I was responsible for writing the post you have spoken about, yes I have had some horrendous abuse! But I stand by every word I wrote, I have trained some stunning students who have gone on to become current senior soloists in leading ballet companies alongside current west end performers, but the thing that I am most proud of is the articulate well adjusted young adults I have also had the pleasure of nurturing over many years. Please message me if you are interested in the matters I have discussed, the only way to bring about change is by uniting!
The current STATE of the Dance World
I have thought long and hard about writing this post, but I feel as a teacher who is passionate about nurturing young dancers, I think someone needs to stand up to what is becoming a very dangerous and incestuous environment in which to train pupils and students.
Teachers are Teachers whether it’s in the academic sector or dance and many would do well to remember that, too many overstep the mark and borders that really should be very clear become merged to the extent that children become vulnerable. Social media is a great tool but used excessively and with inappropriate motivation it is dangerous.
Parents, dance is not a quick fix nor is it all about child stardom, if you want to survive in this industry you need longevity, do not be swayed by the promise of instant fame but instead understand that a teacher that really cares, is the one that grafts “quietly” with your child in the studio with a structured timetable, instead of the one that is looking for the next big promotional event that will escalate their own personal status.
We as teachers are here to guide our pupils, yes to train and to train with intent, purpose and consistency, but also with due care and consideration for the individual. Not as in some cases to the extent that we ”break” children, I re-iterate “children” how is it acceptable to train in excess of 70 hours a week, and more importantly for this to be boasted about openly on Social Media. This is against the law for professionals let alone children. However without the presence of an independent governing society that has the power to monitor such activity and ultimately to stop it happening, teachers have a free reign to do as they please at the expense of your child’s health and welfare.
Another area of grave concern, is the obsession with teachers feeling the need to constantly post excessive videos online, I beg you to question what happens to the other 15 pupils standing on the sidelines, when these videos are being produced? ask yourself is this your child? In which case is It the right school for your son/daughter? Yes an occasional video but surely teachers are there to teach, that is what they are paid to do!
Teachers need to also understand that at all times they must act appropriately online, therefore how can a principal of a dance school ask for advice on her Facebook page about a specific named diet pill and where she can obtain them when she is in the position of guiding teenage dance pupils some of whom quite possibly could be feeling vulnerable about their own body image, how is this acceptable?
Equally so to use such language as “love you so much” on a continual basis to pupils of all ages again totally inappropriate. When is the (dance) world going to see that surely this cannot be in the best interest of our young people, this kind of behavior is unacceptable in the academic sector so why are we allowing it to happen in the dance sector?
I do hope that if you have read this post you will take the time to think about it seriously, Surely our children are the most precious things in the world they need to be protected.