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 Post subject: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2001 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
i have re-commenced so-called 'ballet' classes for this age group - 3 to 8 year olds - after losing both my little ones' teacher and the suitable hall, two years ago.<P>as has been highlighted in various other threads here, about 'ballet' for 3 to 5 year olds, <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000304.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000304.html</A> and <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000309.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000309.html</A> the responsible teacher is at pains to provide an age-appropriate positive dance experience - and to communicate WHAT THAT IS to the parents.<P>towards that aim, i have been handing out the following leaflet to parents, at my introductory 'Shrimps' (pre-ballet/foundation movement skills) classes, which have just commenced 2 saturdays ago. (*I* don't teach that class, but rather have two other teachers, who enjoy that age-group, who work together, with a small group of children.)<P>i thought you might like to see it, in connection with some issues that arose in the 'Parents Expectations' thread - <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000323.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000323.html</A> <P>here it is:-<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Why Do Ballet? Ages 3 to 8</B><P>Dancing schools commonly offer "ballet" for these ages. "Real" ballet is a highly disciplined art form, requiring a level of physical development, which doesn't occur before the age of 8 to 10.<P>For this reason, the world's major ballet schools (like The Royal Ballet School in London, the Vaganova School in Saint Petersburg, the Paris Opera Ballet School, etc) accept carefully selected students only from the age of 10.<P>Real ballet cannot be taught to students under these ages - not by anyone.<P>So - what do WE do in these classes?<P>At The XXXXXXX School, we firstly recognise and acknowledge the individual child's development level. There are no rights or wrongs - all of us develop differently. Every child needs to be 'met' where they are now, and encouraged towards self-confidence and self-expression, appropriate to their age.<P>Simple movement skills are approached, as appropriate to the child's readiness. Clapping to music is fun! Music introduces and re-inforces counting skills.<P>Our activities comprise socialising, listening skills, instruction-following, peer-acceptance, co-operation, rhythm response, music appreciation, interpretation, counting, etc….. These are accompanied by a variety of good quality music.<P>Examples of our activities: Galops cover space and confer confidence in bold movement. Skipping is a learned skill which becomes attainable at approximately age 3 …...coordinating arms and legs together in any movement is a high level skill.<P>Cooperating with a friend, or with the teacher is a learned social skill. Pointing and flexing the feet builds strong shapely leg muscles. Mime and music interpretation foster use of the imagination.<P>We aim firstly to provide a happy group experience, along with a good experience of music and movement. Developing social skills in preparation for school and for 'life' comes next! Encouraging confident self-presentation is implicit in all of our activities.<P>Establishment of pre-ballet movement skills is an inevitable result of all the above. The 7 or 8 year old who is ready to approach ballet (or any other formal dance) will have acquired a sound foundation of abilities, both physical and mental, to cope well and to develop in a ballet class.<P>Examinations are not offered before the age of 8. Parent watching days are held each term. Annual assessments <I>will</I> occur, purely for the students to gain a sense of approaching a formal experience with confidence, receiving positive feedback and a Certificate reward. <P>These will be totally non-competitive (no marks) and positive in orientation. There is an annual recital- minimal pressure for small children, and minimal expense also!<P>Your feedback and queries are always welcome. (And we have adult beginner classes too!) XXXXX may be contacted by email on xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, or by phone on XXX XXXX<P>View our website at xxxxxxxxxxxxxx <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited January 28, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2001 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Grace - I tried to click into the website at the bottom of your post - but it wouldn't come up sais "page cannot be found" - perhaps it was just me - could you try it and see if it works?


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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 7:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
thanks basheva - the closing [quote] symbols had merged into the URL. i have removed the URL, so that it doesn't detract from the subject in hand - it's purpose there was just to offer parents access to more info, and to convey the 'attitude' that their questions would be answered and their feedback would be welcomed.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 9:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Grace I think your handout is excellent is great, very informative for a new dance parent.<P>I think I have probably had this conversation before with you about the fact that the parents that probably understand already all the points you make will read that handout and take it in and the ones who don't will just ignore it and put it in a pile of other papers to be read at some time. However parents do talk in the waiting room so hopefully the conscientious parents will hope spread the word that important notices like this give them.<P>A pamphlet is also evidence when parents who don't bother to read things come in and complain about not knowing about things.<P>Keep up the good work Grace and thanks for sharing it with us. You have been busy of late!


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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 9:45 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
This is a test - I am having trouble posting - if it comes up please ignore<P>Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
glad to see BOTH your posts joanne! Image btw, anyone should feel free to use anything, like this, which i put up - to edit it to suit YOUR school, and then use it as from your school, if you can. i don't need any credits.<BR> <BR>joanne, recently i have found that the parents of young ones phoning me to enquire, DO want this kind of approach - it is obvious from their questions that they are concerned to make sure we DON'T have exams, and we DON"T have innappropriate pressure, etc....so that's been good, so far (of course, there still aren't ENOUGH of them! Image THAT's what i'm busy working on!)

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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 6:04 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I wish the "lack of pressure" idea would spread, not only to other dance schools, but to sports that children take part in too. <P>Grace - that is a really terrific handout - really. <P>As a side note - it was mentioned above that parents talk in the waiting room. I know of one studio that got rid of the waiting room just so the parents wouldn't talk - there was too much gossip going on.....LOL


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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 7:30 pm 
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Location: Australia
yes - i have a "PARENTS: Quiet Please" notice left over from last time, that will need to be used again, i am sure! as well as being distracting, there is that OTHER issue of when they actually use the opportunity to get each other worked up about something - usually based on misinformation! <P>on the other hand, having a discussion area does serve a social purpose, especially for young mums who can be isolated - it's a situation that i have found needs to be monitored.....<P>and as joanne says, it can be used to advantage when they educate each other appropriately....

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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 11:57 pm 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Your parents sound great Grace and I agree with the pros and cons of waiting rooms.<P>I like your idea of end of term assessments where they all get certificates and are non-competitive. With my teaching association they run a programme called rosettes for the 3-8year olds. They basically perform in a group and with a teacher 2 short routines of their chosen dance style (can be as short as 4 bars repeated). There is no grading they just pass the rosette and gain a certificate, a bright coloured rosette and a bannerette to pin them on. The kids love collecting them and they find them fun.


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 Post subject: Re: "Why Do Ballet?" (3 to 8 yr olds)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:33 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
At the end of the dance year, I used to take photographs, in color, of some famous dancer - some really gorgeous picture, and hand it out to the children as a keepsake/reward. They just loved it. The parents all told me the little girls would hang the pictures up in their bedrooms.


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