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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Issues at SIs: A Delicate Subject

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My daughter said something that disturbed me. Today's SI teacher ( they have a different one each day ) dividedthe girls into lines but she put all of the Caucasian girls in front and all of the non-white students in the back with the exception of one Asian girl who was light conplected. The white girls were extravagantly praised and a lot of time was spent on giving them corrections. The non- white girls were virtually ignored and all praise was just her saying " nice" .


She is friends with another teacher the non-white girls also dislike for the same reason. This does not seem to be confined to my dd's level as girls in the higher levels feel the same way.


I am surprised as I thought that discriminating against dancers of other races was a thing of the past. Should I discuss this with the director of the program or wait another week to see if things change? My impulse is to make my concerns known but I wouldn't want my dd to be a target for the rest of the SI

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If you or your daughter is feeling uncomfortable with what has been observed, by all means a phone call may be the way to go.

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Victoria Leigh

I thought this was a thing of the past, too, Kandi, and I'm very sorry, and angry, to learn that it is not. Those teachers must be from the past. :) Yes, I agree with vrs. Do talk to the director. If I were running the program and heard that was happening in my program I would certainly want to know it. There are lots of fine teachers out there and any behaving in that fashion would be history in a heartbeat in my program.

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This is disturbing to say the least, Kandi. I would be as concerned as you are about making your dd a target if you're the only parent reporting this behavior. Is there any way you could find at least one other parent who could report the problem along with you?

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I agree, speak to the director.


My thoughts when I started reading your post was that she just chose a way to quickly divide the group like I might say in class, front line if you've got brown hair, back line if you've got blonde hair or whatever - obviously I'm not prejudiced towards one or the other, it's just a quick way of making lines and I would vary it from week to week. BUT I would never make lines based on colour or race, that in itself is wrong, kind of like saying fat children in the back line, thin in front!!


So in my opinion to even divide the class in that way is wrong, to then go on and praise one line far more than the other is totally inappropriate - maybe the non-white line genuinely didn't do as well as the other line but there's still something very wrong with what she did.


What 'conplected' by the way? - I've never heard that word!

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I think it's a typo- 'complected', an American mutation of the word, 'complexion'.


Dividing a classroom should never be done by anything other than height or birth month- I am speechless at this moment that any teacher would do what was done at that SI. :)


To be quite honest with you, I would make it an anonymous phone call and I might hint that my dd was placed in the back line and manage to say something about 'discrimination', and 'attorney' somewhere in my call..... :dry::thumbsup: It's inexcusable.

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As the parent of a non-white student I would be outraged if my DD reported this at an institution. I am sure it made all the students feel uncomfortable no matter what line they were in. I would complain, possibly anonimously but maybe not, and if I felt my child was then targeted, I would request my money back and take her home.

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I'm sorry but this type of behavior in a classroom is completely unacceptable. Completely and utterly unacceptable. I'm angry to read about an adult...a teacher...treating students in this manner.

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Mel Johnson

If, while mentioning "attorney", you should say "US Attorney" and "Civil Rights Act of 1964" (even though strictly speaking it doesn't truly apply here, but Brown v. Board of Education sure does!), it might not be amiss.

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As the parent of a non-white student I would be outraged if my DD reported this at an institution.


As much as I can, calamitous, I understand where you are coming from, and I am not trying to diminish your feelings about the situation, but as the parent of a student period I am outraged at what has been reported. This is unacceptable for all involved, no matter their race. As you said, this is of no benefit to any of the kids and puts everyone in that classroom under a terrible burden. I would hope that all parents of all kids in that class would be equally outraged.


I know I was a bit more measured in my earlier post, and I do believe that there is strength in numbers, but on further reflection (I will admit that I have been upset about this situation all day since reading of it), I don't think there is a choice but to complain about it. There is no way under the circumstances that Kandi's daughter could have misconstrued what was happening, and it must be dealt with immediately. I love the suggestions to throw in references to "Civil Rights Acts" and "US Attorney." When I told my dd about the situation, she reminded me that I would have already been in the director's office letting him/her know what I thought of this "teacher!"

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I know! I've been stewing about it since I first read it too.... I keep getting madder and madder...... :)

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Mel Johnson

The heck with the parents, I know a lot of white KIDS who wouldn't stay quiet or sit still for it!

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This is completely unacceptable. It sickens me to the core. :)


You must talk to the AD and like has been said, get as many parents involved in talking to the AD as you can. Then you can add “class action” to your legal terms.


If I was running the program, I would pull the teachers immediately.

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Is this your home SI or an away SI? At any rate, you need to say something. That is just for my own info.


In cases of believed injustice the people who most quickly make change are not those who were mistreated, but others who saw the mistreatment and were appaulled enough to voice their opinion and demand change. There is a huge difference in not liking a teacher and being subjected to a teacher. One should never be subjected to any teacher in this manner.


A wise poster brought up a question in pm I've added to this post: Is it possible all the students in the front row were from one particular school and that is who the teacher was trying to put in front? Or was this simply a race/color thing? Either way, as soon as it was done, the teacher should have noticed this and the possible feelings it could elicit and quickly changed it for the next combination.

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  • Momof3darlings changed the title to Issues at SIs: A Delicate Subject


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