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  1. I think to generalize... do this, do that, don’t do such and such, less is more etc. might not be the best approach to assume since anxiety and its responses can be / are known to be so individualistic and situation-dependent. What might work well for one individual might not be so effective for another, right? And as young people become more experienced and grow and learn, so to do their responses and strategies evolve with growing maturity and youthful wisdom. Having said this, I’m all for providing enabling tools (a tool kit) and with facilitating insights and self-realizations and awareness, as well as giving support tailored to the child/adolescent. The piece about elite athletes is one tool: having and sticking to one’s own, personalized ritual. For that way, it doesn’t really matter what others are doing (as part of their own (formal or informal) preparatory, pre-‘performance’ rituals.). Isolating sound and sight (ear buds) is a recognized technique for intentionally getting INTO one’s preferred positive mental zone, as opposed to trying to figure out ways fight or combat away from negative vibes and avoiding anxious thoughts. These are two different techniques, one a pull, the other a push. Some stress, psychologists call eustress, is desirable in fact as it can enhance performance, There is a lot of research and understanding about the tools for taking jitters in stride, combatting negative self talk and internal voices and negative thoughts. There’s also techniques for countering and lessening the negative impacts on performance when one does flub momentarily yet has to get back up on the horse so to speak and to carry on right through to the end of the performance. Figure skaters fall in their routines be learn how to ‘recover’ when the stakes (medals) are high. The age and experience of the OP’s DS weren’t clear or obvious. But an adolescent obviously is in a different space than a younger performer. Since performance is exceedingly stressful by nature, it’s probably beneficial for intentional stress handling education to be integrated part and parcel with technical development, just like gymnastics and weight training are cross training and beneficial to danseur development. It can only get even more stressful with increasing advancement. Nutrition and hydration education is another piece of the puzzle. (Not news, this.)
  2. I just learned the difference between cliques and claques; thanks! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claque
  3. Perhaps, hmmmmm... why Yes! >> SPARTACUS << would be more in keeping with his outlook, actually right up ‘is alley so to speak, R.S. being in charge of prisoners et al ?(!) 😉
  4. Great topic to post! Any tips for taking a class as an english/french but non-russian speaking ballet class taker? (In Paris, you never take a ‘ballet class’, you take a ‘danse classique’ class. What is the equivalent in Russian (in roman not cyrillic alphabets) does anybody know?) #Balletourism
  5. Parents should (learn to) be highly suspect of questionable ‘selection’ methods and processes, yes?(!), what is a legitimate audition or not. It’s market economics (free enterprise transactions) you’re noticing at play: parents make demands on behalf of their kids; people (of varying ethics) oblige them and satisfy their needs by supplying the desired experience.(Where does fairness have to come into any of it?) Someone so-called seeking a professional career will injure themselves young; not a smart strategy. Maybe (hopefully) this gymnastification takeover you claim is taking place will be a passing fad. If paediatric or sports medicine practitioners identify an uptrend in dance injuries, then eventually studies will be made and recommendations implemented towards education and banning injurious practices, is another course that could ensue if the rising social costs (medical care) justify eliminating preventable injury. Or I suppose an injured dancer could sue their studio.
  6. This ABT health program... https://www.abt.org/training/teacher-training/national-training-curr/the-healthy-dancer/ has a book that can be ordered online... https://www.abt.org/explore/shop/#buyhealthydancer In both cases (RBS, ABT) a significant investment was committed to improving health and wellness outcomes for young dancers. The knowledge and expertise exists, but it isn’t distributed broadly (thus an information campaign is necessitated). There have been many books published about wellness for dancers, that are mainly geared to adults; but a few exist for juveniles too.
  7. ... which is why I suggested that an educational campaign might be worth looking into, glissade. For if not the parents looking out for the interests of their kids, then whom? This program applies to students. https://www.royalballetschool.org.uk/train/dancer-training/healthy-dancer-programme/ An information program for DPs could be conceived.
  8. I recently came across the RB’s program offering; would love to hear what people’s first hand impressions and experiences have been like from attending same... for how long has the program been offered; what level of dancers turn out (pun intended!); likes and dislikes, pros and cons, benefits, worthwhile? Would you recommend attending (why / why not)? (I did search to try to locate any earlier related threads but came up empty handed. Pls refer or redirect me to any relevant posts, thank you long time forumers!) http://london.eventful.com/events/dance-royal-ballet-/E0-001-117224417-4@2019050314
  9. Anecdotal ‘evidence’ seems to suggest that acro tricks are on the rise, as is the frequency of hyperextension imagery. So we’re seeing and hearing about this a lot more lately, whatever this fad implies. Children being impressionable, adults (parents and teachers) need to be well informed and guide wisely, as with many aspects of online culture and physical training. Dance training and competing are not really regulated or policed for safety per se, whereas for youth sports training and competing, safety standards do apply, so far as I am aware. There may well be best practices, leading practices and good practices for dance safety (along with practical common sense, which sometimes isn’t so common), but adoption and adherence to same are purely voluntary, with no sanctions for non compliance, aren’t they? Are competitions generally business, profit-making ventures? Some people are receiving pay to organize them? Is it now time to consider instituting specific safety regulations for juvenile training and competition beyond what already occurs (e.g. RAD)? Establishing evidence-based standards; certifying and licensing teachers with mandatory safety education; auditing and whistle blowing? Financing the overhead (by all dance parent consumers) to cover the costs of administering such a scheme? Should dance parents be advocating for such reforms because of all the perceived harm, scattered, expressed concerns and any reported incidences? It’s the dance parents’ responsibility to be well informed consumers of education and recreation services for their DD/DS. Perhaps an educational campaign would be helpful. The more responsible parents would make the effort (or are already doing so) while the less responsible ones would continue to make poor decisions affecting their children. It’s the group of ‘undecideds’ in the ‘middle’ who might be persuaded to choose more wisely than not.
  10. Reading the article, it seems that the judgement handed down was less about whether actions were ‘acceptable’ or otherwise; and more about whether suspension rather than termination was the more appropriate remedy for non acceptable texting.
  11. Agreed that hypermobility is an uncommon trait (which has always been the case.) But who, exactly, are we saying is ‘encouraging’ unsafe practices to occur? Can we say who is driving up ‘untold damage’? Isn’t it up to adults to guide youngsters, and responsibly? Don’t parents and teachers monitor young dancers? When more crimes are being REPORTED more often (instead of going unreported) so that the number of reported crimes appears to be higher, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the RATE of crimes being committed is actually going up. It could just mean that we’re hearing about the phenomena more than before (i.e. the prevalence of our awareness has expanded). So there can be a fallacy of reasoning. With more people dancing today than ever before and also using social media, it’s inevitable that we will see more things being presented than in the past. It may well be that safety is in fact RISING as more awareness of the potential for injury becomes common knowledge in the dance community. Who is to say? Without study and analysis it is conjecture and speculation. Do we have any actual evidence that certain types of images appearing more often is directly causing (or is even correlated to) higher frequencies of unsafe activity to take place? Is there any way to substantiate the expressed concern that the occurrence of certain imagery is indeed leading to (or is necessarily bound to lead to) a degradation of the art form? Does art imitate or reflect life; or does life imitate or reflect art?
  12. Assuming that the studio is fine with more vibrant and less conservative hues and tones, it’s pretty easy to dye white dancewear a great many colours. It is pretty easy to sew leggings using a vast selection of colourful and patterned stretchy fabrics. (Youtube provides instruction on stretch sewing.) Patterns are pretty straight forward. B, N and G colours are stocked for reasons others don’t share. https://boysdancetoo.com/collections/mens-dancewear/products/microfiber-tight-with-mesh-insert-mens?variant=12561294458958 have a bit of colour choice for older dancers in some products but not for younger ones. Yumiko lets you choose from many colours I believe (custom order, not just the shown black). https://www.yumiko.com/us_en/men.html And ready to wear https://www.yumiko.com/us_en/men/ready-to-wear.html?colorfilter=14
  13. Kids in sports and ballet, to go beyond recreation, nowadays have to start younger, train for longer, sacrifice more, and expend more resources than ever before in order to reach the upper echelon. They all need willing, supporting adults behind them, some of whom earn their livelihoods by catering to the market demand, in order to attain the highest levels. Facility has always been a critical factor in ballet success. Medical evidence gathered a generation from now will tell us whether fostering hypermobility was rational or not.
  14. I think that practices in society can change and evolve over time, and technology will always be a significant enabling factor. At one time, nobody danced on point (abnormal or unconventional range of motion, hyperextension, new strength... relative to conventional thinking). Eventually point work was adopted as an aesthetic ideal (a social construct). Human performance limits vary over time. Poses concocted and contrived for a photoshoot are not the same as dancing. Still shots of a move or performance are merely isolated moments in time, so are not the same as dancing either. Fortunately video is equally as widely available. Poses have been painted and, with the invention of photography, documented for more than a century. I don’t see the point of blaming technological advancements. Soon we will have virtual reality and other cyber supplements to human experience that will surely have an impact on all art forms, not just ballet. Training and education in ballet must move with the times because digital imaging and social media are here to stay. New technology is introduced regularly; (the cost falls, see Moore’s Law). Teachers (and parents) play a critical role for helping ballet students to understand visual representation media in ballet appropriately, what it is and what it isn’t, what it means and what it doesn’t. How to interpret and judge. (Similarly, we teach our young how to be discriminating, savvy and discerning when reading written material.) Whether teachers and other influencers and mediators take up the responsibility for addressing this newly emergent necessity, a kind of literacy and capacity to judge correctly, remains to be seen. Instead of cursing the incoming, crashing tide (insidious technology is ruining ballet), maybe we could learn to ride a surfboard? Consumerism and free enterprise we are also stuck with (aka technology-enabled business models). It’s also about who has the power and control over our kids’ media.
  15. Hearty thanks to all of you who have shared your thoughts! Having started late, my ballet pursuits are at the intermediate level. Several beginner pas2 classes I’ve found to be quite do-able. Because adult amateur ballet classes are largely female in participation, it’s extremely rare to be exposed to male technique, notwithstanding that the classic fundamentals are not gender differentiated in this very binary field. Consequently, cross training and self training (with the help of videos) are a couple of ways guys must resort to for developing their skills outside of attending conservatories and academies for the vocationally-focused. (Another type of training sought (that should have been included in my initial post) is balletic mime, i.e. gestures, body language, non-verbal communication / acting.) So while conventional adult drop-in classes are the norm, they’re not sufficient for learning the wider range of male role skills; supplemental learning is needed. There’s a rare drop-in class for pas2 that I’ve been able to find (in NYC, at Ballet Arts). For stage swordplay, I’ve taken some martial duelling / fencing training. Point work also is something I’ve exposed myself to in order to better understand the full gamut of classical dance. There’s some great suggestions offered; much appreciated!
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