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 Post subject: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 8:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: BC , Canada
I thought this topic might generate some small interest.<P>I tender the question "What is the role of the dance studio?" within the bounds of your average privately owned community studio/school/academy/center..whatever name it may go by?<P> Is it the role of this studio to train dancers to a professional level (I will save my own comments on this for later) . Does this establishment exist simply as a recreational facility ? Or is it a jumping off point?<P>I believe there will be as wide a range of philosophies as there are teachers....Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 5:47 pm 
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Location: usa
a dance studio, just like and other classroom<BR>setting should provide the best training<BR>possible and the students can do with it what they choose. I think an owner would be<BR>dishonest if they said that money didn't factor into the recreational/professional<BR>debate.if the local studios didn't take<BR>the recreational dancer, they would have no business. What's wrong with students who are recreational dancers? They learn how to work in groups, take direction and some social skills. teachers are being paid for a service and should perform at the highest level of thier specialty.My math teacher didn't care if i was going to be a mathematician or not, i had to pass and learn the subject.How do you determine the recreational dancer?I was short and chubby when younger, if my teacher pegged me as<BR>recreational and changed her methods my trainig would have suffered as i grew up to have a ballet body and wound up dancing professionally. i don't make a distinction<BR>ever when i teach<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 6:01 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I, too, like "J", never make a distinction. Each group - recreational or profession bound, gets my best. I don't think I could teach any other way. It would bore me to tears. <P>People can use what they learn in many ways - to influence their children, to go to the theater and understand what they see, for the joy of the movement, to feel a part of a noble tradition. <P> It is not the teacher's place to tell the student what to do with the knowledge they gain. The teacher's role is to teach to the best level he/she is capable of. I could never teach a class while saying to myself - this is of no importance, what happens here isn't important.


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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: BC , Canada
I am in total agreement with both J and Basheva..however I don't think I was clear enough of the direction I wash thinking in.<P>It has been my thought that most dance studios and particularly small dance studios misrepresent themselves if they claim to be able to fully train a dancer to a professional level. My reasoning behind this is simple..a <BR>dance studio lacks the resources that a pre-professional school offers, particularly for a student who wishes to persue a career in ballet. A larger school may be able to do it..they may be able to hire enough teachers to hold enough classes, offer repetory & pas de duex. For most small studios this is beyond there means. These small studios may have a wonderful teaching attitude, highly qualified teachers and dedicated students,,,still in terms of training to the professional level they are ill prepared.<P> I say it is the role of all studios/schools small and large to train the student so that when the time comes for the serious minded youth wishes to undertake auditions they have a reasonable chance (speaking of the sheer numbers competition wise) of acceptance into a pre-professional program that is better prepared to train to a profesional standard.<P>I have often heard studios make claims that they can themselves fill this role and I am quite sceptical about these claims..speaking specifically about ballet. I find myself wondering why so many can not set more realistic goals and represent to their students these options rather than insist that they can do a job that is better suited to Pro company schools..I believe if half of these studios could follow through on these claims there would not be so many residency programs nor would these programs be so sought after.<P><BR>Your thoughts

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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2000 7:30 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, Rabbit - I agree. The small studio is where it starts. It's in the neighborhood. The child's friends are probably there. It's what the parents can afford. It depends very much on the studio itself. There are several schools here in San Diego that certainly could take the student to the pre-professional level - I taught at a couple of them. <P>I was in class with several students who went directly into ABT. I trained a student who auditioned for NYCB summer program (her parents divorced and she couldn't go).<P>I think it is part of the role of a really good teacher to know when the student has reached the point where further advanced training is necessary. It not only has to do with the teacher's level of experience and ability - but also that the studio generally represents a small pond. The little fish has to learn to swim in a bigger pond. A caring teacher will recognize this and send the student onward.<BR> <BR>I also agree that a lot of mis-representation goes on - sometimes unknowingly - sometimes otherwise. There was a teacher here that back in the late 1970's was writing in her studio brochures that she had danced with the Bolshoi. At that time there had only been one or two Americans ever in the Bolshoi. When I had an opportunity to ask her about this, well, it turns out that when the Bolshoi was here and performed "Ballet School", they used local children. So at 6 yrs. old she was on stage standing at a barre - for about 5 minutes as part of a childen's class. They did a couple of plies' and tendus - and that was it. But she had it all over her brochures that she had "danced with the Bolshoi". Things like that make us all look bad, I think.<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2000 11:41 pm 
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i agree with all that's been written, but there is another aspect of this which i admit i am afraid to bring up, for fear of misunderstanding...<P>at another board, and also once or twice here, i have seen words from obviously very serious responsible teachers, to the effect that teachers should teach all children the same, whether the children want dance as a recreation or as a career path. this is at odds with what i would say, but sometimes i wonder whether *I* have just misunderstood....<P>to me it goes without saying that all are equally worthy of attention, and all deserve the best quality instruction, but i would not say 'the same' instruction.<P>if they are old enough to be making a distinction in their aims in being in the class -whether the same class as each other, or separate classes - i would be teaching them slightly differently. it is not that anything would be neglected or overlooked with the non-vocational child, but rather that different aspects would be emphasised, and some of the technical ones DE-emphasised (but still mentioned).<P>after all, if the child is there for social reasons, and obviously unequipped physically or rhythmically or co-ordination-wise for any suggestion of a dance career (which they don't want, anyway) then the specifics of ballet posture, for example, will only be a wasted frustration, when she could be enjoying the music, exploring her creativity or getting some useful exercise!<P>the whole class would be told about correct posture - but i would bother to re-inforce it more with those to whom it might matter, and not nag those who couldn't care less! (unless their expectations were at odds with their behaviour.)<P>also re this:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A caring teacher will recognize this and send the student onward.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>i agree with rabbit that there are far too many ambitious and possessive teachers, who wrongly think they will enhance their own image by holding students back from the wider experience they need. basheva's words are, as usual, kind and accurate. <P>only today i encouraged the mother of a talented 15 year old student to consider WHO is being helped by restrictions being placed on her daughter's access to classes and performance opportunities? - restrictions imposed by her jazz dance teacher, who will not allow her to participate in my school beyond private lessons in ballet.. this girl has the potential of a career, and she wants it, but her one (jazz) teacher tells her she can't go to ANY other teacher (despite NOT providing professional training herself).<P>they put up with this for the last term, then asked the teacher again for permission to come to me, just for ballet, while continuing all her jazz classes with that teacher, stressing that she had just failed her RAD elementary ballet exam (which she had not been adequately prepared for by her previous teacher, who offered both ballet and jazz).<P>they got 'permission' to come only for private lessons. don't ask me what this teacher is afraid of! i have no clue. my view is that the tuition is basically a commercial transaction from the customer's point of view - they have a right to buy a service from whomever they choose - and that should be the end of it, unless they receive caring advice against such a strategy which is <B>based on the student's needs - NOT the teacher's</B> imagined needs......<P><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited November 02, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 8:01 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, I agree with you Grace. I don't understand this "permission" thing. I can understand the teaher expressing an opinion, but "permission"? People have the right to go to one store - or another store.<P>I learned my lesson about this a long time ago. I was teaching a ballet class for children in an elementary school in a very economically depressed area that I had really worked to build up, only to come in one day and find that a tap teacher was now also there. <P>My initial thought was - oh no - all the little ballet girls will want to stop ballet and start tapping around. After all tap looks - an sounds - like so much fun!! Well, it turned out that just as many little tap girls wanted to do ballet as ballet girls wanted to do tap - and so my classes grew. A very precious lesson for me.<P>I think that any teacher who is afraid of another teacher - has problems of her own. She lacks confidence in her ability, in her depth of knowledge or even of her commitment. <P>I have found that having a student take from another teacher can benefit me too. Sometimes the student will decide that she likes my classes better and brings along some friends from the other class. Or, that the student will show me something that she learned from the other teacher - and that "something" can give me a new view also.<P>Never teach from fear. It's not a zero sum game - just so much knowledge and no more - you can't hoard it - or proclaim it is all yours.


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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2000 6:06 am 
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didn't mean to change the tack of your thread, rabbit.<P>possibly different studios are for different purposes and different populations. for example, a friend of mine runs an extremely successful large school which quite unashamedly IS for the community - it IS recreational - they make no pretensions to be anything else. <P>quite a number of students HAVE gone on from there into university dance programs with a view to teaching, and into related areas, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, sports physiology, human movement studies and health promotion. they are not training professional 'dancers', and don't suggest they do.<P>the only drawback i see is that at the intermediate/advanced level, the students still lack any understanding of ballet posture, which does mean that when they go into a more dedicated program, they have to start again from scratch - but this IS a common situation: that really recreational schools do NOT prepare students for the profession. <P>so if a talented child moves along through one, up to a certain point, she either then has to leave and go somehwere more vocationally focused, or continue on there, at risk of losing her future potential through it being undeveloped.....<P>at university dance programs it is common that the lecturers take the view that in a sense they have to start EVERYONE from the beginning again anyway, to eradicate faults and impose a shared understanding of all the basics, before they move (as quickly as possible) forward into more age-appropriate work.....

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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2000 4:01 pm 
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wondering if there are any more thoughts on any of the aspects raised in rabitt's thread? - we haven't seen rabbit for a while...

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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 6:58 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
The neighborhood studio is where it all begins, for many students. The range of training in these studios is tremendous. When I say range of training I mean qualifications of teachers and general standards. You can have some real duds, you can have some wonderful teachers, and everything in between. I would say if you want to find out, ask for the "mission statement" or "goal statment" of the studio; and read bios of all the teachers, particularly the director. The background of the director will set the tone for the entire studio. For example, if the director is a big tap dancer, tap dancing is going to be heavily promoted and featured and likewise, for ballet, modern, etc. <BR>Bascially, you want to see if your own personal goals, for example, "recreational dance" matches with the stated goals of the studio. If you want only recreational dance, and if the studio is focused on training professional dancer, the atmosphere might be too intense for you. <p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited December 28, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: What is the role of the "Dance Studio"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 8:07 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
One of the big complaints I hear from the dance students that correspond with me is that even though they may be "recreational" - not going to be professionals, they still want to be taken seriously. They still want corrections, and help.<P>I get asked time after time - "how can I let my teacher know that I am serious about this? I really want to learn even though I am not going to perform seriously ."<P>So, I would say that every student that comes into the classroom, whether on a professional track or not, needs to be taken seriously, until proven otherwise. It is an ongoing problem, especially with adult students who start their studies late.<P>The role of the studio - is to teach to the needs of the student.


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