Register Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 3 of 3      Prev   1   2   3
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,259
Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorax
IrishDear, I'm not suggesting that a comment would kill a dancer or destroy their inner direction. My message is that these comments may have a time and a place and even then context and the existing relationship matter greatly. In other words, comments like this are problematic. How a dancer does or does not respond to them is really not the point.


Can be disappointing. yes, but I think whether they're problematic or not is going to be up to each individual to decide for themselves. My dd spent 3 yrs with a tough as nails Russian AD who had no filter. People either loved her or they hated her. Talk to one student/parent and they'll call her intense with the highest of standards and her dancers best interests at heart. Talk to another and they'll call her mean and abusiive, Bottom line, I'd just say if it works for you great, if not there are plenty of other places to go. Different strokes for different folks and all that.
0
hopefuldancer17

High Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #52 
We had a teacher like that in our area. I feel like every dancer I ever knew who danced for her is still dealing with her nastiness and way of belittling her dancers. Some of them are adults now with children of their own. None of them speak fondly of her. None now feel she had their best interests at heart, in hindsight. They felt she was stoking her own ego. Intense training? Yes. But at what cost? This is just one teacher, but that style would never have worked in our family. We left after two years.
0
Lorax

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #53 
I'm sorry to hear that, hopefuldancer17. 
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,259
Reply with quote  #54 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefuldancer17
We had a teacher like that in our area. I feel like every dancer I ever knew who danced for her is still dealing with her nastiness and way of belittling her dancers. Some of them are adults now with children of their own. None of them speak fondly of her. None now feel she had their best interests at heart, in hindsight. They felt she was stoking her own ego. Intense training? Yes. But at what cost? This is just one teacher, but that style would never have worked in our family. We left after two years.


Exactly... you left. As well you should if it wasn't working for you. Those folks who stayed & allowed her to scar them for life?... (& yup I did say allowed)... they should've left as soon as it became apparent that that teacher wasn't working for them. Dance is an extracurricular..., no one was holding them hostage.  It wouldn't matter if it was the only game in town (which is often the excuse). It's a matter of taking control of our own lives/decisions. IDK  I'm sounding super snarky here I'm sure & I don't mean to be.  It's just that in my opinion far too many make the choice to put up w/something & then want to turn around & place blame, point fingers, later. I'm not a fan. We have to own our own decisions.

eta: & to be fair to my own dd's teacher I don't think the teacher you describe was really all that similar if you don't know anyone who speaks well of her 😉

0
hopefuldancer17

High Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #55 
The only person I know who speaks well of her...well, let's just say that the phrase Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind. That's being overly dramatic, but honestly, she was willing to put up with any kind of treatment as long as her daughter was being treated as a star and being groomed for a career. The dancer ended up with two surgeries as a late teen and no career. No one that I know can look back now with fondness at how they were treated, all in the name of good training. I don't think there were really any other options. I'm not sure she's even teaching anymore. She had a big public separation from the co-owner of her first school, and then she drove the next one into the ground. I heard she was teaching at a comp school but have no idea if she's still there.

DD has had tough teachers in summer programs where a simple "yes, good" was taken as very high praise. She definitely considered them as teachers who cared about her improving as a dancer and who had very high standards. If that was all she had for her entire career as a student, I'm not sure how it would have gone over. But for 5-6 weeks, and with a rotation of teachers, those mentally tougher teachers were welcome.
0
Motherhem

Avatar / Picture

High Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #56 
Come to think of it my daughter had an SI teacher that talked to her like that. It was a very hard summer for her and it crushed her confidence. I don’t know if she said the words in the OP but after the SI performance she came up to My DD and said, “That was OK but you still have a long way to go.” I was standing there, shocked. DD almost quit dancing that year. If it had been her studio teacher I know she would have.
I still don’t know how she meant it. Dd was in the top class at the SI and I wonder if she meant “You have potential, Keep working hard.” But dd took it as, “You will never make it in this biz. You should just quit.” Fortunately she rallied and moved past it but she still hates the company associated with the SI.
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,259
Reply with quote  #57 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motherhem
Come to think of it my daughter had an SI teacher that talked to her like that. It was a very hard summer for her and it crushed her confidence. I don’t know if she said the words in the OP but after the SI performance she came up to My DD and said, “That was OK but you still have a long way to go.” I was standing there, shocked. DD almost quit dancing that year. If it had been her studio teacher I know she would have. I still don’t know how she meant it. Dd was in the top class at the SI and I wonder if she meant “You have potential, Keep working hard.” But dd took it as, “You will never make it in this biz. You should just quit.” Fortunately she rallied and moved past it but she still hates the company associated with the SI.


And this illustrates the very problem I was referencing above.  We don't all process words similarly.  Your dd almost quit because of that statement. You yourself were shocked.  And yet tbh I see absolutely nothing wrong w/it.  To me it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to say.  And if my dd were to be taken aback by such a comment I'd be the first one to tell her it was likely intended as a compliment.  And that even if it weren't, if she wanted to pursue dance long term she'd have to learn to not weaken w/every perceived slight .  Actually, if she wanted to succeed in life in general. 

And please understand... I'm not trying to be harsh.  It's just that this thing we call life is hard.  The people we meet along the way?  Many will be tough & sharp tongued, not all w/ill intent.  But really, regardless of intent it's only in our own best interest to learn to stand strong & confident.  And if we don't learn how to do that as kids?  Well, we're in danger of never learning it at all.  IDK  I just see so many adults who still struggle w/this &, worse yet, instead of recognizing how it's harmed them, seem to dig their heels in the sand & teach their children to struggle w/it as well. Not a recipe for success.

0
classydance

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,110
Reply with quote  #58 
This is a really intersesting turn (re: language used by teachers in the studio). 

A professional career in ballet is not for the weak, at least that is what we are learning in DD's pre pro school.  No one is going to be in charge of your confidence and self- esteem.  And, yet, you must have those things to be a pro and to perform.  No one will pay to watch a scared dancer who has not esteem or confidence. We have found that, at times, the dancer has to summon some "fight". .. a resolution to move forward, make a change, and not be detoured.  

I think that indeed different things work for different people but in ballet I have seen some pretty abusive people. And I have seen many ballet families tolerate abuse, which for me is-- injury-producing corrections or advice, inappropriate touching(not corrections), pressure to perform some dumb local show with injury, public humiliation (you don't have what it takes, you're stupid, you're legs are too fat).  Note that none of these things can actually be corrected or fixed by the dancer.  These are not corrections. And yes, I have heard all these things from kids in Russian programs. Burnout and depression are very serious and career-ending injuries, especially if you are spending 6-8 hours a day dancing. 

We had instruction from  2 Bolshoi trained teachers who never talked to DD that way.  Now they weren't jolly. And they were direct.  They would basically restart the music and make DD do it over and over again until it was right. But they never said that kind of crap.  DD did very well at YAGP and has gotten into a Pre Pro Residential program. All without that. 

When it comes to language that teachers use, it's important to separate it from their effectiveness as an instructor. Some people confuse a "tough teacher," or a "Ballet boot camp" with effective instruction. They think that they are in a "real" pre professional program if people are "tough" on them (e.g. my definition of abusive).  And many teachers like to play that role, thinking it lends legitimacy to their reputation. And many parents don't really know what good, techinque is in ballet. They don't know how to look at a dancer and spot things. But the question really is, do they produce dancers who become professionals? Does your DD improve from year to year? Does your DD get scholarships? Does your DD go to an SI and stand out? Does your DD get noticed at competitions? 

The big issue is when the teacher is an effective teacher but also engages in some of these other things.  That's were it's really concerning because the family and the dancer see the results and sometimes that get locked into thinking that they must stay with this teacher in order to make it. For some dancers, they learn the teacher's personality and they kind of "ride the waves" and let it roll off of them.  For other dancers it can be really upsetting ,producing anxiety, sleeplessness, ED, and depression. 

As a parent it is my job to raise a human, not a dancer and as an experienced adult it is my job to step in when something is damaging to DD> 



0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,259
Reply with quote  #59 
Just going back to the question of who do you listen to and when for a minute.  I heard yet another great story today that reaffirms my neverending rant.... that you must be very very careful about allowing others to steal your/your dancers' dreams.  And I just thought it worthwhile to share.... 

A principal w/Boston Ballet was teaching a master class at a friend's dd's studio the other week after which they had a Q & A.  The girls asked her about her path... how it was that she got to where she was.  And her answer was quite interesting.  Told of how she did the more typical training as a young dancer... nothing super impressive.  How eventually as an older teen she was accepted to Harid where she spent a few years or so.  Until she was told in no uncertain terms that she should go to college because she didn't have what it took to be a professional ballet dancer.  She was out... & had a decision to make.  But she didn't quit... she persevered.  Spent the next year busting her butt as a post grad at CPYB & then hit the audition trail.  Where 20 companies in a row rejected her.  But again she persevered.  And lo & behold? #21 was it.   A lower level position in a smaller company but  a position just the same.  And she persevered.  And now, many years later, well, like I said, she's a principal w/the Boston Ballet.

So again... do be careful of those pesky formulas.  Those pesky benchmarks. The you must do this, you must do that.  You must be accepted here.  You must be recognized there.  Be really careful who you listen to.  No matter who they are or how long they've been in the game. Whether they've been doing this longer than you have... if their dancer is older, is now in college, has made it to the professional ranks.... if they are a teacher at a well respected school... if they have a big resume. Whether a dancer will "make it" or "not make it"?  There are just so many, too many factors to take into consideration.  And imo anyone who denies that, who tries to simplify it, tries to make it black & white... no matter "who" they are... should be met w/a healthy degree of skepticism.
0
Lorax

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #60 
I really feel like we might do all of ourselves a favor and start a new thread, one that can be easily searched, with nothing but the kind of stories you've told here, Heidi459. One constant seems to be that all of our dancers will have to interact with a wide range of people in authority in one form or another, and those interactions will all be unique... some may be appropriate, some may be inappropriate and all will likely land in a different spot on that spectrum depending on the dancer and/or the parent receiving it. What I think we can all agree on is that young dancers need to hear stories like this to help them develop the needed perspective about how to choose your reaction to these comments, regardless of the justification for them or the lack of justification. 
0
Mitzy

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,615
Reply with quote  #61 
My daughter heard it all - assemments (at age 8!) ranged from "she has exceptionally potential" (respected teacher and former ballerina) to "she'll never be a really good dancer, like (names two other dancers in her class)" 😡 The fact is, everyone has their own agenda, even teachers. Be careful whose opinions you trust.

Later, assessments of her potential changed from year-to-year, even from the same people. However, she was not defined or defeated by the negative comments - they made her fight harder to achieve her goals. Sometimes there were tears, but she never gave up (and her parents kept believing in her, too). She is a professional dancer now, and there are still disappointments and doubts, but she continues to improve. I don't think it's time to give up as long as the dancer loves what they do.
0
Motherhem

Avatar / Picture

High Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459



And this illustrates the very problem I was referencing above.  We don't all process words similarly.  Your dd almost quit because of that statement. You yourself were shocked.  And yet tbh I see absolutely nothing wrong w/it.  To me it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to say.  And if my dd were to be taken aback by such a comment I'd be the first one to tell her it was likely intended as a compliment.  And that even if it weren't, if she wanted to pursue dance long term she'd have to learn to not weaken w/every perceived slight .  Actually, if she wanted to succeed in life in general. 

And please understand... I'm not trying to be harsh.  It's just that this thing we call life is hard.  The people we meet along the way?  Many will be tough & sharp tongued, not all w/ill intent.  But really, regardless of intent it's only in our own best interest to learn to stand strong & confident.  And if we don't learn how to do that as kids?  Well, we're in danger of never learning it at all.  IDK  I just see so many adults who still struggle w/this &, worse yet, instead of recognizing how it's harmed them, seem to dig their heels in the sand & teach their children to struggle w/it as well. Not a recipe for success.




Oh Heidi I don’t think you clearly understood my post. It wasn’t a single comment. It was a whole summer of comments. I only posted the one I heard. I spent the whole summer telling my daughter she is tough on you because she believes in you and poo-pooing dd’s perceived slight. But then I heard her and I could help but wonder how the teacher meant it. And the fact that this woman came out from the back passing many other dancers and parents to say that too my daughter. I wish I had asked her what do you mean before she sauntered off. I told you I still wondered how she meant it.

My post was to point out the impact of a full summer of negative comments that to my daughter no matter how the teacher meant it. You can say, “stand strong” and “dig your heels” in all you want. You can perceive her as weak. But she was a child and dance is not more important than teaching her to stand up for herself and knowing when to walk away from an abusive person. If this had been her teacher we would have left the studio and went to find another.

Might I point out many abusive relationships are this way. The abuser verbally breaks down a person then tells them I am only doing this because I love you or you make me tell you this, because you won’t learn. Or you need to see the truth: you won’t make it in this world. That is not OK.

My dd still dances because she loves it and because she is good at it, but she doesn’t have to. She is extremely smart and has other talents. She chooses to dance. She loves corrections. She loves the hard work. She loves the 20+ hours a week she puts into dance on top of attending public school. She loves performing. Her AD and DTs are tough. They don’t go easy on her or her peers. That is ok.

Yes life is tough and not everyone is nice. There is a difference between constructive criticism and verbal abuse. So I taught my daughter: take care of you. You don’t have to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel bad about you. It is OK to walk away and do something else or keep doing this somewhere else.

0
Lorax

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #63 
Oh Mitzy, in one word, "agenda".... you have hit the nail on the head with regards to a situation we have dealt with. You have no idea. We are unwilling to *literally* buy in to the agenda and the push back is so see through (and frankly pathetic) it's almost enough to just dismiss it for what it is, if it weren't an adult attempting to push their agenda on a child, shamelessly. Yes, agenda is a huge part of some of these situations.
0
Lorax

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 72
Reply with quote  #64 
Motherhem, I wish we could walk this walk literally side by side. Your post encompasses so much of what I am trying to do. I guess the bottom line is what is working for you is what I think will work for us, too and I'm glad to see a kindred spirit. Thank you for sharing that.
0
joriebelle

Avatar / Picture

PREMIUM MEMBER
Registered:
Posts: 1,556
Reply with quote  #65 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Just going back to the question of who do you listen to and when for a minute.  I heard yet another great story today that reaffirms my neverending rant.... that you must be very very careful about allowing others to steal your/your dancers' dreams.  And I just thought it worthwhile to share.... 

A principal w/Boston Ballet was teaching a master class at a friend's dd's studio the other week after which they had a Q & A.  The girls asked her about her path... how it was that she got to where she was.  And her answer was quite interesting.  Told of how she did the more typical training as a young dancer... nothing super impressive.  How eventually as an older teen she was accepted to Harid where she spent a few years or so.  Until she was told in no uncertain terms that she should go to college because she didn't have what it took to be a professional ballet dancer.  She was out... & had a decision to make.  But she didn't quit... she persevered.  Spent the next year busting her butt as a post grad at CPYB & then hit the audition trail.  Where 20 companies in a row rejected her.  But again she persevered.  And lo & behold? #21 was it.   A lower level position in a smaller company but  a position just the same.  And she persevered.  And now, many years later, well, like I said, she's a principal w/the Boston Ballet.

So again... do be careful of those pesky formulas.  Those pesky benchmarks. The you must do this, you must do that.  You must be accepted here.  You must be recognized there.  Be really careful who you listen to.  No matter who they are or how long they've been in the game. Whether they've been doing this longer than you have... if their dancer is older, is now in college, has made it to the professional ranks.... if they are a teacher at a well respected school... if they have a big resume. Whether a dancer will "make it" or "not make it"?  There are just so many, too many factors to take into consideration.  And imo anyone who denies that, who tries to simplify it, tries to make it black & white... no matter "who" they are... should be met w/a healthy degree of skepticism.


This is exactly the point I was trying to make in my post.  And you, Heidi, once again say so well what it on my heart.  I wish I was as good as you at expressing myself.
0
dancermom128

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,662
Reply with quote  #66 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motherhem
Oh Heidi I don’t think you clearly understood my post. It wasn’t a single comment. It was a whole summer of comments. I only posted the one I heard. I spent the whole summer telling my daughter she is tough on you because she believes in you and poo-pooing dd’s perceived slight. But then I heard her and I could help but wonder how the teacher meant it. And the fact that this woman came out from the back passing many other dancers and parents to say that too my daughter. I wish I had asked her what do you mean before she sauntered off. I told you I still wondered how she meant it. My post was to point out the impact of a full summer of negative comments that to my daughter no matter how the teacher meant it. You can say, “stand strong” and “dig your heels” in all you want. You can perceive her as weak. But she was a child and dance is not more important than teaching her to stand up for herself and knowing when to walk away from an abusive person. If this had been her teacher we would have left the studio and went to find another. Might I point out many abusive relationships are this way. The abuser verbally breaks down a person then tells them I am only doing this because I love you or you make me tell you this, because you won’t learn. Or you need to see the truth: you won’t make it in this world. That is not OK. My dd still dances because she loves it and because she is good at it, but she doesn’t have to. She is extremely smart and has other talents. She chooses to dance. She loves corrections. She loves the hard work. She loves the 20+ hours a week she puts into dance on top of attending public school. She loves performing. Her AD and DTs are tough. They don’t go easy on her or her peers. That is ok. Yes life is tough and not everyone is nice. There is a difference between constructive criticism and verbal abuse. So I taught my daughter: take care of you. You don’t have to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel bad about you. It is OK to walk away and do something else or keep doing this somewhere else.


As I know your DD is looking to dance in college as a BFA, I feel I have to tell you to prepare for hearing this kind of stuff. Nothing is sugar coated. And I get that your DD will be older but she really needs to know that college professors can be very tough. More than likely they will want to go back to the basics and strip your dancer of their bad habits. Things that she never dreamt she was doing wrong will be just that. I don't say that to scare you but it is not easy. You have to have a tough skin. The comment made to your dancer doesn't seem at all super negative to me. She most likely did and does have a long way to go. And that's ok. 

0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,259
Reply with quote  #67 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motherhem
Oh Heidi I don’t think you clearly understood my post. It wasn’t a single comment. It was a whole summer of comments. I only posted the one I heard. I spent the whole summer telling my daughter she is tough on you because she believes in you and poo-pooing dd’s perceived slight. But then I heard her and I could help but wonder how the teacher meant it. And the fact that this woman came out from the back passing many other dancers and parents to say that too my daughter. I wish I had asked her what do you mean before she sauntered off. I told you I still wondered how she meant it. My post was to point out the impact of a full summer of negative comments that to my daughter no matter how the teacher meant it. You can say, “stand strong” and “dig your heels” in all you want. You can perceive her as weak. But she was a child and dance is not more important than teaching her to stand up for herself and knowing when to walk away from an abusive person. If this had been her teacher we would have left the studio and went to find another. Might I point out many abusive relationships are this way. The abuser verbally breaks down a person then tells them I am only doing this because I love you or you make me tell you this, because you won’t learn. Or you need to see the truth: you won’t make it in this world. That is not OK. My dd still dances because she loves it and because she is good at it, but she doesn’t have to. She is extremely smart and has other talents. She chooses to dance. She loves corrections. She loves the hard work. She loves the 20+ hours a week she puts into dance on top of attending public school. She loves performing. Her AD and DTs are tough. They don’t go easy on her or her peers. That is ok. Yes life is tough and not everyone is nice. There is a difference between constructive criticism and verbal abuse. So I taught my daughter: take care of you. You don’t have to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel bad about you. It is OK to walk away and do something else or keep doing this somewhere else.


Oh no....I'm sorry... I wasn't suggesting that it wasn't okay to walk away.  In fact many times in this thread I have specifically said that if a teacher's style is not working for a dancer/family then they have the responsibility to recognize that early on, take the bull by the horns, & move on.  Rather than staying, unhappy, & then trash talking the teacher/studio down the line for ruining their/their child's love of dance/self esteem. 

That said, your post there just seemed like a perfect illustration of another important point so I took the opportunity to run w/it. Because as uncomfortable as it can be to hear, it's true that it will only help our kids if we can teach them not to be so fragile. And as uncomfortable as it can be to hear, it's also true that we can only do that if we aren't so fragile ourselves. In the end it is up to us... we "choose" how to interpret the words of others.  Someone else's words can't have power over us unless we allow them to.  That was really my bigger point there & it wasn't just aimed at you.  It was just a general comment related to the topic at hand.     

0
Motherhem

Avatar / Picture

High Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #68 
For the most part I agree with you all. The comment could have been worse. I just didn’t understand her point and because I didn’t ask her I never will. My daughter was very young when it happened. She didn’t have a big head. She has always been her own hardest critic. The SI was over. This was the final performance and we were leaving to go home. So, why say it? As I said in my first post about it there were two ways to take it. My daughter because she is hard on herself took it the hardest way.

My point of the whole post is how the summer made her feel. To me dance isn’t that important, but it is to her.

She is older now. She didn’t quit. And I’m sure she will be fine in college. I didn’t raise a puddin’. She’s been to other SIs and danced with many other teachers with no issue.

She just got her 4th SI scholarship this year. I think she could go on the audition circuit for companies but she wants the college experience. So that is the route we will go but if she changed her mind, I know she could handle it, too.
0
Jacaranda

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,157
Reply with quote  #69 
You know of such conversations were to occur here, K think you would get responses like this.

"What do you mean my child can't be a professional, we have been coming here for years, what is wrong with your teachers and program that you haven't gotten her there".

"My kid can be anything she sets her heart out to be, we don't want her in an environment where she is being told otherwise"

Of course not all parents would react this way, but a significant number would.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.