General Dance Discussion > How long did it take you all to become a pro?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by SPratt74, May 4, 2006.

  1. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I agree. Our coach lets us down, I believe, when he says compliments all the time. Who cares? Our egos are stoked from OUR prespective. We work with a coach to find flaws and fix them, not 'have a fun time' and walk away stroked. But that IS the American way, unfortunately.

    And, Laura, you are right, skating is big here BECUASE the US is successful. Not the other way around - Dancsport too will be a big participatory sport here once the soccer moms of the US perceive it as 'happening'. The wide base is not necessarily indiciative of why the US is 'on top' - the few skaters who are tops in their divisions are as scattered and few as the 'top dancers' are in their areas. I don't think that the coaches of the 10 or 20 top skaters treats them any different than a top coach in Dancesport teaches their top students - firm hand, expecting hard work from the student. Just because Mary and Joey had 'fun' when they were 8 year olds in skating class doesn't mean that the path to the top of that world remains that way.

    It IS the parents that ultimately let the kids down. Who would possibly listen to a 10 year old's 'wannas' and 'donwannas' and take them seriously? They 'donwanna go to school' - so, you do what, let them drop out? No. No parent in the world would want to face their child when the child realizes that the parent let them leave schoool because they 'wanted to'.... why aren't the ARTS considered important (they are in the rest of the world)...
     
  2. redhead

    redhead New Member

    I never said Americans are lazy, but they do listen more to kids' wants and that may affect the results. May be dancesport is not perceived as sport afterall, or may be parents don't know that it's just as important to start very early and train systematically in ballroom as it is in, say, baseball/softball/soccer/you name it.
    Actually I've noticed Laura talks about US achievements in singles figure skating... could it be that US sports emphasize individuals' results, while in ballroom partnership skills are very important?
     
  3. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    It's hard to expose your kids to things you haven't been exposed to yourself. Ice skating is on tv every year for 4-5 months and has in-your-face tv coverage every four years...it's hard to miss. Ballroom doesn't have the exposure. You can't think to do something you don't really know exists.
     
  4. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    And what makes these crowning achievements so important that a kid's childhood should be taken away? Saludas, is your child spending his/her entire childhood stuck in a dance studio, whether they like it or not? And why a dance studio instead of on a baseball field? Because YOU like dance more than to play baseball? Maybe a kid should be given a chance to find their own passion by being given a balance of enjoyable possibilities before theyr'e thrown full throttle into their parents' passion.
    Just because Eastern Europeans create champions by starting them at age 3 doesn't mean they're better parents. As far as I'm concerned, parenting your children takes precedence over creating world champion dancers/baseball players/violinists.
    What is so wrong with having fun? With dancing being **gasp** enjoyable? If you want a dominatrix for a dance coach, by all means, get yourself someone that will tell you everything you do is crap. But just because you need to be beaten up every lesson doesn't mean that there isn't a place in the world for the dance instructor with a bit of tact. And it doesn't mean there isn't a place in the world for the dance student that wants to have fun.
     
  5. redhead

    redhead New Member

    So Eastern Europeans are bad parents because they want their children to achieve something? Letting your children know that success won't come without hard work is part of parenting IMO, and a little discipline won't hurt. And to let your children experience that special feeling that comes when one overcomes an obstacle... does it really hurt a child?
    I have to hear about someone locking up their children at a studio every day yet. Little Russian dancers don't have their childhood taken away, p-lease.
     
  6. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I really get incensed when someone mistakes their priorities for their children's. YOUR priorities are evident - you have some indefinable (or maybe definable by Redbook Magazine?) idea of what a parent or a child 'should be'.

    Reality check - there is no 'ideal' - and there is no 'right way'.

    Apparently you never gave it a thought that a child might PREFER dance to SOFTBALL? Or that they would LOVE to apply themselves in the arts as compared to - what - video games and eating?

    They'll never know what they prefer unless they can sample it.

    Oh, and about 'making' a quality athlete - show me one kid who would nOT like to be better at their chosen sport...
     
  7. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Actually I have a child like that. He used to play soccer for FUN and did not care if he was getting better at it or not, he did not want the coach make it hard for him. Eventually he quit after he sprained his foot real bad and decided that soccer is not worth the potential injuries. I think it's about being passionate about what you do, that's when people really want to get better at it.
     
  8. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Yes I agree - everyone has an anecdotal 'my friend does it for fun so that proves the exception'. Passion is the driving force to make the effort for improvement.

    I meant that, given the choice, if the child put in the same hours improving vs not improving, they would always choose improving.
     
  9. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    That wasn't the way I read Saludas' post. I think his point is that, assuming that the child is involved in an activity that he/she basically enjoys and has demonstrated at least some aptitude in, then the parents should not allow the child to quit just because it gets a little tough. There's a difference between that and forcing a child to keep hacking away at something where he or she is clearly not going to get any better, and/or is going to get the snot beat out of them because the sport is too physical and the child is too small. (I had both of these problems with football... :rolleyes: )

    Actually, I think part of the problem that kids have today is that their parents won't let them do just one or two activities -- they are expected to participate in a zillion different things, and stay busy busy busy at all hours of the day. I know one lady who has her two pre-teen girls in soccer, basketball, gymnastics, piano, cheerleading, ballet, tap, and miscellaneous play-date activities. When the kids ever get a moment to themselves, I don't know. More to the point, they are probably never going to get skilled at any of these things because they can't focus; there is always the next hour's activities demanding their attention. (Plus, they eat tons of fast food because there is never any time to have dinner at home.)
     
  10. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I dunno. I had a full load of of this as a child (I was born in Russia btw). My mother felt that music was extremely important (probably because she herself did not have an opportunity to learn as a child) so she pushed all 3 of us to learn how to play piano, we were not allowed to quit until we were formally done with 7-year piano program (except for my brother who bailed out early because my family moved to US). Let's just say that I have not played piano since I was done with it almost 20 years ago. And this is one thing I resent about my childhood, tethering me to the piano every day even though it was so obvious that my musical abilities were not that great. In a way, it influenced my position that I will let my child do what he will with extra-curriculars, but school is non-negotiable. So far he tried and quit jazz, soccer and piano, he did swimming just enough so he can use the diving board (but chose not to do swim team) but remarkably he stuck it out with dancing for a year so far.
     
  11. dancesportgirl21

    dancesportgirl21 New Member

    The best thing a parent can do is provide opportunities and leave the desicion making up to the kid. My mom said that I've been making my own desicions since I was 3! Growing up I did everything- ice skating, fencing, soccer, softball, swimming, tap, jazz, ballet, modern, tennis, a youth engineering society, girl scouts, lifeguard training- ( a lot was at rec centers) and I did almost all of it comptitively at one point (yes there are lifeguard competitions). My mom left it up to me, and through it all I stuck with dance (which changed to ballroom) and yoga. The point is that kids learn how to manage time, make their own desicions, and develop a passion for something when they find their niche. Parents can't do that for their children- they must allow it. Every one of the activities I did was an important experience in my life- I was exposed to all sorts of people, and I wouldn't change any of it.
     
  12. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    No but Americans who don't force hours of practice upon their kids in one or two areas aren't bad parents either.
    They very well might choose dance. And I advocate exposing them to dance and music. But letting them decide which it is that they want to apply themselves to.
    And until one develops that passion, it needs to be fun. This entire thread you've seemed to advocate that dance instruction has to be difficult and drilled and miserable for it to be of any use. But until one has developed a passion for it, all that will do is drive them back to video games and eating (and perhaps **gasp** even baseball!)
    Which has been my point. There's a time when dance instruction won't be fun, it will be work. But until you reach that point where you have a passion for it and can work through the fun, drilling and such will drive the student to quit, not to get better. And instructors that are able to make it fun definitely have a place in the dance world. Maybe not in YOUR world, but some people do dance for FUN, believe it or not!
     
  13. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    That's true until your kid becomes obsessive cumpulsive in everything they do lol! j//k ;)

    That's what happened to me and music when I was younger. I already proved that I was the best musician in my area of band when I was in high school. I got burnt out though, because the instructor just pushed me and pushed me until I couldn't do any more. He knew that he could get me to do things the others couldn't, but it wasn't fun, and it became work, and I ended up quitting before my senior year. Then we got a new teacher (that I had the hots for:raisebro:) my senior year, and I was ok again lol. He didn't push any of his students though, not like the other one did. I don't know how to explain pushing though to where people understand that some pushing is ok, but constant drilling is not. Constant drilling is like having someone nag at you 24/7 to where all you think about is them and not the music or whatever else you are trying to concentrate on at the time. I think that we all do it without realizing it though. Sometimes I have to tell people to lay off of me, and they have to do the same to me, because you just don't realize that you are doing it. Does that make sense?;)
     
  14. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I just wish my kids would be ocd about cleaning their rooms. Anything after that is icing on the cake for me ;)
     
  15. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Well, don't worry. It's like what my mom always said, her kids that didn't cook when they were younger are great cooks now etc. lol. Although, I guess that doesn't help your case now does it? ;)
     
  16. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member


    No! They are free to embarrass themselves as much as they want once they leave my house! The funny thing is that my daughter will go to other people's houses and wash the dishes, clean, etc....but I have to literally threaten the loss of food in order to get her to pick up her floor (which was hardwood if I remember correctly). Ugh!
     
  17. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Well, you might want to find out from the other parents what they do in order for them to get her to clean like that lol! ;)
     
  18. chachachikka

    chachachikka New Member

    Yep... amazing how much that has an affect on how a student views that studio too... Cuz I know it's a great studio, with great teachers... but that first bad experience makes me view it negativly sub-consciously.
     
  19. chachachikka

    chachachikka New Member

    specialized training?

    Is it possible that some pro's are only trained in some areas such as Standard/Smooth only or Latin/Rhythm only, or just International, or Just American? Those pro's that are top in their area... what's your opinion on them teaching categories that they aren't trained in? Or do they all possess at least a basic foundation for every dance?
     
  20. chachachikka

    chachachikka New Member

    ya...

    I agree with this comment... Haven't you ever had a kindergarten science teacher that taught you something neat about leaves or bugs or trees or stars or rocks that made you want to learn, and then went to college to learn from a professor with a PhD in science that was just boring as hell and such a bad teacher who couldn't teach, that made you want to change your major?

    I agree that every student should have the chance to learn from the best, but they should really get to learn from someone who inspires them, and who they want to work with. Especially since in the dance world, we get to "chose our professor", not just the class. There are many studios we can chose from. Switching studios isn't as bad as transferring colleges... less paperwork. And a whole lot less money...

    Also, I don't think money is wasted in early lessons figuring it out. They are lessons learned even if you learn that you need a more talented instructor, or what kind of people you work well with, honing your goals, etc... not just learning steps and skills, but about learning about yourself.

    Dance isn't JUST about technique and getting the steps perfectly right. It's about enjoyment, passion, flair, feeling good about yourself, and so many more things than "gotta get my posture up right, make sure my foot is turned out at the perfect angle" etc...
     

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