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 Post subject: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
We all have it. And as ballet teachers we all have to deal with the differences between the genders. What are the different needs of the male and female student? Can a teacher of the opposite gender meet those needs? <P>I have a fairly wide correspondence with dancers around the world via E-Mail and time and again the boys and men that I hear from are running into problems - their needs are not being met - by some female teachers.<P>In most cases the male student finds himself a minority in the population of the class. Males move differently, in speed, in jumps, turns and gesture. Many that I talk to only vaguely realize that "something is wrong". As an example they often go down the diagonale with or behind the girls but to the same tempo. A male needs a slightly slower tempo to accomplish his naturaly higher jump. If he has to adhere to the pace of the women his movement seems stilted. Since this can abreviate his landing plie' it can cause him injury. Males also cover more ground and they need room for that. <P>A male usually has a broader gesture. Space must be allowed for this. Generally speaking, the male body is not as "open" - turned out- as the female, so he cannot be compared in class to the women.<P>I am not saying that women cannot teach men, or vice versa. I took from many, many fine male teachers. But, I think it is important for a male student to have in his schedule of classes a male teacher.<P>And, it is very important for the female teacher to be aware of these specific male and needs differences and see that they are met.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited February 08, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I am not saying that women cannot teach men, or vice versa. I took from many, any fine male teachers. But, I think it is important for a male student to have in his schedule of classes a male teacher.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>i agree!<P>just out of curiosity, i have never seen a male teaching a pointe class, though i know some DO - i believe the same principle applies there: that it's not impossible to be good (even very good) at this. without the experience of doing it (or even with the experience of doing pointe as a male) - but i would still say that a female student of a male teacher (only) should get some female input re pointe work (at least...) - speaking ideally here, of course....

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 Post subject: Re: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 5:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I would certainly agree, Grace - that conversely a female student should have a woman as a teacher somewhere in her schedule of classes. I have taken pointe class from both male and female teachers. The man I took pointe from had actually taken pointe classes himself, precisely so that he could teach it. He was convinced that was necessary to be able to teach it well.<P>I remember one day when the late Patrick Bissell (principal dancer with ABT) came to teach a class. He was a very tall dancer - well over 6 ft. - when he executed petite batterie with blinding speed and pirouettes with multiple rotations - the eyes of the men in class really lit up. WOW - they said to themselves - "That's what it looks like!!"<BR>It fired them up - really made a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
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.<p>[This message has been edited by Gavin (edited May 19, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 4:12 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hello Gavin - I would like to know your thoughts on the need for a male student to take class from a male teacher. Did you do this? <P>Do you think it is necessary?


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 Post subject: Re: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
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,<p>[This message has been edited by Gavin (edited May 19, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SEX (Men are different)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 6:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I agree with you completely Gavin. <P>I took class from both male and female.<P>I took pointe class from each.<P>I took pas de deux from each.<P>And I learned from all. And I think that it would have been unwise to only take from one gender and not the other. <P>As a teacher it is most necessary to be cognizant of the needs of the opposite gender - the slower music needed by men for jumping for instance. <P>


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