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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Teacher has given up on some students?


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I came across an observation in my new school regarding the behaviour of my teacher and I'm just curious about it - so I thought perhaps you guys have an idea what it's all about.


I'm in an open beginner class. There are students having their first lesson and students training for about two years and everything in between.


And for the last year our teacher had something like a "favourite" student, who he corrected like ALL THE TIME and giving him a lot of attention - not because of talent (he has no talent - absolutely no body awareness, no memory for movements and has never done any kind of sport before he turned 34 !) but because he is super diligent and works super hard.


But now, after correcting him constantly for one year, he kind of stopped paying extra attention to him.


I wonder why that is.


My guess is, it's because he hasn't really applied the corrections the last few month. In the beginning he was improving really fast but now that he is a little better the improvement slowed down a lot. It's like he has been told corrrections every day for the last month and just isn't able to apply them (he wants to so).

So I thought my teacher is kind of tired to give him the same corrections and so much extra attention without seeing any results.


What do you think about it?

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Tifa, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


There are several reasons that the situation you describe could happen. It could be that the teacher felt that he was not giving enough attention to others in the class; it could be that he was not seeing the corrections applied, and after a while one does tend to think that perhaps the student is just not capable or doesn't want to work hard enough; or, it could even be that the teacher feels the student needs a little more time and space to assimilate and apply all the corrections, like thinking that perhaps he overdid the corrections and needed to back off for a bit. There is usually a reason, and it could be personal reasons that are not necessarily things one shares with others. Basically, it really isn't the concern of the other students in the class, unless they personally feel they are being neglected and can discuss this with the teacher.


You profile lists both student and teacher. Do you teach ballet?

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Sometimes a teacher will evaluate how things are progressing with a particular student and come to the conclusion that how he/she is approaching the teaching of that student has not been successful and so has decided to do things differently.


In the case of learning a skill as difficult as ballet, some students will progress more quickly than others. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let the student have time to assimilate information at his/her own pace.


Perhaps this student will do better with a little less attention and less corrections.


I teach young children and beginning adults, as well as older students and intermediate/advanced adults. Each age/level of student has its particular rewards and challenges. I tell myself to remember that each dancer will progress at his/her own pace and all I can do is give the best instruction possible, in every class I teach.


It is hard, at times, to see no improvement in a student with whom one is working and it is easy to consider just giving up on that student.

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I teach dance (freestyle) for kids (age 6 to 12, 4 classes per week) for two month now. My teacher wants me to try out teaching and in a few years take over more of her classes - or the school. It's a little dance school (not ballet but with focus on technique) with 60 students (most of them children).


This observation was regarding my teacher in another school I train at for about a year.


And I'm asking because there are other students whom he has also stopped correcting. And one of them wants to change schools now because of it. She is always complaining that he doesn't correct her enough or pays enough attention to her. And that she is paying a lot of money for it. I don't know how to reply to that.


Also, I'm now kind of his new "favourite". Since a few weeks I'm getting corrected the whole time. And I love it. And I don't want him to loose interest in me too :ermm:



(sorry for my bad english, I'm German - but I try my best!)

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"In the case of learning a skill as difficult as ballet, some students will progress more quickly than others. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let the student have time to assimilate information at his/her own pace."


Very wise I think.

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Interesting discussion. As an adult student who danced only minimally as a child, I find I make ultra slow progress. I very much appreciate the several excellent teachers I've had as an adult. I especially appreciate their patience and willingness to work with the less skilled of us. One of my teachers occasionally lets us in on his corrections strategies. I remember him saying, a number of years ago, that he can't correct everything that needs correcting. So he gives us the correction we most need, and considers that we'll work on that until we get different feedback. He will give an additional corrections when he sees we can assimilate more.


So I feel I'm making turtle-like progress. But as long as it's progress, I'll keep plugging. I have to laugh a little, I hope my teachers don't count my slow progress a not interested, or not trying. I'm sure they'd be amused to know how much we all care about our progress.

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Guest Pas de Quoi

I would hope that I understand the passion and commitment to our art form that students (myself included) bring to our classes. I have young students who are in class because their parents have decided they will take ballet. They do not at all show the dedication and willingness to learn that I suspect you bring to the classroom, DanceMomLAS.


Students who are genuinely trying are always appreciated and respected in my classes. I also feel student progress the best if they are "part of the process". I give my students much information about how to do this or that and what to work on. In classes that are small I am fortunate to be able to give personal, one on one time to students. In classes that are larger, I have to work in a more general manner.


I try also to be sensitive when something is particularly difficult, to let the student have space to work on it at his/her own pace. I try to make my students feel they can "take a risk" in my classes (ie.go ahead and try for the double pirouette or the entre ch'quatre or the grand assemblé portée) as that is how progress is made in many instances. Students often find they can do more than they thought they could and that makes all of us very happy :)

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  • 1 year later...

Reading through old threads and just came across this lovely reply from Pas de Quoi that I somehow missed. Thank you for you kind words!!

:) :) :)

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