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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2000 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Dancing in innappropriate venues doesn't really belong on this post, but since it was brought up, I just had to tell this one. Margot Fonteyn and her partner (not sure which one this time) were performing somewhere where there was a theater strike. The performance was moved to a ballroom in a hotel. The ballroom had large, low-hanging chandeliers. During a moving lift, her hair became entangled in one of these chandeliers. She quickly grabbed onto it as her partner continued running, but without Ms. Fonteyn, who was left dangling from the chandelier...


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2000 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
In that same line of thought, Maggie, when ballet dancers have performed in the East Room at the White House on an erected stage they have had to re-choreograph around the chandelier.<P>My experience with the nursing homes, senior residences, etc. has been that the floors are very shiny - but not at all slippery because of the elderly people walking on them. And I always go and check out the space FIRST before committing myself (or my students) and the floor is fine. Except -(and this is hard to believe)- when we get there to dance, they proudly tell me they have re-waxed the floor to MAKE it slippery for us - because they KNOW how dancers love to slide around. No, I am not making this up. I can't tell you how many times that happened, even after I learned to plead, remind, threaten - NOT TO WAX THE FLOOR FOR THE DANCERS.<P>And, that was just one of the problems.....anyone interested in more, let me know. LOL <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2001 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
I had an idea to get this topic back on track!! We seemed to have "veered" a bit. Another cool community contribution we can do, in the performing area, is perform in fundraisers. That way we can get our work out there (hopefully leading to more performing opps and visibility for our projects/companies/businesses)AND contribute to a worthy cause. For example, "Dancers Responding to AIDS" does big fundraisers, with many big stars, to raise awareness and money for an important cause. I'm sure there are many other such events/organizations worldwide which accomplish worthy goals. My personal point is that we can seek to do this at the GRASS ROOTS LEVEL, in our own communities. Maybe gather several different groups together--like a foodbank, hospital and dance school/company to sponsor a fundraiser. Get "chic" restaurants and merchants to donate food and auction items...the possibilities are endless. Even though us dancers often see ourselves as "poor" or "struggling", we have a lot of talent and expertise to contribute. Remember--what "goes around comes around". What we contribute will come back to us in some way(s),whether it's financial support or just plain good karma!!


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
makes sense to me, trina - what a good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 242
Location: Washington St.
Hello all,<P>I'm new to posting here, although I've been happily reading the threads for a little while now. I want to share a bit about a place which isn't perfect, but fits into the community service department.<P>In my town there is a physician who danced in a circus in Europe before going to med school. Her "hobby" is to run the Free School of Ballet, specifically for low-income children. She teaches, and recruits other teachers to add extra classes. Some are professionals; some (like me) are not. Many of the FSB's older students (12-14 yo) eventually get scholarships to dance at the best ballet schools in town, and some have gone on to be professionals. <P>Obviously, since our ballet-doc makes a lot of money, she is in a position financially to do this. But it is also a good opportunity for younger people like me to volunteer a bit, even if I haven't been trained as a professional teacher. I'm always trying to learn how to teach better (and this website is helpful!). Soon, the pre-professional students from another school are going to come and do a series of workshops for our kids. <P>One idea I have is that even if you don't have time or money for community work, maybe you could encourage your older students to do some. Even if their teaching isn't as sophisticated as it could be, the children will be so delighted to finally be twirling around the room! (I hope this isn't too long -- I tried to keep it short!)


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Pa, USA
Currently I have four students who are in a "scholarship" position due to financial need. We do the senior center/nursing homes twice a year here with students as well as the following free community events:<P>World Aids Day (each year I create a dance specifically for our local observance with invited dancers)<P>A local festival that needs entertainment for an hour each year in June--on our local town green. (This is usually re-vamped recital pieces.)<P>Another local festival in December--two half hour shows on a make-shift stage regardless of the weather (Northern Hemisphere here!)<P>Each year for National Dance week and National Tap Dance Day we go into various elementary schools to perform a 40 minute demonstration/performance.<P>Every year I choreograph the complete local high school's musical free of charge. (this year it is six complete numbers and ten that need physical cues; plus general physical suggestions to the director--with less than 25% of the cast as true dancers) That is two-three extra rehearsals per week plus all the choreography and paying extra teachers to cover my classes that I'm missing at my studio.<P>Additionally this year I've taken on three students in a new mentorship program to teach them choreographic skills and expose them to as many teachers as possible; field trips, etc.--all in a nonprofit setting.......yes I need grants! Image<P>I think my altruism may be killing me! Of course I'm just kidding I love every single thing that I don't get "paid" for monetarily as some things are priceless in the end. My personal new year's resolution is to take a bit better care of myself this year--especially with being generous with my own time to my family and self. I guess that sounds kind of selfish--but there is really a point where it can get too much and I'm afraid I'm getting close to it.<p>[This message has been edited by *Jan* (edited January 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
A very warm welcome to you Katheryn - glad to have you with us. Don't worry about your post being "too long" - it is not at all - and it is very imformative. Feel free to post what you feel is necessary.<P>Both you and Jan are presenting some of the best examples possible of artists with gifts giving to others - sharing those gifts. And that is what having a gift is all about isn't it?<P>On the other hand, as Jan says, there are times when one has to draw back a bit and and refresh oneself. This isn't selfish at all - it needs to be done - so that one can go back out and give again. If you read the thread on "burn out" you will see what others have to say about this. And, family responsibilties are important too.<P>The only time I regretted doing pro bono work was one time when I discovered that though I was teaching a girls ballet class for free at a place for economically distressed girls - the place was charging the girls!!! I found this out quite by chance. It was a charity run by a church!! The entire point was to offer the girls something they could never afford. I was really quite taken aback by that.<P>Otherwise - it was always a wonderful experience - made the day seem really worthwhile. <P>There are lots of non-dance things that one can do too. I volunteer twice a week (and have for many, many years) at the local library. I just love doing it. I am one of a great number of people in this city who do so. There are 2700 of us and between all of us, save the library system over 10 million dollars a year. The library actually could not run without the volunteers. <P>There is also hospice work - which I did for 7 yrs. I didn't feel I had the capacity to truly help those in such distress - so I helped in the office. <P>These opportunities are all around us. San Diego prints out a list of places for people to volunteer in all sorts of ways. But it only takes a simple call to any hospital or the Salvation Army or Red Cross. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Jan---talk about good karma!! You are putting out enough of that good stuff for all of us!! Thank you and namaste (yoga-talk for "blessings/thank you!)You DO need to put your feet up and take a long-deserved rest!! Please don't burn out--we need you !!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 5:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Pa, USA
Thanks for your appreciation Basheva and trina Image It is fun stuff though--even though most people don't realize it requires more work--most just think--oh that is what she does--it is not a big deal. At least we all know how much work goes into each step we worry over!<P>I think a big part of giving is in learning what you CAN give and to what causes you care about. I feel that part of my responsibility as a teacher is showing dancers that it is important to give back to your community in whatever way you can. <P>This next bit could go a long way in preventing some of the burn-out we could experience as well:<P>There is a form to fill out every year at my child's school that asks "what will you help with?" Now there are some things I've no interest in helping with regardless of the "goodness" in it--bake sales/paper filing at the office/delivering copies to teachers...ugh! I've found that when volunteering with the school I need to be very direct about what I can do--so pretty much every year I offer to help with any plays/productions; to take pictures of field trips and submit them to the newspaper--to do anything WITH the students themselves as well. This allows the school to call on me when they need my expertise and me to say "yes" to things I want to do as opposed to saying "no" for collecting for the class gift. It also gives my child a sense of pride that his mom is there helping out and the other kids seem to like me. This past year a sixth grade teacher called me to come speak to her class that wanted to do a "coffee-house" setting to read their work and sing/play music. I came in for 30 minutes and gave them a checklist of things to do in preparing for a performance (including names of contacts for the venue/PA system/press/a list of thankyous) this happened in November--there are still community members/kids talking about it. It makes giving my time to the school that much easier the NEXT time because so many people appreciate it. The checklist was written in ten minutes and all things I do every year for recitals--so it was not a problem--the 30 minutes was spent going over the checklist--making sure they understood that some things had to be done before others. A total of 40 minutes of my time for two months of a community appreciating the time, and a group of 30 kids feeling confident in their abilities as performers.<P>The best way to give is to recognize your gifts and to allow yourself some credit for your work. My name and studio is printed in the high school's program for their musical. The students know who I am and that I want to help them achieve their best. It is all well and good to do some things without any public recognition (such as the scholarships) but whenever you give something of yourself--try to give to something that you are happy to share your time, energy, art and passion with.<P>My easiest charity? A $50.00 scholarship to the school each year for a graduating senior continuing in dance/arts performance in college. I set up the guidelines for choosing the student and write the check.


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2001 11:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
'Ballet gives young girls a chance to strengthen their form, self-esteem.' KATHY BUSHOUSE for the Sun-Sentinel reports on a project in Boca Raton. <P> <A HREF="http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/daily/detail/0,1136,36500000000106486,00.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/daily/detail/0,1136,36500000000106486,00.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 87
Location: Winthrop, Maine
As I have read this thread, it seems there is a recurring feeling of being willing to donate time, but being frustrated at being unappreciated or undervalued because the average public has no knowledge of the amount of time and effort expended. Although I have never been asked to perform, I am familiar with this frustration in other areas of my life.<P>In my free time (once every decade or so LOL!), I enjoy making and demonstrating bobbin lace. This is an old, complex, but very beautiful art form. It requires an enormous amount of time and patience and depending on the pattern, can be very difficult. In many ways it reminds me of ballet! Whenever I am seen making lace by either friends or strangers, many seem to feel free to "place an order". I guess they feel that since I enjoy doing it, and thread is relatively inexpensive, they can acquire some handmade lace quite cheaply. Nevermind that it may take over a year to make a yard or so of a 2 inch wide edging! A fellow lacemaker helped solve the problem and promoted the artform at the same time. She printed up some lovely information sheets that gave contact numbers for the local guild, information on how to treat old lace, and most importantly, a tactfully worded paragraph regarding the worth of handmade lace. It said something to the effect of because lacemaking is so timeconsuming, and most accomplished lacemakers have studied for years to be able to create it, it is nearly impossible to attach a price to handmade lace. It is, therefore, traditionally given away only to people closest to the lacemaker. When someone comes up and expresses an interest in our hobby, we now hand out these papers, giving them some information, and gracefully explaining why we are not taking any orders!<P>So what does this have to do with ballet? Well, would it be tacky when you are asked to perform in one of these venues where you suspect there may be a less than perfect understanding of the amount of time and effort you are expending, to do some educating? Look at it not only as donated time, but also as an oppertunity to promote your studio, your next (paid) performance, and increase awareness of the dancer's experience. Print up a programme and include some information that you wish John Q Public knew. You may discover that in addition to feeling your work is more valued, you may find a new student, or encourage someone to support the art who previously may never have considered it.<P>Anyway, just a thought-- I hadn't really intended for it to become the lengthy novel it turned in to!


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 Post subject: Re: Be a Community Leader, a la Hanya Holm!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I think, Elise, you are right - we don't mind giving, in fact most of us enjoy it, but sometimes it is distressing to realize how little the public understands about the work involved.<P>But I suppose there is also another way to think about this - giving does not necessarily need appreciation. What I mean is perhaps we shouldn't "give" with the hope or desire that appreciation is given. Appreciation is nice - but that is not the recompense for giving.<P>If I gave someone who was hungry a bowl of soup, and he didn't say thank you - would I still give it? Of course I would. Would it be nice if he said "thank you"? Yes, it would be. But that is not the reason for giving it to him.


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