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Ballet Talk for Dancers

class by age


JBcc

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Hello. First time to post here.

 

The ballet studio where my daughter takes lessons offers chidlren's ballet classes by age.

I think the classes themselves are well-fitted to its age group, but the problem is that some parents put their children to a class which demands far more complicated stuff than the children can deal with. I just found that at least one mother even claimed her daughter's birth year one whole year earlier to put her in the "older girls' class."

As a result, some children are having hard time following the teacher's instruction and become excess baggage for the class, forcing the teacher to take time to correct them while everyone else has no problem following the instruction.

 

Do you think it's pretty common and I should keep my mouth shut, or complain to the administration and/or teacher?

Or should I even change the school?

I would appreciate your advice/comments/suggestions.

Thank you!

Edited by JBcc
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Hi JBcc, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :(

 

The practice of placing in classes by age is really not one of the Great Ideas of Western Civilization. In a graded school, class membership is by proficiency, not age, although there is some clustering of levels around certain ages, especially at the beginning. Personally, I would look around for another school which practices grade levelling by technical accomplishment, like a Cecchetti or RAD school. If your child is still doing all right in her classes, then it's all right to stay, but when you start recognizing that the 13-year-olds and the ones graduating from high school are not that separated in ability, it's time to find a more serious school. In the meantime, MYOB, as Ann Landers was fond of saying. Chances are very good that you will not receive a favorable audience for your opinion.

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Hi JBcc:

 

I agree with Mr. Johnson. No one is served by having students (no matter what their age) in a class which is not appropriate for them. The student in question does not get the instruction he or she needs, the others students are made to wait while the teacher addresses the needs of this student, and the teacher has a very difficult time getting the lesson done.

 

I have taught in both kinds of schools and of course much prefer the graded school.

 

I find that, more than the student actually wanting to be put in a higher level class, it is the parent who is pushing for the higher class. This makes the situation difficult - the parent is the one paying the tuition.

 

However, you are also paying good money for classes for your child. There is no harm in investigating other schools. There is also no harm in informing the school administrator of your concerns. If you have concerns, perhaps others do as well.

 

Ruth Z

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Hi Mel,

 

Thank you very much for your reply.

I agree that classes should be structured by the ability not by the age once you reach to a certain level.

I think I will keep her at the school probably at least by the end of this year as the new shool year has just started and I don't want my daugter to get confused by moving her now. But I will certainly start looking for other options next year.

Again, thank you very much for your advice!

 

Hi Ruth,

 

Thank you very much for your reply.

 

I am glad to hear that you as a teacher prefer the graded school, assuring my belief.

And, yes! It's so true that the parent is the one who is pushing his/her child to a higher level class, and I think some of them don't seem to know what their children's capabilities in ballet unfortunately...

 

As you suggested, I will explore other options, but probably will do so next year as my daughter just started the new school year. In the meantime, if her class gets really "dumb-downed," I will inform my concerns to the administrator.

 

Again, thank you very much for your advice!

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RuthZ-a reminder that this is the Parents of Under 13 board. Not sure if you have a dancer under the age of 13 or not, but if not, then we need to keep this board for Parental discussion with Administrators or moderator help, just as we don't allow Parent input on the Teacher's board regardless of how good the advice may be. Many of our threads are open for cross posting but the Parents of over 13 or under 13 and the Teachers boards are not open for general input.

 

*I could not pm you thus the need to discuss this here.

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