CriticalDance Forum

It is currently Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:12 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 7:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
i want to ask about this...<P>i think i understand in general about american dance training, and about some of the types of schools - recreational, (dolly dinkle!), getting-more-serious, residential, pre-pro, and summer schools including company ones.<P>i also understand that many teachers were dancers who moved into teaching (do they do ANY teaching training?), and that other studio owners are just the owners, who employ other people to teach....<P>are some of your dance teachers people with university degrees in dance? if so, are their degrees in dance TEACHING, or just in dancing?<P>there are lots more questions where these came from, but this should be a good start! Image<P>i guess what i am geting at is: what would be the advice you would give to a ballet student, say, who declares in their teens that they want to become a ballet teacher - what is the recommended pathway(s) to this career in america, now?

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 9:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, let's see Grace -how I can organize this answer. If one wants to teach in a school district or a college, one MUST have a degree, except for exceptional circumstances - which can be difficult to find.<P> I have no degree but taught in several school districts and college and university. If you have exceptional experience you can get a certificate to teach. But, you will never advance beyond the classroom, or to a title like "professor" or "dean". In my case I didn't care - I wanted to be in the classroom. You will certainly not get tenure without a degree. In other words you do the work and get little of the perks. <P>Many dance teachers are mentored - as I was by a Ceccheti teacher. What I find truly deplorable are those owners of studios who allow their young teenaged students (16 yrs old or so) to teach beginners, in return for free lessons. I can understand such a teenager being used as an aide by an experienced teacher, but not given full control of a classroom of young beginner children. <P>I have always felt that the best teachers are needed for the beginners, - silly me!!<P>As I understand it, the degrees in dance include some general courses, as well as education courses, and all phases of dance. It was my experience when I was associated with this faculty, that while many of them had a fairly good background in the whys and wherefores of dance, few had truly experienced the act of dancing. There just isn't time for both, I suppose. <P>One of the biggest hurdles to teaching dance in a college/university system is the system itself. It is not set up for the physical learning of an art form such as dance. If you want me to elaborate on this, I will. But since it was not part of your question, I won't at this time.<P>So in the final analysis, if the student wants to teach at a school district, like a performing arts high school, or a college - a degree is just about mandatory. Otherwise, I would recommend watching and learning from as many different teachers as possible. Critique the teacher (silently of course!!) and find one you would like to emulate, to mentor you. Get as much performing experience and exposure as possible. <p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited October 05, 2000).]


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 10:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2242
Location: Seattle, WA USA
HI--thought I would put my two cents in on this!! Having taught in universities, private studios (for over twenty years,) and the whole gamut in between, I mutst say---there are terrible teachers who have masters degrees in dance, there are great teachers who have no degree at all....I don't have time right now to go into this...wil add more tomorrow on this topic...but....a great apprentice teacher will avail themselves of either a mentor or the information needed to teach a given topic...to advance themselves and keep apprised of all the new knowledge in the field of dance....more on this later


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 4:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
i agree on your two main points trina, but am most interested to discover NOT the 'ideal' route, but the FACTS - about what people (americans, in this case) generally actually DO.....<P>when i said about 'what advice you give' i really mean, not what philopsophical advice, but what practical advice as to HOW one gets the training. WHERE you get it. WHAT qualifications one CAN get in america, and which are most suitable or have most 'value' - (either prestige value or) REAL value - i.e. the recognised (by anyone...) 'best' training?<P>for example, sometimes i see people at boards talking about allying yourself with a mentor - all well and good - but these days in australia that would not be responsible advice, in and of itself. <P>the first advice would be 'get a degree'(and ideally, but not necessarily, performing experience as well) <B>AND</B> by all means, if you wish, align tourself with a mentor or several....<P>since the possibility of doing degrees in dance was available in america for many many years BEFORE it became available in australia (where the universities used to be much more 'ivory tower', and conservative in what was considered suitable for such academic study), i am surprised that having a dance degree is NOT so often brought up at dance boards, as 'a way' or 'the way' to become an american dance teacher? bit mystified!

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 9:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: BC , Canada
Quote:<BR>-------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>" i am surprised that having a dance degree is NOT so often brought up at dance boards, as 'a way' or 'the way' to become an american dance teacher? bit mystified!"<BR>-------------------------------------------------------------------<P>I think I can shed some light on this question for you as the US is similar to Canada in this.<P>The bottom line here is that In Canada & the US any person can come off of the street, enroll in a University dance program and walk out 3 to 4 yrs later with a degree in dance. Never having danced a day in thier lives before.<P>There are some better Programs that do have an audition process these are few & far between; and some that have an audition process that is a joke because the audition is a mechanism simply there to give the University program itself a little more credability. ( ie: any one who auditions is accepted)<P>So there is an attitude from dance teachers without the degree who have trained since their tender years, mentored with an experienced teacher for years. Added to that education on thier own by attending summer coarses...( there are some good ones offered in Canada by the Royal Winnipeg & the National --specifically teacher training/upgrading) Studying anatomy through distance & colledge coarses, reading everything they can get their hands on , basically killing themselves to educate themselves & acquiring a better education than the University programs provide.<P>I have been there, face to face with some of these degreed teachers, and to be blatently honest have been shocked to find out that they mainly took modern in University , with little to no focus on other disciplines yet they are teaching Jazz & ballet & claiming to have more credentials than un-degreed teachers who have studied those disciplines for the greater part of their lives....Sheesh.<P>As you can probably tell by now you have hit upon one of my major pet peeves. That a great deal of credability is given to a degree that is barely worth the paper it is written on.<P>Grace this may not be the case in Australia, it is however a reality in Canada & the U.S. & quite franlky after having run up against the academic snobery of this situation on many occasions from teachers who have just emerged from their University with the ink still wet on their degrees and no more than 4 yrs spent in dance it can not be that hard to understand why many of us on the other side of the world do not consider a degree <BR>"The Way" to approach our teaching careers.<P> I am fed up with the argument that all dance teachers should be degreed or not teach...I have seen far to many poorly trained students of degreed teachers for that argument to hold much water with me.<P>Oh my...forgive my passion in this, I do not wish to offend any one here, just sharing what my experiences with this have been & I do tend to get a little emotional on this subject.<p>[This message has been edited by Rabbit (edited October 05, 2000).]

_________________
<BR>Ramona Hartley<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 12:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
no, no, rabbit - don't apologise! this is excellent - i really want to know. it looks like there are more differences here than i would have guessed!<P>for example, all biases aside (please?) Image ) is it REALLY true that some university dance programs DON'T even audition? or that some have auditions which are only a facade? <P>if so, would this be because the focus of the program IS an academic one? in which case, what degree do they confer, e.g. Bachelor of Arts in what? or with what major? odr Bachelor of Performing Arts? of Bachelor of something else?<P>are there any university-based dance TEACHING programs? and if so, are they held in any esteem, and which are the good ones? this would be a program which might confer, for example, a Bachelor of Dance Education, or a B.Ed with a Dance major......<P>that's probably enough questions to get some feedback on, for now...for comparison, in australia, no university dance program operates without auditions, and the auditions can be HIGHLY selective, accprding to the focus and the prestige of the program they offer.<P>all students must have reasonable academic qualifications, because it is a university, but they must also have a real 'desire' for dance, to get past the entry panel, and must do whatever is expected at audition,. i say 'do whatever is expected' because WHAT is expected will vary widely, according to the purpose of the program, and according to its desirability as a performer's course.<P>the Advanced Diploma 3-year training course at the Academy of Performing Arts, where i live, in Western Australia, would be possibly the most highly regarded of the university programs for actual dancer training - as distinct from those courses which people follow to go into dance admin, dance reviewing, dance teaching, dance therapy, etc. (Note: it is not a Degree course - it is a level below a bachelor's degree, indicating that it doesn't require the academic rigor of a degree.) <P>this program might only accept, at a guess, a handful out of each 100 applicants....(by which i'm guessing maybe 4 or 5 out of a hundred applicants - i'm guessing, but i might actually be able to find this out, this week..) <P>almost all of the APPLICANTS would, as required, have the equivalent of elementary level ballet already, to be allowed to audition. unfortunately - as you can guess - it is only the guys who can bypass that requirement.......sometimes they are even beginners, maybe with another skill like circus skills, or dramatic skills or something related....and a burning desire!<P>those wishing to teach, specifically, could do a degree course instead of the diploma course (B.A. (Dance) ). the dance entry requirements for the degree course are much less demanding than for the dancer's diploma course (but the academic requirements are of course higher).<P>there are no specific dance TEACHING 3-year degree courses, but there are 1-year Dance Teaching Certificate Courses, run by the same universities which do the 3-year programs, and these are respected. <P>intending dance teachers who want a degree, do a B.A. (Dance) and then a Diploma of Education (another year, focusing on teaching methods in general) before being able to be employed in the state run primary or secondary schools (as basheva describes, above). those planning to teach in the community or have their own schools can follow a different path entirely, which is more like your american model, so i won't go into that here....<P>thanks for your patience - that took longer to describe than i realised it would....<P>

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 7:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
At San Diego State University (about a mile from my house) there is a dance program which churns out "dancers" and "dance teachers". There are no auditions that I know of, and the program has only offered ballet intermitantly over the years. When I taught there, ballet was handled like an unnecessary step-child. The facilties for ballet were untenable - modern dance was KING. The floor was kept powdered for modern dancers making it impossible for ballet.<P>At the community college where I also taught, dance is part of the PE complex/dept. The curriculum is set up so that the student takes two semesters of ballet (twice a week for six months) and then is automatically placed as a second semester student. The classes are one hr and 20 minutes (some of that spent on taking attendance, etc.)and very large - 30 or more students. Six months is not enough time to learn anything to any extent in ballet. The body has just begun to adjust and the mind to absorb. But, the college says that after 6 months - you are no longer a beginner. You automatically go on to the next level. Let's face it - not every body can incorporate the demands of the ballet at the same rate - but the curriculum ignores that fact. Then after two years of ballet - voila!!! you "know" ballet. <P>There is also a problem of grading. How do you grade a student who doesn't possess a body for dance but works diligently? How about a lazy student who just seems to float along with a glorious body? <P>In my experience the teachers with degrees - have spent their time getting degrees - sitting in classrooms - and therefore with little time actually dancing and performing. In the past, people like Jillana (Balanchine ballerina) were allowed to teach in the univeristy because of the exceptional knowledge they had - but that is disappearing and degrees are being demanded. The finest teachers, in my opinion, I agree wholeheartedly with Rabbit here, are those that have spent their lives dancing and performing and teaching - not sitting in classrooms somewhere near the PE dept. There are exceptions, of coures, as there is to anything in life. <P>When I taught at the University and college - I did come across the attitude that Rabbit describes from the degreed faculty - but I never let it bother me, I was doing what I loved. It amused me, that when the degreed teachers needed help -they came to me. Since I didn't teach for my living, it didn't bother me either that I wasn't allowed the perks of the degreed faculty. But, that would be a problem for a wonderful teacher with lots of experience, who needed to sustain herself financially. <P>I guess what is being said here, is that the academic world is using those of us with real life experiences in dance, but not compensating us for that experience. And, so I would say - if you want to teach - find a teacher you love, get her to mentor you and get yourself as much knowledge and experience as you can. And, then struggle in the private sector. Dance has never been easy. <p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited October 06, 2000).]


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 9:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: BC , Canada
Basheva & all do you not find this incredibly alarming. The bottom line in this situation is that the public sector is being highly misled into thinking that the degreed teacher (In our situations) is more prepared to teach both academically & practically.<P>The teachers themselves coming out of these programs have been misled. Now I would with all honesty tell my students to persue the degree, I qualify that statement however in saying that these students have already trained a number of years with me & are adding to a body of knowledge, I also make them aware of the many other choices available to them. ADAPT..the teaching organization I work with offers a teacher training program i Jazz & tap that is very demanding also they provide a teachers workshop every summer, ..as I have said before The Royal Winnipeg & the NAtional Ballet of Canada, Banff Center for the Arts offer summer coarses and workshops specifically geared to the teacher of dance. <P>Here is somthing that is also a wonderful summer program for teachers:<P>Not advertising here just informing<P>Bill Evens Teachers Intensive ..an annual week long Intensive that travels about to several communities in the US & Canada<P>Subjects studied at this intensive daily for a week.<P>Developemental movement, Bartenieff Fundamentals.<P>Modern dance tequnique and theory<P>Ballet technique (dance science based)<P>Multiple inteligences in the dance class<P>Creative process & performance theory<P> There are many seminars, workshops & summer intensives available that I feel offer more teacher based education that that recieved at the University level, these are all practicle, participatory and academic.<P>Sometimes I wish one of these organisations would form a school on a yearly basis to train teachers of dance. Or at the very least the Universities would look at how their education process is lacking.<P>

_________________
<BR>Ramona Hartley<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 10:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Rabbit - what an interesting post!! If someone asked me if they should attend one of the "teacher intensive" sessions you wrote about - I would say YES!! Get as much education and experience as you can. <P>However, mentoring under an experienced teacher in the private sector has several advantages. The private studio comprises several different age groups; the college does not. Each age group and level, in my opinion, has its own unique problems.<P>The studio also has to deal with the fact that the student is there voluntarily- this is less true for academe. In the college curriculum the student does not usually have much choice of teacher. In the private sector if the student realizes the teacher is inadequate - or just not suitable - the student has the option of leaving immediately. The teacher in college doesn't have to deal with this - and in fact quite the opposite since he/she has the power of grading the student. <P>So, it seems to me that the teacher in the private sector, for the most part, meets many more problems and situations. <P>I see the teaching of dance as much more like the teaching of a craft. If you wanted to be a master carpenter - you wouldn't take a college course. You would find a terrific master carpenter and earn his/her respect enough to want to mentor you. Ballet is such a hands on thing too. And, up to very recently this was how it was done - one generation to another. <P><BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 11:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: BC , Canada
And a lightbulp switches on...why do the simplest thoughts take so long to occur?<P>It occured to me as I read Basheva's post that when I did my ECE, that my certification was dependant on my practicum. I had to work for two years in what equates to a mentorship program. I worked in a special needs Daycare as well as having to voluntarily assist (as they needed no employed assistants at the time)<BR>In a Pre-school to acquire the amount of hours needed for certification. The point being to expose me to the "hands on" aspect of teaching rather than the solely theoretical academics garnered from books and class room settings.<P>It's just to easy an answer isn't it?<P>

_________________
<BR>Ramona Hartley<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 4:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It's just to easy an answer isn't it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>umm......no! Image<P>this is what the AICD, RAD and other teaching societies do - they require the student teacher to attach themselves to a mentor/ballet school, then to take an entry test of some sort (i'm trying to generalise here) assessing aptitude, then to enter into courses (which may be by correspondence) on what people in recent CD threads have decided to call the 'educational' aspects of ballet/dance....to take progressive tests in these subjects, while continuing to acquire assistant teaching and then teaching experience, and eventually to take a practical teaching and written examination, with real students, AFTER having recorded several hundred hours of teaching practice in a reputable school.<P>how does that sound? not meaning to get us off the 'degree' subject here - however, on that, i do need to stress for any future readers, that these writers above are talking about the american & canadian situation (only....?). <P>the australian one is obviously extremely different.....and in australia, a degree in dance is the ideal way to go, and is expected to become the only way, eventually - with the exception of the recognised master teacher from the profession - like your jillana - such as lucette aldous, who has just been awarded an honorary doctorate here, by the university she teaches at.<P>our dance degrees however, are obviously far more selective and rigorous than the american ones...in general. <P>i should add here, too, that my use of the term 'degree' is getting looser as this thread goes on - what is being recommended in australia is any university qualification, for starters, or for professional development: could be a Certificate (usually 1 year) or a Bachelors Degree (3 years) or a Graduate Certificate (1 year post-grad) or a Graduate Diploma (1 year post-grad) - and i should add to appease the writers above, that we DO give recognition to practical life experience in the field, when people apply to do courses. <P>for example, i never did a bachelors degree, but was granted, on the basis of the proof i provided of learning and achievements in the field, the equivalent of this, so that i could go straight into a Graduate Diploma of Education. don't you guys have that sort of recognition?

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 4:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
probably shouldn't have gone on about how it is in australia, at least not in this thread which is supposed to be about USA teacher training....but i thought it might help you understand my perspective in asking the question.<P>one thing i am noticing in the posts above, and elsewhere of course, is that there is almost a contempt for teachers WITH a degree, as if having a degree is thought likely to mark one out as a poor teacher!!!! pretty funny, eh? <P>i'm sure you don't mean it that way, but i guess it is making me want to make the point that "having a degree, or going to university, is no barrier to learning"! ironic, isn't it? <P>i do feel fairly sure that you would all agree with me that whatever path one takes, it is up to the person whether they make the most or the least of learning opportunities...do you?<P>in other words, that one can be a good, bad or in-between teacher, no matter how one gets there....<P>

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 2:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Trina asked that this post be transferred to here:<P>I pretty much concur with everything that Rabbit said. There often is a low technical level of training in university dance programs, even those giving masters degrees. the focus often seems to be on the more theoretical/research aspects of dance-laban studies, philosophy and crit., etc. Technical training is sometimes pooh-poohed as vocational, and those faculty who empasize it as "specialists" (meant as a perjorative!)Of course, I'm generalizing, but it seems to be a trend. ...and I've taught in a few different programs...of course there are exceptions...Juilliard, North Carolina School of the Arts, UC Irvine, among them. One school that offers a certificate or degree in pedagogoy is School of the Hartford Ballet in connecticut.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 3:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
thanks, trina - good to hear from you.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"specialists" (meant as a perjorative!)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>oh dear!<P>your post is generous, too, in that you have a masters degree yourself -and yet run a dance company and teach...so obviously you ARE a specialist (NO pejorative intended!) DESPITE your university experience.... Image<P>btw, for anyone who hasn't read trina's whoweare biog, her masters degree is from juilliard! Image<P>i can see exactly what you say about the focus of the university programs we have spoken of above. i will try to discover a bit more about the hartford one, for interest. are there others which are a bit 'specialised'?! what about north carolina? anyone know?

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: USA Dance Teacher Training
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2000 7:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I can supply a tidbit about UC Irvine. One of the finest teachers there is Jillana, a Balanchine ballerina for 17 yrs., she retired to this area and has taught there for many years. Though she did not have a degree when she began teaching at the University, and to my knowledge still does not have one, she is such a gifted teacher and a wonderful and giving person (to which I can personally attest), with such a stellar career behind her, that an exception was made. But, how far she can climb the hierarchy of the faculty, without a degree is the question.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group