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and demystify the world of ballet for those who don't.

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Hans Solo: Dress in Class

Further to our recent no-nonsense posts about dancewear, here is a short post by our resident dance teacher, Hans.

I'm growing (or perhaps just realizing that I always have been) disenchanted with the quality of boys' training. I feel that in mixed-gender classes, they do not receive the same quality of instruction the girls do, and I don't think there's any one reason for this. Contributing to the problem, in my opinion, is the lax standard in terms of attire. Letting the boys wear soccer shorts is fine when they're 8, but even when they are 10 and in proper attire, they wear saggy tights and oversized shirts. Imagine if the girls came to class in leotards three sizes too big with the crotch of their tights somewhere around their knees--it would never be allowed, and for good reason: properly fitted ballet attire allows the instructor to see the muscles better so they can offer corrections.

What this boils down to is boys who do not develop the same work ethic girls do in terms of perfecting their technique, unless they are already very observant and self-motivated from a young age. By the time a boy is a teenager and has developed his own motivation, the foundation that good early training would have given him is not there.

How to fix the situation? It's simple: Hold boys to the same standards as the girls!

1 comment:

  1. I agree very much with Hans here. My son loves the discipline involved in ballet - I feel that it gives him a sense of how important his training is because the teacher holds him to high standards in terms of his uniform, shoes etc - even down to the fact that his hand towel must be white! I can see he feels a sense of pride when he lines up for class with the other children and they are all smart and dressed in proper attire. I think it makes him appreciate what is expected of him - he knows, for example, that his teacher expects his shoes to be cleaned and that he can't get away with sloppy standards.

    Although I want to see ballet being accessible to all (and I would hate anyone to be put off by being unable to afford the correct attire), I do feel that being smart in appearance makes students (and their parents like me!) appreciate the hard work involved in the training and motivates them to have a sense of pride in themselves and their work.

    From a Dancing Mum