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Eval terminology question


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My daughter recently had her evaluation meeting.  It went well, she is moving to the next level in fall.  These are done by many faculty members observing class, then followed by a meeting with the main teacher who shared a few comments from the others.  This was followed by a mailed eval form a couple weeks later.  Both of us are unclear on what exactly is meant by one of the categories on that form and hoping someone here can help interpret.  One category said “hip flexibility”.  What would be used in determining this?  During adagio, both in center and at barre she has the highest extensions in class, yet was rated as “average” in hip flexibility and her friend with 90 deg. extension rated above average.  Is this not related to hip flexibility?  Or does hip flexibility refer to something else?  Confused.

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gabby's mom

My daughter's former school usually handed out evaluation forms a couple times a year.  Instead of just signing them and returning them, as requested, I'd copy them.  Assembling a number of the evaluations over time was interesting.  She generally had several teachers and each would do an evaluation form.  They were often quite different from one another and looking at the evaluations over time the same teacher would give different "scores" in each category that were variable as well.  In October her musicality was excellent, but in March it was average, for instance.  In any event, they were just "snapshots" of my daughter on a given day.  The teachers would fill them out during or after class one day and the criteria was not well defined.

At my daughter's current school the evaluations are presented in sealed envelopes twice a year and the students are reminded not to open them at the school and not to discuss and compare evaluations.  I like that.  If you have questions you can schedule a time to meet with the AD.

It is always in the best interest of the dancer and her family to focus on the dancer and her progress.  Comparing your dancer to her fellow students will only frustrate the parent and distract the dancer.

If you generally trust the school and the instructors and your dancer is healthy, happy, and making progress towards her goals, a single evaluation isn't something to spend a lot of energy dissecting, in my opinion.  The best person to interpret "hip flexibility" in terms of this evaluation would be the person who completed the evaluation.

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Problem is, the eval meeting occurred before the sealed envelope came.  Also, there was a mix up with someone else’s letter being in her envelope, so hard not to compare.  Really just wondering what is meant by hip flexibility.  I guess she could ask her teacher after class.

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Do not know what hip flexibility means, but I would like add about the evaluations in our school.

In our school, evaluations are individual based - which means the dancer is not compared with her class, but compared with her own progress/training trajectory. So high mark means she exceed expectations or make good progress, or it is her own strong points, and middle mark means it goes as expected. Low marks are where attention/improvement needed. So high mark for one dancer not necessary better than middle for other dancer. That is just our case .

It is helpful in a way to find out what she need to work on(regardless of where she stands in her classroom), but it is not giving much info where she stands among her peer. Anyway, a face-to-face meeting is more informational than written evaluations.


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For true clarification I guess asking the teacher is best but I can say that with my two kids, my oldest has decent turnout and higher extensions yet is jealous of her sibling who has amazing  effortless turnout. Teachers have always said my youngest is very flexible and I’ve scratched my head because I see no height with extensions or arabesques but when they sit in butterfly position it’s very noticeable how the hips just fall open and knees hit the floor. 

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In more than one school, I found both the evaluation process, and the evaluations themselves to be confusing. Sometimes it was said that the results are used by faculty to rate themselves. Sometimes they are supposed to be actual feedback with questionable factual basis. In DD’s current school, as soon as the student came out of the evaluation meeting s/he, was thronged by the rest of the class, demanding to see the report card. They realized that most of them got similar feedback, which made them wonder how accurate they were.

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I would ask the evaluator what was meant re: hip flexibility.  To my mind, that is not a static value but something that changes depending on various things relating to the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, IT band, quads, along with the shape and structure of the actual hip socket, as well as the balances among and between all of these and how the body is working. 

On the other hand, I could be way out in left field!

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