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 Post subject: Using dance as a reward
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 8:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Pa, USA
In the States it is the end of the first term/semester and generally at this time of year I get a few calls of concerned parents whose child's grades may not be stellar thinking about pulling them from dance until they see an academic improvement. Personally I feel this is an unjust punishment for the child as I feel their dance education may be just as valuable to them as Calculus per se. I also feel for the student who is truly trying their best and struggling--or the child who is really an average student (whose parents feel otherwise) this is not a way to encourage them to improve their grades at all. Not to mention the obvious problems it brings into the class as a whole at this time of year with recital preparations--when the child returns they often feel overwhelmed by the amount of choreography they've missed and will in turn have trouble picking it all back up. Trying to explain this to parents seems fruitless in my experience--although I understand their concern about their child's academic performance--not all life is based on a GPA--and isn't there a better solution to encourage good study habits than dangling dance classes like a carrot?


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 Post subject: Re: Using dance as a reward
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 10:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Jan -this is another great topic - <P>I have had that happen to my students too. However, in my experience the parents were just looking for an excuse to end dance lessons - for whatever reason. Sometimes they can't afford them anymore and don't wish to admit that to themselves, the child or the teacher. Sometimes they just don't want to be bothered - driving, waiting around etc. <P>They don't seem to realize that one part of a child's education enhances another part and all is part of the whole. Dance is part of the whole, too. We grow up thinking that the arts are peripheral. An adjunct.<P> The ancient Greeks were smarter than we are. "A sound mind in a sound body" is a true today as it was then. In fact the arts have been found to enhance the other learning processes. The arts refresh the spirit.<P>I don't think that anyone learns through threats. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Using dance as a reward
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 11:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 4
Location: San Diego, Ca USA
I am new to the board and had to let you know I agree with. I have also had students pulled out of class because of grades. Often they are not allowed to return nor do I see them participating in other extra-curricular activities. I believe that these activities are as important to a child's growth and development as academics. In many cases participation in dance or music can improve a child's academics. In my own daughter's case she struggled with math for years. She began playing the harp and I noticed a sharp increase in her comprehension of the subject with a lot less angst.<BR>Many children are also more confident in their extra-curricular activities and eventually that confidence spills over into the classroom. There is more to life than GPA, it should not be the sum of our worth as a person.


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 Post subject: Re: Using dance as a reward
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Folks, I want you to know that this is my friend and ballet teacher,Debbie - I take ballet class from her and she is a very fine teacher, indeed. We chat quite a bit after class and I look forward to her class and those chats every week.<P>A very warm welcome to the board, Debbie-<P> (yes, I will remember that combination for Friday - LOL).


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 Post subject: Re: Using dance as a reward
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 4
Location: Canada
My parents do this, and all I have to say is GRRRR! I am in an accelerated program at school, and my parent's reasoning is that they will provide (dite force) time for study everyday. By keeping my grades at a decent level (dictated by them), as well as heated "discussion", I was able to convince them that I should be allowed out one night a week to dance. I must cram all my classes into Saturday and Monday nights. I am now at a level where I absolutely must have more hours in the studio, but am not allowed. I do understand the reasoning, that they want to ensure that I get a good education. However, I believe in balance, and would much prefer to be in a regular stream program and be able to dance, and do the other things I enjoy during the week. It's a good thing I know they love me, because otherwise I would think they're trying to punish me! It is essential to enjoy what you are doing, and I think that by allowing a child to do some of the activities they like, the child will have a better attitude for the mandatory, and perhaps less enjoyable things. I hope that made sense!


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 Post subject: Re: Using dance as a reward
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
It does make sense, Katya - but you do have the knowledge that they love you, and that is the most important thing. It is not so easy being a parent- I know you have heard that before!! But, it is true. <P>Sometimes when we are children we learn not only what to do when we are parents, but also what not to do.<P>Just remember - they do love you and that is irreplaceable.


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