what a lot of good comments already! i agree with these thoughts especially:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"choreographing to the ability of your students is the most important thing" &<P>" "reach" for another level - but that level should also be attainable." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>re rehearsals: i agree, joanne, that students in my experience have very busy lives, and cannot (or will not) add to their schedule. actually the kids would, but the parents won't or can't. this means that the class time MUST become the rehearsal time. there is no other way. no matter how much the teacher may hate it and wish it were different!<P>another issue this raises is: do they pay for rehearsals? i heard yesterday that one school here adds an extra class near concert time for rehearsals, which they do not charge for....(i find it a bit hard to believe, but that's what i heard...). one reason being so that the normal class may continue as normal, and include those kids who aren't in the recital - by choice.<P>my experience is representative of dance schools here - that the final term is given over entirely to concert work, with techniqueinevitably suffering, that is followed by the summer break. then you start fresh in february, by whichtime kids have effectively had 4 months without any technique work!!!!! awful but true, and there's really no way round it, as it's what parents expect.<P>however, i think i have just decided not to do a show at christmas anymore - parents are too stressed out by the rest of their lives. maybe i'll try for october, thus sacrificing the 3rd term (instead of the 4th), as soon as exams are done (usually end of 2nd term/beginning of 3rd term), and then use 4th term for 'open' classes (non-syllabus) working on technique areas highlighted as needy, from the syllabus work earlier in the year.<P>re casting - it would not be acceptable here to audition kids for roles - too many hurt feelings, even with the older ones. parents would not accept this. we tend toward the 'give every kid an equal amount' philosophy, with maybe one extra little opportunity for a very talented individual to shine.<P>i often get the 'that dance should have been longer' comment - as i am a firm believer in 'leave em wanting more'. many of the professional theatre dance pieces i watch drag themselves down by going on too long (for me). of course, with parents they are also letting you know that they wanted to see more of their child in that number, but any teacher knows that getting them to look halfway decent for even 2 minutes is enough of a challenge!