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 Post subject: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 10:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Here is another interesting topic I stole from Christina........(give me credit to being honest about my thefts)<P>Here in California it is now against the law to smoke in any place of "public assembly" which includes ballet studios. However, it was not always so, and later I will tell you about what happened one day about that.<P>But, for now, it would be intersting to know what happens where you are - what are the laws? <P>Are they enforced? <P> Do you mind if there is smoking in the class?<P>------------------<BR>Approach life as a dancer approaches the barre, with grace and purpose.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited December 27, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 10:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
I'm in the Big Easy -- precious little is enforced here. (Up until a few years ago, it was legal to drive with an open container alcoholic drink -- hence, drive-up dacquiri stands). However, I have not seen smoking in the studios. Restaurants here are another matter, which is related in that my dance friends and I often go out to eat after classes or attending performances, etc. Those among us who smoke (I don't) will not do it in each other's homes. But it's tough sometimes to go out to eat when even one insists on lighting up at the table. After all, this is the Land of Asthma here. ENTs make a fortune. I am vigilant about using saline drops, having Chinese vegies with hot mustard at least once a week, drinking hot soup, etc. during times when I might begin to get congested. I've maintained good health for years this way, but just this morning in class, I heard terrible-sounding gasps coming out of a few students. I can't fathom what the addition of cigarette smoke would do. Also, I was with an ethnic troupe for some time in which NO ONE smoked. Character dance is tough enough, especially when you have to sing or yell with the steps at times. Try to do a Chinese Ribbon Dance some time under the influence of nicotine. NOT. The last time I remember being p_____ed off because there was smoke in dance environment was when the director of a prestigious summer theater program was holding auditions and smoking throughout on the stage. The audition went well over 3 hours, because we had to learn and perform routines from 3 shows, including Cabaret and Chorus Line, and many of us felt frustrated by this ignorance and/or arrogance. For me, if I could ask for one gift as a dancer, it would probably be even more wind that I have now -- to be able to breathe huge glorious breaths into old age.


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 82
Location: Virginia
I think it is absolutely ridiculous to smoke in a studio, especially in dance class. For one thing, how in the world do you dance and smoke at the same time? For another, why put other dancers in discomfort and ruin the air? People get out of breath when dancing anyway, does it really help to have smoke in the air? What a crazy idea. <BR>-Zoe Image


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
i'm with you, zoe. Image<P>in australia, smoking is not permitted in the kinds of places you mention, basheva: workplaces, etc. <P>restaurants have, in the past, had smoking and non-smoking sections, but most smoking sections are disappearing. australia is fairly health-conscious - that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of smokers or people with other unhealthy practices - but rather that the official government line is very big on health promotion.<P>dance studios are often private facilities, so the studio owner could make their own rule - but i have NEVER seen any school studio where smoking was allowed, and parents would not patronise one. <P>ballet companies used to include smokers - who would smoke outside during a break - so quite probably there ARE still dancers who smoke...but they have to be more discreet about it now, as it is so socially frowned on.....<P>i know of one former prima ballerina, with a definite cigarette addiction of many many years, who finally managed to stop smoking just last year, when offered a new job teaching in a university. i don't know whether that was her motivation, but i do know that teachers here are regarded as role models, and as such, smoking is not very acceptable behaviour, in a profession which depends on good health. i would hazard a guess that it could even be enough to stop one being appointed to such a position, with some selection panels, because 'setting an example' is taken so seriously, when one will be a mentor for young people.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hello Zoe – it’s so nice to see you here. I hope that you enjoy this board. Folks, Zoe is a new friend of mine and she just loves to dance.<P>Back in the 1980’s, California passed a law against smoking in public places. At the time I was taking a class in which the teacher smoked in the front of the studio, and the pianist in the back. It was a class I really needed to take. Other than the smoking the teacher was really terrific. I learned a great deal from him. He truly made a difference in my dancing. <P>But he was a chain smoker as was the pianist. I really do get a very raw throat from smoke, actually everyone in the class was upset. Even when the ciggie was not in his hand, he left it in the ashtray near me. I asked him several times, very politely, to please place the ashtray just a bit further away. He adamantly refused and glared at me as only a ballet teacher can – LOL.<P>I was really desperate. I decided that if there is a law there has to be an enforcement code. So I called around the city attorney’s office and sure enough there was someone sitting at a desk just waiting for complaints. But, I just couldn’t have the teacher find out that someone (me) had complained. He was a terrific teacher but VERY temperamental, and entirely capable of asking a student not to return. So I waited until I was gone on vacation and then I called and lodged a verbal complaint. This was at the end of three years of this problem.<P>When I got back, sure enough the city had investigated and told the teacher that there must not be any smoking. All of the other students were very happy, and were my friends, and kept my secret. They all had figured it was me. LOL <P> During the class the teacher suddenly stopped the music and glared at me and from across the room yelled “Basheva was that you who complained about my smoking?” I put on an absolutely shocked face (well I was shocked – scared too). I didn’t want to actually lie – so – I said “I was on vacation……” which of course didn’t answer his question. But by some miracle he didn’t follow up. After class, several of the other students said “Basheva if you ever give up dancing – you should consider acting….”<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 3:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
haha! well done! 3 YEARS you put up with that! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 10:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Kudos to you, Basheva, for your bravery! Why are people more inclined to whine privately than speak up publicly when their health is at risk!?! You call to mind an incident that occurred about a half dozen years ago. I had a close friend -- we led similar lives ... worked as paralegals nearby, took ballet class together, and each worked in a dance company (she was modern). She linked up with a performance artist for an annual concert that is held in a prestigious theater. The idea is that people can wander from room to room and see different types of performances going on at their leisure. They needed another dancer and I thought, "Okay, something different,why not?" I rehearsed for about a month with them. On the day before the performance, I arrived at the theater for a dress rehearsal. Our particular performing area was referred to as the "garage space." Well, it was said in a very "oui, oui, tres chic" way, but I say if it looks like an elephant, smells like an elephant, etc. There was pigeon dung everywhere. And this performance called for having more than just your feet on the ground (that would be bad enough). There were also pigeons overhead in the rafters, shedding feathers and other material. I was SHOCKED. I don't need to dance in public so badly that I'd put up with that, but everyone thought it was amusing. After that rehearsal, I called my ENT and asked for his opinion. He said that if they couldn't at least hose down the stage area and put some plastic up over the rafters, or take similar measures, it wasn't showing much respect for a dancer. He said, "I wouldn't do it." The director asked the theater in a very intimidated manner to correct the problem. They wouldn't. I didn't dance. And -- I was something of a pariah with several people for some time. So be it.<P>We also have a ballet outreach program in this city, which I participated in for a time. One of the locations has pigeons flying about overhead while the children are being instructed. The artistic director of this program (she took on this position to get health insurance -- ironic!!!) is a former employer of mine and complained to me now and then about the problem but didn't tell people who could do something for fear of making waves. She is now a serious asthmatic, as are a number of the children who took there. Me? I'm still breathing just fine, thank you very much. <P>If we want to be treated with respect as intelligent artists, then we have to ALL behave that way and support each other in such endeavors.


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking in the Classroom.........
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
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