Janina’s Blog

Dear Summer Study Dancers and Parents,

As your dancer studies elsewhere this summer, unexpected issues are sure to arise.  Every summer we receive
calls from parents and dancers with problems that are usually born from frustration and confusion.  We hope
that the words of experience below might help to diffuse some of these problems.

Your dancer is new to the teachers just as the teachers are new to your dancer.  It takes quite some time for
both of them to figure out what is expected as well as what is possible.  Remember that you are coming from
a very nurturing studio and the teachers at BVI KNOW you and you KNOW the teachers.  Ballet class is a
nonverbal art form that involves body language.  This can be misconstrued when a new teacher and student
relationship is being formed.  Do not assume that a teacher “does not like me,” because they may be reading
you wrong and may think you don’t like them!  Remain positive and open and work your hardest in every
class.  Sometimes what may seem as a negative comment only means that teacher is interested in you and
finding out what you are capable of.  Even if you do not have a good or comfortable relationship with a
teacher they still have something to teach you.

If you are not feeling well or have a bit of an injury DO NOT PANIC, this is advice for parents as well as
dancers.  Things happen when you are as physical as you will be in an intense summer program.  This is also
part of your education and necessary to learn how to cope and deal with injuries and illnesses.  Thes
professional programs have staff on call that will help you.  The dancers just need to communicate.  That does
not mean for every discomfort because you will red flag yourself as someone who is high maintenance.
Dancers need to be smart, tough and resourceful.

Parents…our most heartfelt suggestion after many years as dancers, parents and teachers in the dance world
is not to become immediately involved in your dancers’ plight without getting the whole story first.  Then
allow them a chance to resolve the issue on their own.  Your dancer will undoubtedly call home and be a bit
dramatic.  All they want and need is to have mom and dad be a soft place to fall while they are away.  More
times than not, they are over dramatizing an event.  They are tired, a bit homesick, and out of their element.
They just need a caring ear and a bit of a nudge to deal with the situation on their own.  They truly are smart
people and more than capable of doing so.  If you call the administrative office with an issue or a complaint,
this may also put up a red flag for your dancer.  Even though it may seem like the right thing to do, when a
seemingly (if only to the administrator’s) insignificant problem is reported, the teachers and administrators
and staff will all be informed.  This is not always a good thing.  If there is a significant issue, rest assured the
program officials will contact you immediately.  That is the reason you filled out all of that paperwork!
Dancers…you are ready to set out on your own.  Trust that you have been prepared both by your parents and
your teachers.  It is exciting and scary, but will be a wonderful memory and a great learning experience of life
and dance.  Keep your head on straight and do not get involved with the “Dancer Drama” of other dancers. It
will distract you to the point of frustration.  You will cohabitate for the summer only and then be on your way.
Be patient and kind.  Do not alarm your parents with things that have no bearing on why you are there.  Your
challenge is to dance and learn as much as you possibly can, work hard and have fun.  We trust you will
represent BVI with confidence and integrity.

We are proud of you, love you, and will miss you!

Your teachers and BVI Family

Corrections vs Criticism

In dance class and rehearsal, a dancer may feel criticized.  This is such a natural emotion since every one wants to do their best, be their best, be liked by the teacher, and not “called out ” in front of their friends.  This is such a hard thing for a teacher to balance.

Perhaps a bit of insight from our world might help…

Standing in front of a group of young children, preteens, or teenagers can be quite daunting.  We try to be everything for every child at all times.  Understandably, we hope, this is virtually impossible!  Our general approach is to try to get to every student in every class with some technical or artistic suggestions, or what is commonly called a correction.  Occasionally we hear we are not giving Susie enough corrections, or that Betty feels criticized.  What is a ballet teacher to do?  The answer:  The best we can.

Dancers can worry if they do not get corrections, although sometimes we see that a dancer is busy working on a correction already given, and does not need another one at that time.  Other times we see that a dancer is having a difficult time either mentally or physically applying a correction, and we do not want to frustrate them.  Sometimes we see that a dancer is in an exciting growth period and the more corrections we give, the more that dancer will soak it in.  The bottom line is that every dancer should always listen to everyone’s corrections and remind themselves to double check their own work, as well as try to apply a new idea or concept that is being presented.

Please understand and  explain to  your dancer that it is not our intention to criticize.  We are dedicated to training dancers and care about each and everyone of them as people first.  The dancing is secondary.  If they are feeling badly about themselves or what they are experiencing in class, please help them to take a deep breath, and if there is any confusion regarding a teachers approach, encourage them to go directly to that teacher and ask.

We at BVI are here for our students and want to give them the best of what we have to offer.

Summer Dance Programs Are you going away to study?

 

If your dancer studies elsewhere this summer, unexpected issues are sure to arise.  Every summer we receive calls from parents and dancers with problems that are usually born from frustration and confusion.  We hope that the words of experience below might help to diffuse some of these problems.

Your dancer is new to the teachers just as the teachers are new to your dancer.  It takes quite some time for both of them to figure out what is expected as well as what is possible.  Remember that you are coming from a very nurturing studio and the teachers at BVI KNOW you and you KNOW the teachers.  Ballet class is a nonverbal art form that involves body language.  This can be misconstrued when a new teacher and student relationship is being formed.  Do not assume that a teacher “does not like me,” because they may be reading you wrong and may think you don’t like them!  Remain positive and open and work your hardest in every class.  Sometimes what may seem as a negative comment only means that teacher is interested in you and finding out what you are capable of.  Even if you do not have a good or comfortable relationship with a teacher they still have something to teach you. 

If you are not feeling well or have a bit of an injury DO NOT PANIC, this is advice for parents as well as dancers.  Things happen when you are as physical as you will be in an intense summer program.  This is also part of your education and necessary to learn how to cope and deal with injuries and illnesses.  These professional programs have staff on call that will help you.  The dancers just need to communicate.  Dancers need to be smart, tough and resourceful. 

Parents…our most heartfelt suggestion after many years as dancers, parents and teachers in the dance world is not to become immediately involved in your dancers’ plight without getting the whole story first.  Then allow them a chance to resolve the issue on their own.  All they want and need is to have mom and dad be a soft place to fall while they are away.  More times than not, they are over dramatizing an event.  They are tired, a bit homesick, and out of their element.  They truly are smart people and more than capable of doing so.  If you call the administrative office with an issue or a complaint, this may also put up a red flag for your dancer.If there is a significant issue, rest assured the program officials will contact you immediately.  That is the reason you filled out all of that paperwork!

Dancers…you are ready to set out on your own.  Trust that you have been prepared both by your parents and your teachers.  It is exciting and scary, but will be a wonderful memory and a great learning experience of life and dance.  Keep your head on straight and do not get involved with the “Dancer Drama” of other dancers.Be patient and kind.  Do not alarm your parents with things that have no bearing on why you are there.  Your challenge is to dance and learn as much as you possibly can, work hard and have fun.  We trust you will represent BVI with confidence and integrity.

We are proud of you, love you, and will miss you!