CriticalDance Forum

Searching for a Syllabus
Page 2 of 2

Author:  trina [ Thu Jul 06, 2000 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

Although Juilliard used to use a strict Cecchetti syllabus at one time(I know I'm probably not spelling that right Grace, so PLEASE, no cards or letters! thank you very much-smile), the teachers when I was there came from a variety of backgrounds-Vaganova, New York City Ballet, etc., so not strict "syllabus" was used. The philosophy was to get as eclectic background as possible, as our professional careers would be spent working with a wide variety of choreographers. Of course, other schools have different philosophies. Especially those training younger dancers (Juilliard is college/university level).

Author:  grace [ Thu Jul 06, 2000 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

haha trina: guess WHAT? 'Cecchetti' is correct! Image<P>so can someone (maybe dancerbabe?) please fill me in, about the implication in dancerbabe's post that people had sent her syllabi for free (or low cost, presumably)?<P>as mentioned above, anywhere i've been, syllabi are precious items that people don't part with, without adequate recompense - which is usually pretty hefty!<P>so i'm curious about the american way..

Author:  dancerbabe [ Sat Jul 08, 2000 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

The syllabi that I received were free. They were, for the most part, a list of steps for each style of dance, broken down into ages/ levels. Mastery of the steps in one level is required to pass from that level to the next level. (However, there were also notes of certain steps that the students should have been introduced to in that level, but not required to master, as those steps would be focused on in more detail in the next level) I guess what I'm looking for is something along these lines, a list of steps that children/ students should know, according to their age and ability. Thanks

Author:  grace [ Sat Jul 08, 2000 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

dancerbabe, another good reference is the book: 100 Lessons in Classical Ballet by Vera Kostrovitskaya.<BR> Image <BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>100 Lessons in Classical Ballet - at Amazon </A> <P><BR>i am NOT recommending this as a text to FOLLOW in YOUR setting: they'd all quit next week......but rather as a useful guide to teaching method in ballet training for children (purely in terms of the buildup of steps, not in terms of one's approach to the children or the educational psychology side of things). <P>because this book is very soundly based (by an expert) on the vaganova method, its pace and focus and intensity are completely innappropriate for the recreational setting.<P>btw, i am not disregarding your request for a guideline of steps, but i can't point you quickly to one of those, so i'm doing the next best thing!<P>also, you may think we've made too much out of this question....but there are SO many ways to teach ballet, so many opinions about which steps should come first, in what order, at what ages and's not such a simple one to answer. <P>i DO have in my possession at least 4 lists which WOULD be suitable for your setting, but they are not available online, and of course it is ethically not acceptable to distribute these particular ones (i.e. any which come from a recognised teaching society) because they are copyright to those societies (and of course, a significant source of income for them - as is appropriate, since they did all the work!).<P>quite possibly, since i DO work on syllabi for such organisations -often in a voluntarily capacity- i am far more mindful about this aspect than other people might be. <P>i have NO problem if anyone ELSE wants to send you stuff, including other members of this board....'lucky you' is all i think to that! Image<P>i guess i'm just VERY aware at the moment about all this, because i've been working on one now for over a year, many many hours; it is just published, and now i'm onto another - this one for the TEACHERS' accreditation, to teach the syllabus we (AICD) just put out.<P>hope something here helps.....have patience if we seem to be not giving you what you requested immediately...we have some new members recently who may help out, given time... Image<BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited July 10, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Sat Jul 15, 2000 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

i am still hoping someone will inform me about how american teachers go about getting their curricula/syllabi/guidelines of steps, especially as they are far less likely to follow an established dance organisations' syllabus, as is common practice elsewhere....<P>how about it, someone? Image

Author:  trina [ Sun Jul 16, 2000 7:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

Grace, I can't speak for everyone, but I will tell you how I go about my own experiences with syllabus/syllabi. Most private studios in the U.S. (I've taught at quite a few) don't follow any standardized syllabi. Of course, there are a few that do, but I would say they're in the minority. Each studio coordinates amongst their own faculty, and decides the criteria for student placement/advancement. Generally, within each studio, the ballet teachers will have similar training background, i.e. Vaganova, RAD, etc. This gives them some common ground or point of reference. Obviously, this lack of strict standardization creates certain problems...teachers often don't agree about a specific student placement, as opinions are often subjective when no absolute standards exist. I myself have gotten into some disagreements with "superiors" or peer teachers over a student placement which I disagreed with. Also, disagreements with parents are prevelant, as all teachers well now. As I mentioned earlier, there are schools which follow one style, including Cornish College for the Arts here in Seattle. Their "prep program" (pre-college, pre-professional) follows RAD syllabus, and students go through the exams for advancement. But as I said, I believe schools like this are the minority. The good aspect (when no strict style is uniform or standardized) of all of this is that teachers have more autonomy and freedom in what they teach. I myself have a graduate degree in dance, and my mentor in grad school was Russian with a strong Vaganova background. So, we were trained with a step-by-step, count by count Russian method, specifically for the beginnning level of students. I stick to that system rather loosely now; I think it's good to have some background in a syllabus, in terms of understanding why and how a system of pedagogy is organized, ie. what the philosophy behind it is. <BR>In Russia, students audition and only the very best "bodies" are chosen to study dance. Obviously, this is not the case in the United States, where dance is studied by a wide variety of body types, skill levels and levels of interest/commitment. Therefore, certain training styles cannot be appropriately "cloned" onto another dance "culture" so to speak. <BR> When you become very experienced and teach in a wide variety of settings and with different populations, it's not always appropriate to stick to one point of view or style. In summary, syllabi selection is dependent on the context of the school, culture and needs of a particular dance community.

Author:  grace [ Sun Jul 16, 2000 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Searching for a Syllabus

thanks trina! this is such a thorough and thought-provoking response, that i am going to use it to start another thread on the topic. <P>i agree completely about the choice of an appropriate syllabus. for this reason, i have in recent years, wondered why so many american schools and teachers seem to favour a vaganova-based method. this is in part what my other thread will be about - so please, if you are interested in that, readers, (sounding very jane austen here!) have a look over there..... <P>thanks again, trina.

Page 2 of 2 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group