By Mignon Furman
Often parents live their lives through their children. I have frequently heard a mom say, “We have started pointe work,” as if the mother were also in pointe shoes. Children will progress more in their studies when parents are not so involved.
Parents should be able to view classes only at designated times. (I suggest once a semester.) All contact with parents should be through email or mail, and discussions with the teacher or director should be by appointment only.
When parents feel that their children are superior to their classmates, you must help them learn to trust your judgment. Explain that class placement is determined by what is best for the child and that students make more progress when they are comfortable instead of struggling to keep up. Parents must learn that progress in ballet is measured not by the number or complexity of the steps but by the training of the body to perform more demanding technique later.