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 Post subject: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 3:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
In another topic “Merit of Dance Classes for 3-5 yr olds” Rabbit describes that in his/ her opinion: one of the reasons parents send children to dance classes:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> parents enrol their children in..as a flavor of the week activity.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P>Is this true?<P>I always instruct my students - who want to become dance teachers - to find out next question:<BR>“Why do parents send their children to dance”. <P>They have to go in a dance studio and ask 20 parents: “what is important for you?”, “What should your children learn?”, “what should be the goals of dance classes”. This is always like a splash for my students, because goals of parents are not always the same as students expects them to be.<P>How is this in your area? Do you talk with parents about their expectations? Do you adapt your own goals and contents to their expectations (when you know them)?<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 7:16 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Great questions, Berry!! I have found that the answers are as diverse as the people who answer them. Yes, many times parents have told me why, sometimes in very specific terms, they bring their children to dance class.<P>For socialization.<P>Because of a medical problem, and it was advised by a doctor.<P>Because of another activity like ice skating or gymnastics, that the ballet would aid.<P>Child just loves to dance.<P>Wants the child to learn an art form.<P>Parent enjoyed it as a child.<P>Status symbol.<P>Child's friends are doing it.<P>Feels child is awkward and wants the child to move gracefully.<P>And I am sure others can think of many more...........<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 7:41 am 
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Location: BC , Canada
The answer I would just love to hear more often (& I hereby declare that the next parent to come into my studio and utter these words will get a great big smile and maybe a kiss to boot)<P>.....because she wanted to learn to dance,,,because he asked to come.<P>All of the above reasons are fine to a point,,however I stongly believe that it is the child in the class, therefore it should be the childs reason for being there that will make the difference between the childs first dance experience being a good one or a great one. So best solution let the child observe/participate in one trial class and see from there where things will go.

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<BR>Ramona Hartley<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 9:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Pa, USA
On my registration form:<P>How do you expect your child to benefit from dance classes? <P>Previous years:<BR>Why do you feel an education in the arts is important for your child?<P>If nothing else it makes the parent stop and think for a moment "why am I registering her/him for dance?"


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 9:37 am 
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Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
Rabbit: .....because she wanted to learn to dance,,,because he asked to come.<P>I believe most children just like (want) to dance and are not thinking about any goal like: dance is good for me "because I have physical problems" or "i want to move gracefully". The goal is in the dance itself.<P>But parents do have to pay for it. When the child says: "I like to dance", there must be a motivation for the parents to invest the money. Children loves to become sweets and presents. They want to go to bed late. For parents - i think - the "wants of children" cannot be the only reason.<P>Like Basheva says: A lot of parents bring their children to dance classes because they had no chance to dance themselves (my parents couldn't afford it). I never heard them say as "Status symbol", perhaps they think it - but saying, no.<P>The answers I would like to hear are: "my child should have a chance to communicate with the body" or "should give a meaning" to movement. (The more aesthetical goals)<P>These answers i never, never get. <P>About 50 % of the parents are giving arguments like: "it's healthy and good for the body". That's okay, i can understand that answer.<P>But a lot of mothers - and that makes me feel sad - are saying: "You know, for girls it's important to walk gracefully". More as 60% of the parents are calling "walking gracefully" as important (a lot of them as "most important") for taking dance classes.<P>Is this the same in the UK, USA or Australien? Do you have small conferences with parents and do you explain why dance can be so important for creativity, for personality or for socialisation like Basheva wrote?<P>Too many questions? I'm just curious.<P>Berry, januar 22<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 9:49 am 
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Location: neworleans, louisiana
One thing not yet mentioned:<P>I've had a number of parents tell me that they noticed their children were doing better in school after taking class -- overcoming shyness, having more confidence in their abilities, etc. <P>Many of my preschoolers and kindergartners were painfully shy, and it did seem to help a great deal, particularly the fantasy and acting aspects of early dance classes. <P>By the same token, I had several students who were, shall we say, a bit too freespirited, and their parents were surprised at how their behavior improved. Now -- I can't say it was necessarily because of me, the teacher. It may well be that just by virtue of associating with well-behaved peers, they may simply improve in the course of wanting to fit in.<P>This may not be the initial reason they bring them, but it seems to be a byproduct that convinces them to keep their children in dance class. <P>One more thing -- has this been the case for any of you? Many of my students were sent, not by their parents, but by Grandma. I have had every bit as much interaction with grandparents as I have had with parents. <p>[This message has been edited by Christina (edited January 22, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 11:02 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
That is very true, Christina, many, many times grandma brings the kids and pays for it too. Aunts, too. <P>You are right, Berry - I haven't heard a parent say it is a status symbol - but the inuendo was clear. To some parents being able to afford to give the child this type of class is a point of pride for them. And, I don't think that is wrong either. <P>Another interesting question would be "Student's expectations.........."


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 11:23 am 
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Location: BC , Canada
RE:<P>"Rabbit: .....because she wanted to learn to dance,,,because he asked to come.<BR>I believe most children just like (want) to dance and are not thinking about any goal like: dance is good for me "because I have physical problems" or "i want to move gracefully". The goal is in the dance itself."<P> We are in complete agreement here, most children are not thinking of any goal..certainly not of taking a dance class at ages 3&4. What they know is that they like to move to music..it is fun and freeing, have you ever stopped to just watch these little tykes, your neice, nephew or perhaps your own child...honestly they do not need to be told how to move at these ages, it is quite natural and they do not need a class in order to do it..just put on some music and watch them go.<P><BR>RE:<BR> "i think - the "wants of children" cannot be the only reason."<P>....well, hard to say on this one, however I hardly think they "need" to dance in these tender years...so the " want" of it is really the only viable reason that these baby classes are filled....my concern is simply when it is more of a "want" for the adults in their lives than it is for the chilldren themselves....is this not how the dreaded "stage moms" are born...when the adult wants it more than the child? (Please do not assume that I am saying that all parents who wish to give their children the experience of dance before they ask for it are stage moms/dads... OK)<P><BR>RE:<BR>"Like Basheva says: A lot of parents bring their children to dance classes because they had no chance to dance themselves" <P>... But the child may want piano instead & perhaps the parent hated their piano lessons...I still say it should be left to the child ....otherwise the child learns to dance to please the parent & that is most certainly the wrong reason.<P>RE:<BR>"The answers I would like to hear are: "my child should have a chance to communicate with the body" or "should give a meaning" to movement. (The more aesthetical goals)"<P> This is OK for you and I and other dancers/teachers...realistically most parents are not thinking this when they enroll the child.....In fact I can not in my 16 yrs of teaching remember a single parent who came to me saying that they wanted their child in dance class in order to give a meaning to movement..much less because they wanted them to learn to communicate with the body.<P> <P>RE:<BR>"But a lot of mothers - and that makes me feel sad - are saying: "You know, for girls it's important to walk gracefully". More as 60% of the parents are calling "walking gracefully" as important (a lot of them as "most important") for taking dance classes."<P><BR>...Oh glory , that is a scary thought isn't it.<P><BR>"can be so important for creativity, for personality or for socialisation .<P>For socialisation I will agree with, creativity and personality will develope with or without dance....I know many wonderfully creative people (and all of them have personalities..LOL)who never danced as children.<P><BR>Christina:<BR>RE:<BR>"One more thing -- has this been the case for any of you? Many of my students were sent, not by their parents, but by Grandma. I have had every bit as much interaction with grandparents as I have had with parents."<P>...Yes I also have seen this on a number of occasions.<P><BR>Before I sign off, let me say that I am in no way suggesting that we abolish the creative movement or pre-dance classes. My only point is and has always been.. let us be honest about what they are.<P> <P>

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<BR>Ramona Hartley<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 12:23 pm 
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Posts: 122
Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
I just have to go home now and rest. (In europe it's already late) Tomorrow i like to make a stand against some points.<P>Only one comment.<BR>Of course i'm not saying "children should dance, when they don't want to". I don't know how registration is working in other studios but in our studio children have to take a trial (at least one class, 4 - 5 years old have to take 2/3 free classes). <P>I think there is NO child here, who don't want to dance. A child send by te parents and no fun: that would be terrible.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 12:26 pm 
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Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
I just scrolled back and was wondering: no smiley in no topic. Are we too serious?


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 12:31 pm 
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Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Berry, your posts have been very interesting. We haven't heard from Grace here, and she uses the smileys! She has been busy, and I hope she returns soon. I miss her posts, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 2:07 pm 
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Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
If a parent brings a child to dance class because the parent never had the chance to dance - for that reason alone, then I would disagree with the parent's intent.<P>But, I think in that the circumstance where the parent is offering to the child an opportunity to try something that it was not possible for the parent to try. As long as there is no force - offering such a possibility is not wrong.<P>In any of the cases mentioned above force would be wrong - so I for one - assumed in all the cases mentioned above that force was not part of the equation. That other motives were in play. <P>Force would never be right.<P>I am almost always smiling as I type. Just being with other people who care - like you all do - makes me smile.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 22, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 5:57 pm 
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Location: BC , Canada
<BR>Berry:<BR>RE:<BR>"Only one comment.<BR>Of course i'm not saying "children should dance, when they don't want to". <P>,,,I never felt that you were saying that and forgive me for my poor wording if you got the impression from my post that I felt you were.<P><BR>RE:<BR>"I think there is NO child here, who don't want to dance. A child send by te parents and no fun: that would be terrible."<P> Story time again, as I have had this very experience. <P> I had/have a wonderful child in a pre dance class,, very bright & usually smiling. Over a short period I noticed this child was smiling less and did not seem to be enjoying class as much, I asked the child what was the matter and she told me she did not want to dance anymore. I spoke to the mother and told her what the child said, the mom replied that she thought she would get over it and wanted the child to remain in dance. SO we carried on for another few weeks with no improvement in the childs disposition towards dance, Again I spoke to the child, this time asking why she did not want to dance,,,she replied that she just wanted to stay home and play with her baby sister (mom had just had a new baby at about the time this child lost interest in class). I spoke to the mom again and recieved the same reply ...keep her in... Again we carried on another few weeks with the child becoming even more unhappy. Again I spoke to the child,,this time asking if she had told mommy that she really, truly did not want to dance,,,the child looked me straight in the eye with this hopeless expression and said "she won't listen to me" . So I asked if she would like me to come and speak to mommy with her, This little girl ..finally,, gave me the biggest smile and said "yes please"...so we did. I let the child talk and then told the mother that I really felt that she needed a break...(I think she was feeling the need to be with mommy and daddy more ..it is common for a formerly only child after the birth of a new sibling to get a little clingy,,they need a lot of reasurance at this time). The outcome of the story is that this child took a break from dance and then returned as happy as ever.. I do feel that if she had been forced to stay she may never have come back to her original enjoyment of the class.<P><BR> <BR>

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<BR>Ramona Hartley<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
After reading all the postings, I think, I was not clear enough with my requests.<P>1) are teachers goals the same as the motivation of the parents (or students themselves, when you prefer)<P>when socialisation is the main reason for parents to allow their 9-years old child to go to a dance class (she is so shy, has no confidence) it’s fine. There is no problem when there is time in class for “working together” or “exploration”. Children are “solving problems” together. <P>At the other hand, you will have a problem, when you are giving a strict classical ballet class with no exploration and no improvisation. You will have the problem, because the mother/father has another expectation. <P>A short story from me:<P>Viviane – a six-years old girl – is dancing in our school for almost 2 years. One day her mother came to me – upset – “Viviane hasn’t learned anything these 2 years”.<BR>Now, I happened to know the story from the other side, from the teacher of Viviane. Viviane was not interested in other children at all. She prefers the mirror and watching herself in the mirror: her leotard, her hair. One day she was very sad, because the teacher didn’t allowed her to wear the tutu (thank you “Billy Elliot”).<P>The teacher tried everything. We discussed (this “Viviane problem”) in our team about what to do. After a while – this took her almost a year – the teacher managed a break through and Viviane took part of the class. I have to say, her mother didn’t know anything about this.<P>So, I asked her mother: ”what do you mean, she learned nothing?” (for me she learned a lot and I was very satisfied with Viviane.) She said: “Viviane is already 2 years in your school and still not able to show a split at home”<P>You see that’s the other way around. The parents were expecting “stunts” from Viviane, which she could show at parties. Our goals the social-affectiv ones were not expected.<P>So, the expectations of the parents are not the same as the goals of the teachers. <P>1) One conclusion could be: Dear parents: this is our programm “you can eat it or leave it”<P>2) How far should we go as teachers in our adaptation (exercises for flexibility to learn a split)<P>3) Find a way to educate the parents<P>For me it is important to help the parents understand the goals of dance. Here starts my question. HOW?<P>Do you have any experiences with “teaching the parents”? <P>Rabbit:<BR>For socialisation I will agree with, creativity and personality will develope with or without dance....I know many wonderfully creative people (and all of them have personalities..LOL)who never danced as children. <BR>RE:<BR>Rabbit: I would love to start a new topic with this theme. Do you agree?<P>I would like to hear your meaning!<BR>Does dance supports creativity or not?<BR>Is creativity inborn or can it be tought?<BR>What is creativity?<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Parents expectations
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2001 6:52 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
In my experience I found that many parents had virtually no idea of the reality of what to expect in dance. Most didn't know that it takes years to become a dancer. That the learning is a cumulative process. That the child doesn't have to start at the age of three - and after that it is too late. <P>I always considered educating the parents as the same as educating the children. One really doesn't happen without the other, or hopefully it doesn't LOL. I spent a great deal of time talking to parents - on the phone and in the office. There was one who was very upset that her daughter couldn't do an arabesque by the second lesson - so I invited the mother to attend the adult class and try it - that took care of that LOL.<P>And, it is true that some parents want their children to do stunts - and if it wasn't using dance - it would be using the piano, or something else. <P>Part of the educating process is just plain talking to the parents, with patience and trying to understand that they know very little about the dance world - just as I know very little about the world of coal mining. I would tell them how long it took me to learn something (years LOL). Sometimes I used video tape - when a new class started I would tape it - and then show the tape about a year later. Everyone could see the improvement - both children and parents.<P>Sometimes I would team up a new parent with the parent of a child who was knowledgeable - kind of a mentor, to answer some of the questions or just put a calm aspect on all those expectations, false or otherwise.


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