Bunting 1Kailey BuntingCorbettAP LiteratureOctober 12th, 2012 The Art of Dance Over the course of hundreds of years the dance world has developed in several ways butwhen it comes to the instructors of this art, many of them tend to get left behind. These old-fashioned teachers simply continue the tactless teaching techniques from their time, which inmany instances fails to help the student improve at all. This can cause many dance studentsserious problems, distress, and can even physical or mental issues if the problem with theirinstructor goes unaddressed for too long. In order to prevent such issues from occurring and tohelp keep students interested instead of afraid of the arts, a solution must be found and placedinto action immediately. In the past dance teachers would use a number of cruel methods to force their dancestudents to attain higher kicks and leaps, quicker turns, and improved feet. Sadly these studentswould rarely walk away from a critique made by their teacher without an external injury, such asa burn or a bruise, or an emotional injury from demeaning remarks and gestures made by theinstructor. When it comes to this type of dance teacher, not all criticism is meant to help thestudent dancers grow (H.K.). These teachers make a habit of criticizing their students withoutconsidering their well-being, ultimately humiliating them and possibly damaging thememotionally or physically for the rest of their life (H.K.). Dance instructors such as this believethat the students should always fear them in and outside of class, and that by attending their classstudents are placing themselves in the hands of their instructor so that they can be crushed, and
Bunting 2then remade again physically and mentally (Dunning). Some teachers have even openly pleadedguilty to assaulting their students by dragging them across the ground, or hitting them becausethey thought they deserve it for misbehaving in class (Teach Admits Assault on Student, 18).Other teachers verbally abuse their students instead of physically by pointing out how the child’sbody appears unpleasantly deformed and explaining to them how because of their appearancethey will “never become true ballet dancers” (Dunning). Though dance does have a standardizedcurriculum that can be seen from studio to studio, dance teachers do not have the right to treatanother individual, especially a minor, the way that some of them do (Hanna). As a result of the horrendous teaching styles found in some dance studios today, manydance students either give up on their dreams, starve themselves, or they become clinicallydepressed due to the continuous torment they receive from their instructors. In most cases femaledancers are highly susceptible to developing eating disorders in effort to achieve what balletteachers consider the perfect body image (Schluger). Dance students who are not perfectlyskinny may receive criticism from particularly discourteous dance instructors, causing them tobegin believing they are overweight when in reality they are not at all. Perfectionism in the danceteacher will relay over to the student, which will cause them to pick out everything that is wrongwith them in regards to their appearance, personality, social life, and more (Schluger). Theirobsession in combination with the lack of success will eventually lead the student into a state ofdepression, where he or she will remain until action is taken to fix the relationship between theinstructor and pupil (Gibb). In order to prevent such appalling situations, there are several actions that can be taken bythe student, the student’s parents, and the director of the studio. In order to help the studentprevent feeling poorly about themselves incase their teacher begins criticizing them about how
Bunting 3they look the student needs to completely avoid “body bashing” (Bachko). The student shouldevade partaking in conversations about food, dieting, and body weight to keep them out of apotentially hurtful situation (Bachko). Students should also learn to look at the positives aboutthemselves more than the negatives. They should applaud themselves for accomplishing goalsand completing tasks assigned by the teacher instead of condemning themselves for findingcertain moves challenging (Bachko). The studio director, the teacher’s boss, should schedulerandom classroom observation days. This will allow the director to observe the body language ofthe students when they are in class, watch how the students respond to the teacher when he orshe directs them, and see if the teacher behaves appropriately and ordinarily; not as though theyare trying to cover up anything they may have been doing before the director’s arrival(Waxman). By making sure the teacher remains unaware of the days of the observations, thedirector may find themselves walking in on a teacher acting in a way that is not appropriate forthe classroom, giving the director a valid reason to fire them if they consider the instructor anemotional or physical threat to the students (Waxman). Unlike some teachers, because dance is an art which will continuously and automaticallychange as time goes on and as pop culture adjusts with the time. The only problem is that afterseveral years the demand for dance instructors has barely increased at all, which means that theart of dance has generally stayed at the same level for a particularly lengthy amount of time. Infact, there is such a lack in demand for dance instructors that the number of them in highlypopulated states is estimated to remain the same from the year 2008 to 2018(Choreographer/Dance Instructor-Earnings). For the most part dance instructors are self-employed, and they make $19,000 to $71,000 a year. Only choreographers who are extremelypopular and liked by a majority of the dance world make these higher amounts, which happens to
Bunting 4choreographers and teachers very infrequently, making the career choice highly unpopular withthe world population (Choreographer/Dance Instructor-Earnings). According to the history of thefield and the number of people still holding a dance related occupation today, it is easy toanticipate a drop in popularity when it comes to beings a dance teacher or choreographer. At thesame time, dance is a continuously changing field of art that can never be perfected, so it willmost likely continue at the rate of popularity that it has been at for the past several years. Today’s society continuously changes each year. People come up with new fashion ideas,companies come out with new electronics and toys for children, and musicians write new songswhich sometimes become enormous hits. Just like all of these aspects of the world, the field ofdance also changes. Dance choreographers adjust as the world around them changes, alwaysmaking their work relevant to the age. At the same time, the fine art of dancing it can never beperfected. This makes society want to continue to attempt to do so all the more by continuingthe practice and staying well informed about the population’s likes and dislikes. Considering thefact that it is generally impossible to perfect dancing, and that dance is a continuously altering artform, it appears highly probable that this career will last through the 21st century.
Bunting 5 Works CitedBachko, Katia. "Mind Over Mirror." Dance Spirit 10.3 (2006): 56. Middle Search Plus. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://proxygsu- sche.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db =mih&AN=19820196&site=src-live>."Ballet Teacher Admits Assault on Student, 18." 2011: 9. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://ic.galegroup.com:80/ic/ovic/NewsDetailsPage/NewsDetailsWindow?displayGro upName=News&disableHighlighting=false&search_within_results=&prodId=OVIC&actio n=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CA279947628&userGroupName=cant48040&jsid=f16 43ccc4c669ee772c01b22afae0392>."Choreographer/Dance Instructor-Earnings." N.p.: n.p., n.d. Career Cruising. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <https://www.careercruising.com/Careers/JobDetails.aspx?LoginID=29df728c-97b6- 48a4-8421-665d8d4ef341-&OccNumber=594&field=Salary>.Dunning, Jennifer. "Before Dancers There Must Be Dance Teachers." 2002: AR12. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://ic.galegroup.com:80/ic/ovic/NewsDetailsPage/NewsDetailsWindow?displayGro upName=News&disableHighlighting=false&search_within_results=&prodId=OVIC&actio n=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CA87298792&userGroupName=cant48040&jsid=61c 72a2aa715764fd8ceb92359161183>.Gibb, Brandon E., and John R. Z. Abela. "Emotional Abuse, Verbal Victimization, and the Development of Children’s Negative Inferential Styles and Depressive Symptoms."
Bunting 6 Cognitive Therapy & Research 32.2 (2008): 161-76. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://proxygsu- sche.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db =a9h&AN=31141600&site=ehost-live>.H., K. "When Criticism Goes Too Far." Dance Spirit 15.5 (2011): 35. Middle Search Plus. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://proxygsu- sche.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db =mih&AN=60270025&site=src-live>.Hanna, Judith Lynne. "Dance Classes." Encyclopedia of Recreation and Leisure in America. Ed. Gary S. Cross. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribners Sons, 2004. 263-265. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3434800084&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it =r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.Schluger, Alice E. "Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors in Female College Dance Students: Comparison of Modern Dance and Ballet Dance Majors." North American Journal of Psychology 12.1 (2010): 117-28. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://proxygsu- sche.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db =a9h&AN=48667756&site=ehost-live>.Waxman, Hersh C. "Classroom Observation." Encyclopedia of Education. Ed. James W. Guthrie. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. 303-310. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Nov. 2012.