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 Post subject: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2000 3:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Pa, USA
I feel this is a serious problem in America that the general public rarely takes into account when choosing a studio.<P>Most studios are begun by former dancers who want to teach either because they truly feel it is an important thing or because it is a natural evolution from their careers. <P>In America I seem to see more and more studios opening by those with business degrees, mothers who want to run a studio for their child to attend, and very young (18 and younger) students whose parents are financing a future business for their child. This is a very disturbing trend I feel as the art of dance and the art of teaching is becoming lost in the huge capitalist free market of making a profit. <P>Any opinions and thoughts on the capitalist studio vs the artistic studio?<P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by *Jan* (edited September 29, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>...studios opening by those with business degrees, mothers who want to run a studio for their child to attend, and very young (18 and younger) students whose parents are financing a future business for their child.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>we don't get this so much in australia. in fact, because dance schools are NO WAY to make money, at all!!!!!!, (at least not in australia), i have never heard of any business person being mad enough to do it!!!!<P>interestingly, we also don't get many former dancers opening ballet schools.<P>the majority of our schools are run by people who want to teach. or, at least, they MAY have had dreams of performing once, but have at some stage converted those to teaching aims. and usually SOME form of teaching qualifications. in this regard, our situation is not quite so much of a free-for-all as the american one.<P>retired dancers in australia usually go into some other career - or, if they teach, it is usually FOR someone else, as distinct from running their own schools. <P>the commercial vs. artistic distinction that we would make, i think, would be between those large schools which encourage multiple dance forms/sometimes acrobatics or singing as well/competitions/etc - which make money but do not offer quality technique training, and the more vocationally-oriented schools which are small and selective and struggling, but which have the good principled teachers and the high standards....a gross oversimplification, of course, but trying to paint 2 ends of a continuum here. Image<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited September 29, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 12:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 53
There is noting wrong with someone with business sense running a school provided the teaching and artistic matters are in the hands of an appropriate teacher. <BR>Just because you are are dancer or teacher does not of course mean that you don't have business sense.<BR>Unfortunately there are too many so called teachers who have never been dancers (dancers it don't always make good teachers but are usually better than non dancers)and far to many amateurs in our profession claiming to be teachers.


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 Post subject: Re: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 4:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
well , i suppose this would be an issue for another thread, but i'm going to highlight this:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Unfortunately there are too many so called teachers who have never been dancers<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>to me, this is like saying:<P>Unfortunately, there are too many so called dancers who have never been teachers....... OR<BR>Unfortunately, there are too many so called plumbers who have never been secretaries...<P>etcetera!<P>i regard teaching (teaching anything, whether dance or not) as quite a separate skill to performing (performing anything, whether dance or not)...so i hate to see the two brought up in one sentence, as though the one must precede the other, or as though in fact they have any connection at all!<P>i am happy to agree that for vocational training, it is important at the finishing pre-professional level to have this input, but i honestly believe that until teaching of stagecraft becomes an issue, having an ex-performer as a teacher is not only un-necessary, it is often unwise. <P>btw, please give me some credit here and don't tell me how even class work needs an awareness of presentation etc - because i AM factoring this in, but i believe this is part of good teaching....good classroom teaching...which includes aspects of stage presentation. but that's really not the main focus for so many many years of skill acquisition that precede the final stage - when it DOES become the icing on the cake.<P>

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 Post subject: Re: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 5:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
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Teaching is about communicating and practitioners of an art or craft know more than academics. Professional dancers who have the gift make better teachers of dance than non dancers. Of course not every dancer makes a good teacher. Just as I learnt the Cecchetti method from someone taught by Cecchetti so too would most dancers prefer to learn variations from those who have danced them (I know I did) not just for the performrers insight but for the practical -the techinical inner understanding an executant gives.Sorry to disagree with you.


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 Post subject: Re: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 5:27 pm 
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Location: Australia
i'm not sure if we're disagrreing...i agree that when learning a variation there is onbiously great value in learning it from a performer...unquestionably. <P>but that occurs very late in the dancer's training, when all of the basics of technique and even of stagecraft and so on have been taught already.<P>i agree that performing is about communication, but it is an entirely different form of communication to teaching. the 'communication' in teaching is about the 'other', about empathy, and listening, and observation; about self-questioning and analysis, and then about verbal and psychological skills in expression, as well as demonstration. <P>'communication' in performing is a different animal altogether.

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 Post subject: Re: the capitalist vs. the artist
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
oops! got distracted 'reacting' to gavin's LAST post, when what i came in here to say is: that after thinking about his EARLIER one, i agree that there ought to be nothing wrong with a good business practitioner opening astudio, as long as the artistic decisions are left to someone who knows abou THAT. it's not an example that has ever arisen in my experience, for the financial reasons mentioned above....<P>but it also occured to me that that is like the ballet company direction situation, where it used to be that the artsitic director was at the top, with a business manager/administrator underneath, or on equal foting with the AD. whereas now we are increasingly seeing the business manager becoming the superior, and the AD being subservient. <P>my experience of this is that it is not a desirable result artistically, but my experience of this has been limited, so i shouldn't draw conclusions from that. probably it depends on the people involved...

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