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. Whirling Dervish

    Whirling Dervish New Member

    Quick tip on kids cleaning rooms: I got so fed up with the 12 inches of crap on my son's floor that I put it all in garbage bags and put it out with the trash. Told him if he wanted it to put it away. 3 or 4 of these sessions did it.
  2. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Most franchises, I've noticed, have a tendency to say "good job" to their students all the time. And that, I think, is because dance studios teach peoiple how to dance as a hobby, and so they want to keep them satisfied, not tell them "You're doing this and that wrong".

  3. chachachikka

    chachachikka New Member

    Well it's kinda like those "lose weight in 6 weeks" programs that are advertised on TV.
  4. chachachikka

    chachachikka New Member

    Nobody wants to feel bad about dancing. They do it cuz they like it, and it's fun, and makes them feel good, or happy. I think it's all in how the teacher presents the information. Sometimes I just totally can't get something, and the teacher explains it in another way, and then I get it. When it comes to learning something I don't want to learn, the good teachers can see my mind wander and not pay attention cuz I don't care, so then they will tell me a story about why that move is interesting, or useful, or important, and then I'll understand it better, and want to learn it. But come on... doesn't everyone take lessons for themselves? Who else would you take lessons for if not for yourself? Parents, coaches, judges? In the end, it's all about you anyway. How well you dance, how much you enjoy dancing, how much time and effort you want to put into getting better, and how much you get out of the experience.

    You only get a penny from me... no nickel.
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I disagree. There is a particular variety of feeling bad that helps motivate many dancers towards achieving the things they enjoy.

    But it's a particular variety (dissatisfaction tempered by optimism), and to work it has to be a something the student themselves seeks out.
  6. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    And there are some who take it seriously to the point it's no fun. I can't imagine that, but I've seen it. Bad enough I have to pay taxes, never mind dropping a good portion of my income on something I don't find truly enjoyable.

    But I do agree it is best to be the type of person in your second sentence. I've come to the realization that I can be a little befuddled in my lessons and leave with the mindset that I *will* get there. So, it not longer bothers me if I don't get something right away....sooner or later, I'll get it.
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    This made me think of an experience that has enlightened me as to why I think folks like saludas and Chris Stratton seem to maybe think as they do. There came a point in my lessons where my instructor started pushing a lot of technique on me, and I remember being a bit resistant about something because it was all just too much at that point. "I dance socially, why do I have to do this, whine, whine, whine" from me. At some point he started blabbering on poetically about the "art of the dance" and how I was no longer a dance student (with a tone like that was part of the unwashed masses) but that I was now a "dancer" and thus part of "The Dance" and the art and furthering the art and more poetic rambling.
    So I think perhaps what we've got here are the people that dance for fun and social activity vs. the people that dance for the sake of the art and then we have those on the spectrum in between. And we all know art is pain, right? I think we have to keep sight of the fact that people dance for different reasons, and we need instructors that can play to all those different reasons. And if possible, we need instructors that are super awesome and can give us the feel good when we need it and the kick in the rear when we need it.
    ETA: When I talk about rambling poetically, I'm not mocking the art of the dance, I'm mocking my instructor in what he would know is a good natured way. He's well aware that he rambles, and that I'm most entertained when it's his poetic make the world a beautiful place artsy stuff.
  8. chachachikka

    chachachikka New Member

    ok ya, so minus the young Russian kids that do it for their parents...

    Golly, why am I always to late to join the conversation? By the time I can post anything on an earlier comment, the topic has long changed (to getting kids to clean their room - btw, the quote from Rug Rats, "a clean room is a happy room" worked for teaching little red headed Chuckie). Well at least my late comments brought this discussion thread back on topic... a little... or at least back on the last tangent.

    And I wasn't talking about feeling bad about one part of dancing, I meant it in general. Like, I know when I used to play violin, if I couldn't get something, I would work at it til I got it, but if my teacher made me feel like I couldn't get anything... that's a different story.

    The magic of ballroom is that there are so many ways to view it, and so many avenues to enjoy it. Art, movement, competition, social outlet... etc... but in the end, people keep at it because some part of it makes them happy or feel good... even those little Russian kids, when they win a gold medal and their parents beam with pride... that's gotta make the kid happy, or at least "whef, finally, I did it, now they'll get off my back!" hehe... kinda reminds me of a friend who played piano until she finally passed a competition to play at Carnegie Hall... she quit right after that last concert, saying "Ok mom, I made it to Carnegie Hall, can I quit now?"

    Hopefully that doesn't happen to a lot of young children dancers... does anybody know the retention rate of children who compete at a young age? How many of them love it enough to keep with it later in life, and how many run away from it like the plague?
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    The difference might be between "couldn't" and "haven't yet"

    Yes, though many teachers seem to specialize to a fair degree (stepping outside it mostly in cases of economic necessity or as a favor to someone)

    On the other hand, it was very interesting to watch someone I consider a strong technique coach teach american foxtrot to a wedding couple who somehow ended up with the studio owner rather than one of the employees. What they got was a very practical reduction of the real deal, to fit their actual needs. Instead of the disconnected and effectively arbitrary bunch of challenges many social couples are given, they were given two or three key inter-related ideas about dancing, and encouraged to DANCE those ideas, rather than struggle to PERFORM a longer list of tasks. Both the students and the teacher seemed to be really, really enjoying themselves.

    Yes, though I can think of some things (hiking camp when I was 12 and a few similar trips with my dad) that were on the verge of being anything but fun at the time, but are great memories.
  10. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Well, my mom had six kids. None of us are doing anything that we grew up doing. I was a musician and tennis player, but now I'm a dancer. My sister was the dancer, but now she enjoys softball. My oldest sister was also a musician and a singer, but no longer does either even though she still has all of her instruments. My brother and another sister were the real strong athletes, but only works out occasionally now. I did have one brother that turned into a Semi-Pro football player, but got burnt out and didn't continue to join the professional league.

    So, yeah... I think that if you wanted a ratio, out of all of us six kids that took our things seriously as a kid (and even to the college level like I did) got burnt out. It's like we just got to the point that we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were good and that's all that we did with it. There's nothing wrong with that I think though, because now we've found different things to enjoy. And I don't think there should be anything wrong with experimenting new things in life.
  11. redhead

    redhead New Member

    I have twin cousins, and my aunt made them take piano lessons since they turned 7. For the first half a year, they liked it. For the next two or three years, they asked if they can quit (that's what kids do). Aunt made them stick with it. Later they started to like it again, since now they had something to show for all that hard work - they got relatively good. They say that they really appreciate the fact that their mom did not listen to whining of 10-year-olds and made them go through the entire program (the one Tanya was talking about).
    Now, the key here is that my cousins had the talent/ability to get good at playing piano (one more than the other, but still). It's silly IMO to push one's kid to do something s/he just objectively can't. Like, my dad really wanted me to play tennis. I never liked it and I have no natural ability for it whatsoever. So I took lessons for 3 months anyway and then asked him to please talk to my teacher and see what he has to say (he said I have no future in tennis and he was right). So I switched to folk dancing (my mom's idea) and stuck with it for a few years.
    The bottom line: if your kids have the ability, gently push them. If they don't, find something else.
  12. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I don't think 'ability' is the reason to or not to do activites for a child.

    Do all those kids riding around to soccer practice have an aptitude for soccer? Nope. However, the activity teaches motor skills, teamwork, gives excercise, gives a social opportunity to the kids, and so on. Do they test the kids for 'aptitude"? If so, then there would be maybe one kid in 1,000 at soccer.

    No, the reason for kids to do activities has much different goals and purposes than adults. You can't compare a kid's concept of what is good for the kid to the adult's braoder perspective. If you put arts education in front of them as part of their well rounded education, they will excel - maybe not in dance, say, but in the more lofty concept of appreciation for art.

    One of the standard TV sitcom 'concepts' for the US has been the dufus husband who has no feel for anything other than watching sports and fixing cars. This 'type' could be gone if the kids of today could learn that there is a bigger world out there than vid games and such.

    Giving kids a goal, MAKING them do 'what's best for them' rather than 'what they want' is good parenting, as was stated earlier in the thread.

    OTHH, you need a license to do hairdressing, buit none to raise a child. Guess the priorities are a littl... skewed???
  13. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    How do you know what's really best for another person... even if it is your child? By telling a child that they can quit could be a good thing as it was with me in high school, because I did eventually go back, and I went to college for it, and continued even though I decided that I didn't want to do it any more when I became an adult. I think that sometimes you need to give kids a break. I mean don't we as adults need breaks time to time?
  14. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Well, you are obligated by law to be responsible for the decisions you make for your child, so it is a moot point - the law says it is YOUR responsibility. Your decision to 'give kids a break' is your personal one. It might be a good thing - or it might be tragic. Your child's reasons usually do not have much perspective - they might think what they are doing is suddenly 'uncool', or they might want to play a video game instead, or even more darkly, might be influenced by other kids who are taking drus or drinking.

    You can't abdicate the responsibility. It's like screaming kids in a restaurant - it isn't ok for the parents to let it 'just happen', it's their responsibility to solve the prblems it creates - after all, a screaming kid, whether 2 years or 12 years old, is not responsible for it's actions to the restaurant or the patrons who have their meal ruined - but the parents are.

    Kids don't 'need a break'. They need guidance. It's easy for a child to become overwhelmed with schoolwork and such - but it's up to the parent to help the child thru.
  15. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Yes, but the law doesn't take affect when your child hasn't broken any laws. And your child hasn't broken any law by telling you that he or she doesn't want to do something. That's a different situation all together.

    True, but how do you know this? My intentions to quit weren't because band was considered uncool. I just wanted to try something new. That didn't mean that my new thing was going to be drugs. In fact I'm happy to say that I never touched drugs in my life or smoked or any of that stuff. So, how do you as a parent know for sure what is going on in their minds? I would say, give them a new idea if they don't want to play tennis or whatever any more.

    I think that this is where you and I completely disagree in my opinion. I wouldn't push my kid to do something that he or she doesn't want to do (unless I knew they were faking it at the time which most parents know when their kids are faking it). I would give them options and say ok, if you don't want to do this then let's try something else. There is nothing wrong with that. Maybe they might even go to college for it like how I did with music and computers! You never know what a person likes (even a kid for that matter) until they try something.

    And what's interesting is that I have a lot of experience with this since I used to work at the YMCA years ago. The parents would say to me my kid doesn't like this or that, so I'd say let's wait until basketball season comes up or something, and sure enough the kid would love it. I know, because I would have to check up on my teams that were playing at the different schools. And you could see a different expression on the kid's faces when they were finally given the chance to try something new.;)
  16. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    You know, don't take it personally, but I've just gotta ask - are you a parent?
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes he is
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I agree with Saludas that it's very important to expose kids to the arts, as well as all kinds of other activities. And, I don't necessarily think kids know what's best for them, and because of that should be encouraged/pushed to do things they don't really want to.

    However, I don't think that pushing kids to do things they REALLY don't want to do is overly productive. Of course there's a difference between not letting a kid quit when they become frustrated, or encounter an obstacle that they need to overcome. But I think kids still need to be kids, and pushing and pushing and pushing can become detrimental. If they have a passion for it, fine (although it seems as though caution would still be a good thing). But if it's something where there is continued resistance, then maybe a parent needs to back off and find another avenue.

    I'll be the first to agree that what makes a teacher or a lesson good is not accurately gauged by how much fun is had. But with kids, especially if the goal is exposure to, and appreciation of, the arts, then I think fun should be a goal. They should be learning to love and appreciate art, not think of it as a chore.

    I know that the singular of data is not anecdote, but for what it's worth... My mom was a musician and a piano teacher. When I was itty-bitty I used to sit on her lap while she taught some of her lessons. When I was 4 I wanted to learn to play, so she began teaching me, and I remember loving it for a while. Reportedly I was very good, but who knows, really. I was always told that I should learn to play for my own enjoyment, and I did at first. But after a while I grew to hate it and it caused more and more and more fights. I was allowed to take a summer off, and I started with a different teacher. And I still hated it. It had nothing to do with what was cool at school, or the influence of friends, or rebelling or what-have-you. It had to do with the fact that I was no longer doing it for me--I was doing it because there was this pressure that I had to. I was told I had a gift which was given to me (by God), and that it would be a sin to waste it...and on and on and on.

    Finally things got to the point where I refused to practice. I refused to play at lessons. Realistically, there was nothing they could do about it, short of moving my fingers on the keyboard. When I was finally allowed to quit at that point, I was made to tell my family and to be the one to tell my teacher. I have never, before or since, gotten a worse guilt trip or tongue lashing than I did that day. And I didn't care. That was when I was 8.

    It's now been almost 20 years since then. I haven't touched a piano since then, and I never will for the rest of my life. I'm married to a musician--a pianst. We have a beautiful grand piano in our living room. But I know that if I ever showed interest again, that there would be attempts to force me to play again by my family. (I know, because when I was in college I was thinking of taking a basic piano class. My family found out and over T-giving, tried to drag me to the piano to fiddle around/play duets/etc. It was a 30 minute physical fight with my uncle, during which time I got dragged by my ankle down the hallway and halfway down the stairs before I resorted to kicking his hands with my heels to make him let go. Never again.)

    My point is that sometimes kids DO know that something isn't for them. And sometimes, pushing them when "idonwanna" is heard is not the best option. Had I been allowed to drift away from it, or perhaps if it was made more fun, or had I been allowed to explore the arts in a way other than piano, I'm sure things would have turned out differently. But I wasn't, and I didn't.

    My parents learned from me. My brother was not pushed the same way. He was exposed to music (my mom being a musician, there was no way around it). He showed interest in high school with guitar and drums, and he's been playing every since. Never had interest in lessons or technique, but it's fun to him. There's nothing wrong with that.

    fyi...I will add the disclaimer that I'm not a parent.
  19. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    They way around that problem is to learn to play synthesizer. Your family will take one look at it, and say "What the hell is that?" :p
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    No such luck--my mom had several at any given time starting in about 1986? 1987? 1988? Something like that. (I judge years by where we were living at the time, since we moved around a lot. The problem come in when we spent more than one year in one house. lol)

    My dad used to work in a music store and he sold them. We had keyboards, mixing boards, midi boards, and who knows what else.

    Multiple keyboards meant that playing organ was relatively feasible. I couldn't have quit piano, but if I wanted to add organ to the mix that would have been fantastic!!! (sarcasm...)

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