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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Guest Andrew

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Guest Andrew

Hi, sorry but I have to get this off my chest...


We're having rehearsals for our recital and it's the biggie of the year. My gripe? Parents who dump their children and expect us (the older students) to watch them. Right.


Tonight I was trying to watch and study for finals while I wasn't dancing and the rule is, NO talking in the theatre or on stage. So, this group of girls sitting together (like, 8-10 age) would not be quiet..and naturally no parents in sight so I turned around and said to please be quiet and they looked at me like I had 6 heads and kept right on talking. So I moved away, I couldn't take it but all over the place people were totally rude and ignoring this rule. The thing is, we all got yelled at about our "behavior" being "deplorable" after rehearsal was over. Kids apparently were running all over the place, I saw a half eaten hamburger in a drinking fountain and nobody was following dress code. AkkkkkkK!!!!!!!! It makes me mad! What's wrong with these people? How do you get it thru their thick heads that this is important to SOME PEOPLE and why don't teachers send out something in writing to parents about behavior?


Grrr.. I don't know if I want a reply or not since there are probably no easy answers to this but as a future studio owner, I'd love to know how it should be handled. Is it just my studio or is this the pathetic state of affairs all over the place?


Thanks for letting me complain, I feel better now..sorta

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Yes, improper behavior in the studio or the theater is not to be tolerated. Have you spoken with the faculty? They are the ones to speak with the parents.


Another tactic might be to ask that certain areas of the studio be named "quiet" or study areas. Talking is not allowed.


Good luck!

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Guest Andrew

Hi and thanks for the reply.


Well, yesterday we got ripped into about our "behavior" which ticked me off. I spoke to my director today and they had already typed up a sheet to hand out to all the parents/students listing what will not be tolerated. But..see this is taking place outside of the studio at an auditorium and parents are dumping kids at the door. So tonight they were a little less rowdy but still pretty bad. Last year we had official babysitters but this year (gee I wonder why) none of the parents volunteered so they have delegated the job to the seniors and I just can't figure out how to get them to settle down. The sheet says and we've all been told, SILENCE in the auditorium..NO RUNNING..and what do they do? All of the above.


But anyway, tonight I was in hiding backstage, just making sure the groups got out when it was their time so I didn't have to really take any BS.



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Guest DancingDoc

Hi Andrew!


I'm in a "recital" as a pirate in Peter Pan to the young "lost boys" (all 4-6 year olds). Most of the other pirates are their dads, while there are three of us on-stage who are supposed to make this look like a real dance.


These young boys, given a sword, go crazy. While we're not onstage, they're climbing on top of the lighting equipment, like it's a jungle-jim! And their fathers stand on the side-line talking about their investments, etc. while thier sons climb on flimsy scaffolding. I'm a nervous wreck!


I'm convinced that you won't find quiet time at any recital, and expect the kids to throw half-eaten hamburgers in the water fountain, and be REAL HAPPY the half-eaten hamburgers are not on the dance-floor where you can slip on them and break a leg!


Andy...we need to encourage younger people to get into dance. We cannot demand that they be disciplined, even though they should be. Discipline is something that is learned, and may take more time with some youngsters.


Please don't expect to find quite time when rehersing for a recital. You're not their parents, and if you try to act that way their real parents (as stupid as they are) will get mad at you (don't tell me how to raise my wonderful child!), even though you may be more concerned about the kids breaking their necks, literally, than the parents.


I think the best thing for you is to tell your director that you'll be locked in a stall in the men's room studying until he or she needs you.






[ 05-24-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

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I was reading what Andrew wrote and I was totally appalled. Firstly, doing shows/recitals are very busy times. No one can be expected to be rehersing steps/looking after children/entertaining children while it is going on. This is not a safe environment for young children to be running around, with scaffolding and no one actually interesed in looking after them. Obviously it sounds like the parents are not interested in their childrens saftey or well being.

When we have recitals/shows, the younger dancers , and that is age 12 and below will be allocated a gym or some hall, where there are only a few exits and entrances. Then about 10 or so adults will be allocated as chaparones and wear badges indicating this. The children stay in this safe area until it is their turn for rehersal or to go on stage for real, at which point they will be chaparoned out of the hall to the stage area. No one is allowed to go into the hall apart form the chaparones and the dancers. No parents, no one. This is for saftey reasons. It is also the rule that no dancer can leave this hall unless accompanied by a chaparone at all times. Also, the hall is the only area where the children can eat/drink/run around etc. This avoids all the problems that Andrew was talking about and it requires just a bit of fore-thought prior to the recital venue and a bit of planning on behalf of the teachers and parents and some of the older dancers (dancers who are perhaps not in a lot of scenes on stage).

All it takes is an opportunity for someone with bad intentions to take advantage of this lack of supervision of young children,a nd if I were a parent and I had read what Andrew wrote I would be having serious words with the dance school and other parents.

Obviously the rude talking can be controlled, Now the school, again should have allocated some of the older girls/parents to make sure the children stay quiet during rehersals as it is rude and distracting, and they need to know this now. God i sound like a tyrant, but I was taught to respect other dancers and especially my ballet teacher, from an early age. My ballet teacher would have had none of this, and she have been very vocal about it to both the dancers and parents.

As to what you could do? well you could tell the teacher how totally appalled you were at the behaviour of the parents and younger dancers, in the sense that they were a danger to themselves and that the childrens saftey should be paramount and perhaps suggest some improvements for next time. Perhaps your teacher might need some help in organizing it better, and offer to help, and if you can offer that help, it may be easier for you next time!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Andrew

Hey, here's an appropriate reply to my problem... "THIS TOO SHALL PASS"...which it did.


We had our recital and amazingly, everyone got their act together and they pulled some real live babysitters out of a hat and kept the little ones occupied for the whole time (which ended up being 3 hours incl. intermission). So, sorry I was complaining, I guess the stress of end of year things was getting to me and I blew a gasket (I love that expression, lol). I had never really been in a position of much responsiblity before as far as my studio is concerned so I never had to deal with anything like this. I think it was bad for people to just dump their kids, I never really thought about the safety problems with that either. Sheesh-people are careless with their kids. But, I'm one person and I can't solve big problems by myself so I voiced my opinion with our Dir. and I'm done with it.


Anyway, I'm leaving for camp very soon and I wanted to say thanks for all the help on things like this and I'll see you guys when I get back end of July. Hope everyone has a great summer with all things dance related.

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