Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers



Recommended Posts

My DD is 11 and repeating a level at a prestigious school. She is getting a lot of corrections but is rarely asked to demonstrate. She already feels down about repeating. I am worried they don't think she s good enough. Does anyone have advice?

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Lisa, corrections are good things. Everyone should receive corrections in class, no matter what level or age. :) And, moving up a level is not, or at least should not be, an automatic thing. Many schools have students in the same level for more than one year. However, if all or most of her class moved up, then I would want to know the reasons why she did not. Have you requested a conference with her teacher or the school director? There could be many reasons why they feel that it is best for her to remain in the same level this year, but it is important for her, and for you, to know why.

Link to comment

Thank you for your response. I was told last year at parent teacher conference that she would repeat. 10 girls from her class were released from the school, and 4 asked to repeat. The staff told me she had a beautiful line but was not strong enough for toe yet. I am content with the decision but I can't explain it enough to her - her friends went forward. Her school is highly competitive and I'm glad they see potential and chose to keep her and work with her. My worry is all the corrections, and little positive feed back. But the year only began 3 weeks ago so maybe I am worrying to much.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Worrying too much. :) I am thinking that the next level probably starts pointe work, and they feel that she is not yet strong enough. This, IMO, is a positive thing. WAAAAAAAY too many children in many, many schools are placed on pointe too early, and that is NOT a good. Children grow and gain strength at different times and ages, and not everyone at 11 is automatically ready. I have kept students off pointe until 12 and 13 who, when ready were strong enough that pointe was almost natural for them, and they progressed much quicker than students who had been on pointe too early. Several of these students went on to professional careers. They are doing what is best for the child, and I applaud this.

Link to comment

My son and his friends keep track of "corrections and compliments"-- it took him several years to understand that they are in a similar category. Teachers don't correct the students who they don't think can do it correctly, if that makes sense.

Link to comment

Teachers actually do correct students with less physical aptitude for ballet. There are always surprises out there. Some of the best dancers I have taught were not at the top of their class. They just needed good teaching and someone to believe in them. They had the key ingredient of an unstoppable determination.


Good teachers correct even those who struggle. Good teaching can make ballet better for all.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Amen to that, vrs!


Any student who is trying their best and really working can improve with good teaching. The only ones I do not correct are those who are lazy, not focused, and do not respond positively to corrections. I will try as hard as I can with them until I see that it is useless, not because of inability, but because of not willing to work at it. After that, it is better for the rest of the students in the class to receive my attention. (I teach only Int. and Adv. teens, and some of my classes are large. If I start getting frustrated with the lazy or unwilling or bad attitude student, that affects the others, which is not good. So, I move on to ignoring. Took me quite a while to learn that, as my tendency is to never want to give up on anyone. But sometimes you can't win every battle. Move on.)

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Corrections are a wonderful compliment in our house! Getting a correction means your instructor is watching you and sees a specific way for you to improve. I just had an impromptu meeting with one of DD11's instructors and she raved about how strong she's getting and then continued to praise her-specifically because she listens, hears a correction and then immediately attempts to implement it. That is a POSITIVE. ? (I have heard several teachers comment that she is a joy to teach because she responds to corrections..NOT that she is a perfect prima ballerina. ?) It's a slow boil, yeah? Corrections are the part where they have a personalized chance to learn.)

There are so many tiny details-rotation of the hip, knee, ankle, posture, exact angle of the arm, position of the head...and sometimes a simple "elbow up a little more" makes an enormous difference.

Same DD is hyperextended in every single joint. That is a gift. And a curse. It will take her longer to strengthen the muscles enough to support her crazy joints in order to go en pointe than it would a child who isn't hyperextended. In my DD's case, waiting=injury prevention. That said, she is well aware that she needs to do her strength training even on holidays in order to move up to pointe next year, and perhaps not even then. If your DD has similar bendy joints she may just need time to get stronger. ?

(Also, RE corrections, in my experience if a teacher attempts to correct a child repeatedly for the same issue, and said dancer doesn't listen and try to improve, eventually that teacher will move on to other dancers who DO listen and apply corrections. If she's getting lots of them, it's because her teacher is watchful and giving her the cues she needs to improve. Yay corrections!)

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

I've been noticing a few things with my daughter with corrections and not sure how to handle.

1 of her instructors just doesn't give corrections. If lucky, she'll make a comment "there are a few things to work on", but is NOT specific. Further, this instructor has used my daughter to demonstrate early in the season. Sure, my daughter has a good beat and can grasp the steps quickly. But, even a no-nothing Dad like me realizes ballet is sooo much more, which leads me to the problem....

At times, she has had a WONDERFUL sub teacher. She catches everything! She's fun, encouraging, and makes proper correction. But, I feel like my daughter "tunes out" when getting corrections from her (she'll have a sip of water, etc).

Sure, my daughter works hard and practices without being told (the 1 thing in her life I don't have to nag about). My daughter can be a bit of a perfectionist, so maybe she doesn't like the "needs improvement" correction. Or maybe, she wants to do what she wants to do - which let's face it won't cut it.

What advice can I give as a parent to help her overcome it? I feel like this will be necessary for her to take the next step.

Link to comment

I think having a conversation with the school/instructor would be very helpful. You can ask them to specify the areas in which your dd needs improvement so that she knows what to focus on. She shouldn't have to wait until she gets a sub (once in awhile?) to know what she needs.  Perhaps she's brushing the sub's corrections off because it's a sub and not her main teacher. If the main teacher corrected her more consistently, your dd would probably become more aware of her mistakes and take any corrections into consideration. 

If I recall correctly, your dd is still young. If so, it's important for your dd to understand that she needs to make the right corrections since she's at the level of fundamental training. Everything that she will learn builds upon these basic skills. It's difficult for younger kids to see the "bigger picture" sometimes, but hearing it from her teachers (and not just a parent) can help a lot. I'm also learning to stop nagging my dd (10) and let her deal with the consequences. Sometimes it's an eye-opener and she begins to fix things on her own.

Link to comment

thanks for input. The Instructor #1 that I mention is the SO, who is older. I'm not trying to make this about age. But, I've seen plenty of no comments to crude comments ("get off the floor").

To your point, maybe this has lead to my daughter not paying attention when she gets the proper corrections from the Sub.

They are looking to hire for next year, so I hope my dd ends up in new persons class and they are a good teacher,  my daughter listens and takes actions.

Link to comment

A different teacher can make a big difference. Before registration for the fall opens, maybe you can call the school and ask who's teaching your dd's level. I usually call and ask when more than one section is being offered. After the schedule (days/times), the teacher is really our deciding factor. 

Link to comment

Thank youDanceMum. 

I had a conference and it all comes down to Pilates.  They had my DD' Pilates ( yeah even at 12) call the school to give her specific instruction on what to work on - ASAP.  I think most of it is puberty.  Puberty causes havoc in young dancers bodies, but with proper training they get through it.  We will see.  Other parents are hearing"Oh we love your daughter, " Will you come back next year".......

It hurts, but if they are pleased with her correction, then the fact that they sat with me and wanted to speak to her pilates teacher, should please me.  They did say they were pleased at how far she had come and how much they like her.  Still - its irritating to hear how wonderful another student is when yours works hard.  I know they are trying to ward of injury and strengthen her.  I keep that in mind.I wish they had approached me at the end of last year, and I could have begun Pilates then.  If this doesn't satisfy them, we will be asked to leave.

Ill find another studio - thats all.  I believe in my dd.


Link to comment

After taking a drink of water, does your daughter apply the correction that she appears to be tuning out? I ask this because people have different ways of processing information. It used to make me crazy when my daughter would kind of stare into the middle distance while a teacher was giving a combination (instead of looking at the teacher), but it’s just because she is visualizing the combination. 

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...