we reach the point where no one is listening to each other, then that is the time for me to decide whether I need to remove myself from that organization or not. I believe it would be the same with a ballet school, residential or otherwise.

 

And I believe that to be the same with this Board. We all want to talk. But we all must listen----and I mean really listen---to what each other has to say. Consider things from others' vantage points. We can all learn something from each other---but only if we listen, consider, and discuss. It behooves none of us to lash out.

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Because the outcome of all this is so bleak, due to the fact that there will only be enough jobs for maybe 2% of the training population, the joy of the passion must be found in the journey of trying.

 

But based on dicussions such as these, there clearly appears to be programs/locations where many of the students will not find joy or passion in this process, or other programs where tuitions checks can be written to give false hopes to a dancer and the family. I think that 99% of what was said in the deleted thread was useful information to a world of parents seeking the best info. I posted on that thread and had meaningful things to say. I don't keep a copy of my posts, and now that info, over several posts, is gone.

 

The moderators do a WONDERFUL job, and the information here is not available anywhere. I think that some of the "posts" need to be returned to their original owners--those posts that had useful info that had no direct relationship to the back and forth of a parent and a program. That info can be posted by the author in another way.

 

I understand the environment of this board, and that it is run by teachers, and parents are invited guests. I have no problem with rules. And direct references to programs or persons can end up messy. And back and forth attacks will get one no where. But removing an entire thread, with worthwhile messages that were general and not specific, seems harsh. And it seems that it is just coloring the lens a deeper rose.

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Many excellent statements by everyone. I'm not going to restate any of them because you've all done it so well.

 

Stork, your request about the posts are, in my opinion, very reasonable. Here is the bottom line: Victoria Leigh is THE Administrator of Ballet Talk for Dancers. She has been off on ballet related work up in Connecticut and will not return until sometime late tonight - I don't know exactly when, but I do know that if it's before midnight, she'll probably check in and it will take some time for her to read through the discussions. Once Ms. Leigh has had a chance to do this, and unpack and go back to teaching and running things over at WSB and organizing their SI, I know she will address all of this.

 

Please, continue to be patient and follow the basic guidelines of judicious and courteous discussions. I have to believe that the community will get through this and that BT4D will continue, with its own occasional 'growth spurts', to be a worth while place for you all. :flowers:

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Hi!

I read and posted on the deleted thread too. It was interesting. As I said (obviously not a direct quote because I don't print these pages either!), I never read any post and considered it to be the absolute truth! Everything written is valid to the person writing it. There's always at least two sides. (In my experiences, ballet has several more than two sides to any issue.) I never took any of it to mean much more than a single view. It is all FOOD FOR THOUGHT. I found the deleted thread, and this one too, very thought provoking.

 

Within reason, I think people (parents, dancers, teachers, moderators, etc.) should be allowed to vent some. Mudslinging is never a good idea. I've been in a panic. I've written a post I prayed would be deleted. It was. It brought me the help I very much needed. I didn't know how to get help any other way. I am eternally grateful to the moderators. I cannot imagine trying to keep up with such running dialogues. I think the moderators are doing a fantastic job. (I'm having root canal on Tuesday. I'd rather keep the appointment than work 24 hours sorting these messages!)

 

It doesn't really matter to me if the earlier thread is permanently deleted or not. It didn't matter to me if the school was named or not. I'm the one who had to perform a google search to figure it out! There are lots and lots of interesting threads on this board. It is amazing. Also, any of us can start a new thread at any time. Yes, there were great topics touched upon in the currently deleted thread. These opinions and insights don't have to be lost. Let's start one of those topics up (without reference to the one school)! The valuable information will be written with a new slant and still be just as valuable!

 

One of the things I found most interesting was the discussion of first and second tier schools. I didn't know that there were so many residency programs that they could be divided as such in very day conversation or on this board! What are the first tier schools? What are the others?

 

Okay, now I probably broke some sort of rule without knowing it. If the paragraph above needs to be moved to another location, please, kind and over-worked moderators, do your thing!

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No, no rules broken, mouse. :yes:

 

Why not start a new thread/topic yourself asking about the different tiers of ballet schools. I know it's been discussed before, as it has here as an interspersed topic, but I don't believe there is one that is only about the subject of tiers. So by all means start a new thread. :devil:

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There is alot of very fair discussion going on here. I certainly appreciate it. I don't think school programs identity was my point. I just want to encourage parents to ask more questions to find a good fit for their potential resident students.

 

Could the moderators define the one / two / three tier system more clearly? That's a new one to me. It was first discussed in the original thread. Also, if the moderators would remove all postings of a personal nature and allow the general comments back, I would also appreciate that. I value the links I was directed to.

 

On another subject, how would one speculate about the success of American dancers training in European residency programs (or in other countries,) and then return to the USA for work?

 

At auditions the technique styles can be distinct. Some of the pre-professional schools act as feeder schools for companies, so does this eliminate European trained dancers?

Edited by kikiswede
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