public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:30 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2000 2:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Denise posed a question that was lost in the board crash. I will take the liberty of re-telling it as well as I remember it and I will E-Mail her to come back in and read this thread and repose the question.<P>She mentioned that there is a mother and daughter in her ballet class who are quite good dancers, but often place themselves in the front of the class to the detriment of others. Denise mentioned specifically on one occasion when the daughter arrived late to class (after plies' I believe she said) and the this dancer placed herself in front of a portable barre that had been placed perpendicularly to the mirror, blocking Denise's view of the mirror.<P>Denise spoke to the dancer after class, but also wanted some advice.<P>As I remember it, Grace - suggested very correctly that Denise speak to the teacher about this situation. Grace, I am sorry that I am having difficulty reconstructing your other recommendations.......but I remember they were very good ones. Could you be so kind as to re-post them?<P>Then I replied.......that while I certainly agree that Denise should talk to the teacher I also feel there is a need to stand up for oneself. In my experience there often seems to be one or two pushy people and if they are not politely, but firmly, dealt with they don't stop, they just get pushier.<P>Ballet class can be a very dangerous place both spatially and mentally. Impolite behavior can be distracting and upsetting, and ruining another student's ability to concentration. Coming in late to class and then standing in front of another student is just plain rude.<P>I believe that it is incombent upon the teacher to see that courtesy rules, that everyone has a chance to stand in the front and to lead the diagonal. As a teacher I regularly had the lines switch, back to front and front to back. Everyone needs a chance to be in front, not just for the sake of ego - but those in front also have no one to follow, and so it is a learning experience, too.<P>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2000 7:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
thanks for re-posting this, basheva - i'm sure you've missed the board, as i have? Image<P>anyway, i can't actually remember having anything very constructive or practical to say - i just remember reflecting on how territorial people get in class, and how this has psychological/emotional reasons, but also (as you point out) effects....<P>

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2000 12:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
I used to go to attend an Adult Class during my early teens ( was no other class available to me) and there was a man who used to frequently shove himself at the front and block evryone else's view of the teacher. As I was a young teenager in this class of "big" adults i realy didn't feel it was my place to speak out - but it did drive me mad as I know it did with a number of the students. The teacher as far as i know never said anything to him - I think she was in awe of the fact that she had a man in her class.<P>However later on we found this guy had severe psychiatric problems so this probably had a lot to do with his behaviour.<P>I have to say I have never had this problem in any of the classes I have taught but if i did I would probably use the rotation method or actually set peoples positions in class each week so that different people were at the front. I feel it is something the teacher has to deal with rather than the students and you can do it in a pleasant way without causing embarrassment to the pushy person (although you usually find these type of people don't embarass easily. Really it is about taking control of your class and running it how you want to for the benefit of all your students not just your pushy ones.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
You are absolutely right, Joanne, that a teacher should be aware of the atmosphere in the class. And, yet, it amazes me how often, even some wonderful teachers, seem so unaware of it.<P> My experiences in ballet classes through the years always seemed to include several very pushy people in class. In one instance there was a man who actually had his elbow strike another student and gave her a black eye - it was not entirely unintentional. Difficult to believe, I know. <P>I was threatened several times. But, I am a rather stubborn person. I will share space. I will even give up my space, if politely asked, but I will not allow myself to be shoved out of my space. <P>Again, back to the teacher - I have sometimes wondered how can the teacher be so blind as to not see what is happening? Or, even, perhaps - does the teacher somehow in some warped fashion enjoy seeing this?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2000 3:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
I am teaching an Adult Beginner class right now so similar issues are on my agenda. I make a pointed "speech" to this class freqently, that part of taking dance class is learning dance class etiquette. It's not about just going into the studio and being a "soloist". I stress that a class is like a mini-community, where consideration and learning to work together are just as important as learning the steps. Such things as learning how to go across the floor (organizing into groups), keeping their spatial distance so as to avoid "crashes", etc. are very important. It is up to the teacher to instill these rules from the very beginning. I have been in classes where the teachers (often even Professional level classes) were often good technical teachers, but did not take control of the class and "ran a very loose ship", so to speak. I lost some respect for these teachers as a result. I know that often teachers don't want to lay down the law (people coming to class late, sitting down during class, etc)because they don't want to lose students..hmmm...don't know what to say about that? Anybody?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 6:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, in all honesty I have to state here that I have never been dependent upon my teaching for my sustenance, or that of my family. However, I have been employed by studios and therefore had to be very cognizant of not losing students, and no one wants to do that anyway.<P>However there are certain protoculs, courtesy and safety issues in ballet class. Courtesy usually helps out the safety issues. As Trina so well said, these need to be addressed in the class by the teacher.<P>Usually if I had a new class, I would take a few minutes to briefly go over some of these issues like sitting down in the middle of the floor. It's surprising how some people really do that, right in the middle of the "action". Or stopping suddenly in the diagonal and just standing there. Or upon reaching the front - going back up along the sides rather than back down through the middle of oncoming dancers. <P>Also idle chatter, or running in and out of class, coming in late (without a very good reason). I tried to couch it all in terms of safely and courtesy, rather than mossy old rules. <P>But there are still those pushy people who just feel they have an inherent right to be in the front of everyone else. These issues I have usually addressed in class, too, without using names, just stating that everyone will have a chance at the front. Everyone will have a chance to the mirror. <P>But it has always amazed me how many otherwise good teachers simply ignore what is so obvious. <P>I well remember one situation in which the teenagers in a preprofessional class would come into the adult class (during the summer when they were out of school) and literally overwhelm the adults. The adults were very faithful, came regularly, worked hard and suddenly were literally - physically pushed - to the back. Most of the adults acquiesced - they grumbled - but gave in. However, one old lady that you all know (yes, me) refused. It was a rough summer but I just wouldn't give in. <P>The teacher just stood there (she was otherwise a terrific teacher) and watched it happen - suddenly all her faithful hard working adults were jammed against the back wall. These teens had their own class later in the day - for the adults this was their only class.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 3:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
i really appreciate trina's whole post on this, and also joanne's words:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I feel it is something the teacher has to deal with rather<BR> than the students and you can do it in a pleasant way without causing embarrassment to the<BR> pushy person (although you usually find these type of people don't embarass easily. Really it is<BR> about taking control of your class and running it how you want to for the benefit of all your<BR> students not just your pushy ones. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>basheva, i am curious to know whether your action empowered the other adults, or not? did they all still stay at the back? of course, many adults are shy of the mirror, anyway...

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 3:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
oh! also meant to say that the novice teacher, or the teacher stressed by other things, may well not feel able to deal with these interpersonal dynamics occurring in the class, as well as all the other things one is thinking of - of course they 'should' - but we aren't all perfect all the time! Image<P>and as joanne alludes to, sometimes the kind of people who do this innappropriate behaviour DO have other significant behaviour problems, and people learn to be wary of them....trina's speech, on a regular basis, might help? Image

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 5:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, Grace, the other adults were very angry, but didn't want to make waves. Even when they said something to the kids, the kids just laughed and pushed them aside. So the adults just stayed in the back and fumed. A couple quit coming until after school was back in session.<P>I was the lone rebel - cause I am such a stubborn cuss. I just won't be pushed especially by a rude person. It actually was quite dangerous for awhile as they surrounded me very closely and elbows were flying in pirouette combinations. I know this is hard to believe, but there it is.<P>After some weeks of this several of the adults went to the teacher and complained. So the teacher did tell the teens that this was not their class - they were guests in this class - and to stay in the back. That lasted literally for one combination, and the kids were back in the front again. The teacher just stood there and watched.<P>Another interesting part of this was that most of those kids were on some sort of scholarship either in whole or partial. ALL - ALL - of the adults were paying full price. <P>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 2:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
I agree that you have to stand your ground Basheva but you must be one tough cookie, Image it's not always an easy thing to do. One way to counter it as a teacher is to have the room switch around during combinations, front line to the back, and so on so that no one spends much time in any particular place although it can take up class time until people get used to moving quickly between exercises. This also gets people over being afraid of being in front of the mirror. A pet peeve of mine is when everybody is crammed in the middle and back and there's a big empty space at the front of the room. But that's absolutely no excuse for rudeness. <BR>This is complicated in the sense that you don't want to turn it into a huge deal but you want to be able to concentrate in class. If I talked to the teacher and nothing changed I would find a new class, I wouldn't want to waste my time and money. <P>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 2:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
thinking on my own situation, with this new adult class i have, (last one today), i DID put the teens in front last week, but they usually are not there - they were making up a missed class - and my reason was to give the adults confidence, as i was hastily throwing together a (fake) 'waltz of the flowers', out of the 4 or 5 allegro steps they have learned in their 5 week course, to finish off the series with a bang (they begged for one more class after that, anyway! so today i will do something completely different, like floor barre, as there is no way i remember their waltz of the flowers! it went as fast as it came!) anyway, putting THOSE teens in front was to lead them, and give them courage - but that's very different to the situation you describe, basheva.<P>i see the situation you describe as <BR>A) rudeness on the part of the teens, and<BR>B) inadequate acceptance of responsibility by the teacher.<P>i wonder if you actually saw my question though (at the end of my post) - did YOUR action empower any of the adults, to join you at the front, on that particular day? - i guess probably not....

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Denise's Question - Pushy People in Ballet Class
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 3:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Sorry Grace - I guess my answer wasn't very clear.......<P>My action did not empower the adults. They were angry but would not join me in the front. They were overwhelmed by the kids - taken by surprise by the rudeness. <P>I was surprised - actually aghast at the rudeness, but I am a tough cookie LOL. (I like cookies too.) It was very difficult, and dangerous, and lonely. But what was the alternative? I will share space - but I will not be pushed out of it. <P>At one point I overheard one of the teens say to another - "she just won't be pushed" - so I gathered it was a conscious effort on the part of the teens to overwhelm the adults.<P>However, I place the blame also on the teacher, after she was aware of it, she didn't pursue the remedy. <P>As to changing classes - it was not possible. There are only a limited number of higher level classes given. Beginner classes are relatively easy to find. Advanced classes much, much more limited.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited December 12, 2000).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 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:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group