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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2000 7:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Jeanette, many thanks for responding to the comments on this theme. I do take heart from your evidence that the dance world seems to be making progress in that the issues are out in the open and some action is being taken.<P>I hope that your conference goes well and represents another step towards a better psychological and physical environment for dancers.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks, Jeanette, for that information.<P>As Director of Dance UK, you must feel an obligation towards the well-being of the dancers. However, how is Dance UK's stance viewed by the choreographers and artistic directors, I wonder.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2000 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
SO glad to get a response from you, jeanette: thanks. <P>i hope you won't mind if i point out to some people who are NOT as well-informed as you, who may be misled by your comments about the previous conference, that the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House have always been at the forefront, internationally, in dance medicine areas. <P>as you would know (but others may not), they have had their own physician, and their own fulltime ONSITE physiotherapist for many many years - and certainly for many years BEFORE any other companies internationally, as far as i know.<P>in this regard, they were looked at by other companies internationally, as a model of the level of service that COULD be provided to dancers IF you had enough money to do it - which they, but no-one else - DID.<P>also their physician and/or surgeon (several in succession) has always been regarded as an internationally sought-after (for conferences and advice, and so on) expert in his areas of practice.<P>same with the physiotherapists, some of whom i have met, and even been treated by (12 years ago - and they were not by any means 'new', even then).<P>so the ROH has a good record in terms of the medical care of dancers - compared to other companies- which is not to say that there isn't a long way to go......and IMO, they have one of the worst records -but this is a subjective assessment- in terms of the psychological health and care of their dancers - but that's a whole other area, and one that's much harder to prove or quantify or compare.....<P>thanks SO much for responding. i do hope we might hear more from you sometimes - it doesn't have to be as long, or as carefully thought through, as this response was. we like to hear from you! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 9:24 am 
I can see why many people may still resent someone like Gelsey Kirkland.<BR>Not only was she frank about her individual problems but those of the dance world;bullying included.She's probably the 1st famous dancer to do so.<BR> Cynthia Gregory has hinted at it also;in her book Ballet Is The Best Excercise,she teaches students how to pick a good ballet teacher,and ones to avoid.Even SHE in spite of her fame and technique avoids certain teachers.<BR> Tamara Rojo is VERY blunt about this sort of treatment toward dancers in DANCE EUROPE Mar 2002;to paraphrase,tearing students down to build them up is ridiculous and common in the ballet world(and it makes her furious);that those who survive this kind of treatment become sucessful dancers,but the amount of good dancers that are wasted doesnt justify those few.<BR> MY OWN personal and BLUNT opinion?<BR>I've heard many people justify that abuse(whether its teachers,parents,etc)is suppose to make a person stronger in the world(dance world or whatever);by the name calling,belittling;criticsm of body type,etc.<BR> Call it the inner analyst in me,but if you know more about the person who dishes it out,they are really frustrated and angry people, who also experienced the same kind of treatment.Them dishing it out is more of revenge or payback being put on an innocent party. It has nothing to do with real instruction in spite of much they want to protest that it is.Their own chance to experience power that they didnt feel when they were the recipients of abuse.<BR> I agree w/ Tamara;this type of treatment isnt worth the consequences.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by angela (edited April 23, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 9:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
As a dancer, I've never been bullied. If I ever were, I'd leave in an instant.<P>But I'm almost 30. At the age of 20, I certainly would have (and did) put up with a lot more abuse in the workplace.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 9:54 am 
What makes this sort of thing worst is the heads(of companies,schools,whatever)know that it exist and some do nothing about it--even when its complained about.<BR>They its either inevitable or neccessary; a 'live w/ it'attitude.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying in the dance world
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 10:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
I once worked in a research laboratory at a well-known university, in which that type of abuse was encouraged within our working group. The head professor used the same justification that angela cited: the abuse was supposed to make you "stronger". This professor would also mention how famous he was, and how students who worked with him would become famous as well.<P>I left. It was a good move on my part.<P>Graduate students probably come in a close second to dancers as enduring abusive patterns in the workplace and suffering self-esteem problems. My life improved when I decided I would stop complaining about the bullying; rather, I would refuse to work with bullies.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by citibob (edited April 23, 2002).]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ballet bullying
letters in The Times


Sir, The sad case of Shaine Young, bullied at school for his interest in ballet (report, June 16), shows that it is not enough to have good reporting procedures in a school.

click for more


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:16 am
Posts: 3
I think yes it is another one of those where do you draw the line issues? there's shouting/pushing to limits to increase aptitude and there's abuse of power. I remember two ballet teachers in particular in my training one of which made me cry because she was pushing me too hard shouting-yes, she even told me off for having a cough! but i was young we all get upset but i look back and realise that that was for my own good she was trying to make me better. The second teacher constantly criticised my technique but never corrected it, and through various incidents i wont go in to here, made me question my belief in dancing altogether to the point where i decided to leave, you may dismiss it as being over sensitive and well i cant help that, but all i can say is if it was over-sensitivity i would have left after the first instance. Dance tutors in their efforts to push you to your limits and increase your performance can lower self-esteem especially at impressionable ages but there is i believe a difference in having a vested interest in the student to do their best and doing it for the sake of doing it. Problem is how do you distinguish between the two, and how do you best tackle it.


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