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 Post subject: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 6:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
The teenage years are such a vulnerable time. Emotionally and physically the changes are so great. They are really just waking up to the possibilities of the world around them and trying to see how they might fit into that world.<P>And how do they fit into the world of dance? What was a childhood passion for dance may now begin to take on the outlines of a prospective career.<P>It has always intrigued me - and to some extent horrified me - that the very physical attributes that occur to the teenage female are exactly the attributes that the ballet abhors.<P>The girl that is blossoming as a woman, may see this as a threat to her dreams of being a dancer. As a teacher how do you deal with this for your students?


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 7:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
There are also some other physical issues. <P>Many times before a growth spurt the body stores fat. An unwise teacher could wrongly interpret this and add to the teenage student's concern about her weight by calling this to her attention. I have seen teachers do this in front of the student's peers. Very sad, indeed.<P>Also affected in these years are the changes in hip size and mobility which can definitely affect the performance of the ballet vocabulary. How do you as a teacher handle this? <P>Many teenage girls have knee problems as the body doesn't grow at the same rate everywhere. This also needs to be handled with care.<P>I am interested in the opinions and methods of others............


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 10:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 97
Location: South Hampton, Long Island, USA
We at SHBA are lucky that we are not forced to adhere to some anorexic ideal. The ladies are ladies, and we are not supposed to have the bodies of asexual little boys. We are thinner than normal, of course, but not in an unhealthy manner. Thank goodness my teachers are not American, and therefore do not have some odd Balanchine glasses over their eyes. (Not that all Americans do. But many American ballet teachers do.) <P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="http://www.freetown.com/Uptown/HaightAshbury/1055/ballet.html" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>

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~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="http://www.freetown.com/Uptown/HaightAshbury/1055/ballet.html" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
What about peer pressure at this most vulnerable age - to adhere to a certain physical aethestic? <P>How does a teacher deal with that?


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
I'm curious. How much do teachers talk to students about these issues?


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 97
Location: South Hampton, Long Island, USA
Well, we have nutrition seminars to make sure that what we are eating is conducive to health, and Pilates classes keep us pretty fit. There is also a conditioning room. If we still feel pressure, we have a counselor. (It kind of helps going to a ballet school in a wealthy part of New York.) <P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="http://www.freetown.com/Uptown/HaightAshbury/1055/ballet.html" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>

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~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="http://www.freetown.com/Uptown/HaightAshbury/1055/ballet.html" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: South Hampton, Long Island, USA
My teachers don't really actually discuss those issuese with us, but all the students know we can talk to the counselor (wonderful person). I'm sure that Mme. Smirnova & M. Leblanc would also be happy to answer questions or know what we're thinking. They do care for all their students. <P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="http://www.freetown.com/Uptown/HaightAshbury/1055/ballet.html" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>

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~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="http://www.freetown.com/Uptown/HaightAshbury/1055/ballet.html" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I have often discussed these issues with my teenage students. Most of the time the issues just naturally come up through their questions and concerns. As a ballet teacher I have a ringside seat, so to speak, as I see the same bodies almost everyday in a leotard. So, I can tell if they are getting too thin, or something else is wrong. Sometimes my view is even more focused than a parents view. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
i agree with basheva that the experienced observant teacher's eye will notice more about the child's body than the parent, usually. <P>i remember once not saying anything about a child's very pronounced scoliosis, because it was so obvious, i didn't want to embarrass parent or child - who might have felt they were being criticised, or inspected under a microscope... then eventually, one day when it somehow came up, the doctor having diagnosed it (probably a year or more later) and recommended hospital treatment, the parent said 'why didn't you TELL me?' i was a bit flabbergasted....<P>i felt i would have been criticised for maiking this fairly personal observation, earlier, and then i was criticised for NOT telling them, when i saw it. i thought if it was so obvious to me, that surely the parent would have seen it first!<P>anyway, the hospital treatment was very effective, along with conscientious reinforcement in ballet class (which had been happening anyway), and the problem, 4 years down the track, has pretty much disappeared.<P>slightly off-topic - sorry, basheva.

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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 8:06 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
That was not at all off topic. That's part of dealing with students and what you as a ballet teacher see...and then what to do about it. It's always a problem - sometimes darned if you do and darned if you don't.<P>Being a ballet teacher is a lot more than just teaching ballet ....as all of us know all too well.


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 82
Location: Virginia
I read this thread and thought, Oh hey, this means me! I'm 13 and these changes in my body have started to happen in the last year or so. My dance teachers definitely noticed, to say the least, when my chest started GROWING and the rest of me was getting skinnier.my hips are getting bigger, my shest is too, my knees just absolutely kill sometimes after I've been dancing a while, I'm growing all over, and my body is just up to no good confusing me like crazy. <BR>Oh well, they said. It's a phase. so I'm working with what I have and trying to get used to my "new body". its different, i guess, but I am glad I am maturing physically so I can start to get used to how my body is going to be in dance for the rest of my life. Image<BR>boy, is being a teen weird!?<BR>-Zoe Image


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
About those knees, Zoe, you have to very careful with them. Don't dance in pain. Pain is a warning. And, be sure that the studio at which you dance has the correct type of floor. <P>It is also important to be sure to use your plie' when you jump to soften the impact on your knees. And, be sure you are fully warmed up - that will also help your knees.<P>But, remember if your knees hurt don't dance - give them a rest.


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 3:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
yes, zoe, being a teen IS wierd - and i wouldn't go back to that, for anything! you have my sympathy! at least it will pass....... Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 6:24 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
It's weird, Zoe, as Grace said - but also fun!! When the weird stuff comes along then think of the fun stuff. <P>That's a good thing to do all through life, Zoe.


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 Post subject: Re: The Teenage Student
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 9:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
Hi Zoe,<P>Pleased to "meet" you! Being 13 can be a challenge, and sometimes you may find yourself thinking that you are the only one going through certain things...especially in the competitive world of dance when even the most level headed tend to compare themselves a bit too much to their neighbour at the barre...<P>The thing is that you will NOT be the only one...always remember this!<P>You should be proud of yourself that you have found this site. The folks here have a great deal of experience and knowledge, which they seem very keen to share!<P>Hang in there and take care of you!


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