Working with technical instructors
Students who work with technical instructors fair better than with the non-technical. The problem comes when the student has to work with too many non-technical trainers. That is when you start to see your student falling behind. When the non-technical teachings override the technical, you are setting your student up for failure. The effects are almost immediate.
The trade off for glittery glamour and fancy costumes are no substitute for technique. I find this hits home a lot in the ballet and technique courses taught at some studios.
A good rule of the thumb is that everyone should teach the same form of technique. You must be consistent. However, if you allow someone who has no formal background in ballet technique to be your lead, you do your students a disservice. You are in a business, and you are supposed to hire the best, and to offer the best product you can. Emotions and feelings will not build your studio. True talent will.
Take a good look at your studios top dancers. Did you really train them or did someone else? Have you taken the credit for someone else’s work? What would happen if you lost that instruction? I can tell you that your level of technically trained dancers will decrease. If you aren’t teaching proper technique, you may have a nice sparkly show, but it won’t pay off in the end at competition. As a competition judge – I’ll bust you on the technique score sheet. Because I can, and because I should. Dance is a discipline after all – and you are there to compete and be judge. If it weren’t for judging you wouldn’t show up. Think about it.
I’ve watched this technique formula unravel recently as a newer off shoot studio had its dancers level up, and in many ways is beginning to pass the older studio. It’s about being willing to WORK! If it were a popularity contest there would be a lot more people beating down the doors to work for you. At some point studio owners have to face the hard cold facts. What is technique, and how does it effect my bottom line in the long term investment of my business? What a concept “long term investment”.
Studio’s need to hire the best. But if the best is only versed in one style of dance, and has little or no formal back ground in ballet, you only have short term profits to look forward too. Dance styles change constantly, technique is here to stay however. Your long term investment is in investing in someone who will discipline your students to be consistent and hit those movements every time. That investment should include training the trainers as well. If your instructors are not on the same page from preschool to 3rd grade levels, your top levels will be weak and sporadic to say the least. Those per former years are mandatory for so many reasons. From 3rd grade through 9th grade, you will have growth issues to content with. You must have instructors who understand those growth spurts and can help student to re-learn technique. Their young bodies are developing, and muscle and bone growth is tremendous. Example: The bones in the foot of a point ballerina.
Chances are, if you have neglected technical training for your dancers, your top dancers are getting training from someone else outside your organization. So, back to the questions “Take a good look at your studios top dancers. Did you really train them or did someone else. Have you taken the credit for someone else’s work?” Are you giving a non-technical short term instructor credit for years of someone else’s instruction. Possibly destroying hard learned technical disciplines to boot.
Look at your business as “a business”. New and shiny is always enticing, but the true and proven, hard core disciple of dance is rough, and controlled, and has long term payouts.
Turns and Leaps! Dance on !