Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Wilson’

August 2010 | When OSHA Comes Knocking

A dance studio owner may view an inspection by occupational safety regulators the way the ancients regarded the appearance of a comet: as a harbinger of doom. But such inspections need not be an ordeal.

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Once an Employee, Now a Rival

It’s a studio owner’s biggest fear: former employees who turn into competitors. When your most popular instructor tells you she’s leaving to teach for the studio up the street—or worse, plans to open her own school close to your turf—it packs a wallop. But if it happens to you, take heart. You can take steps to soften the blow.

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Ballet Scene | Teaching Pirouettes

If classical ballet instruction can be said to have a Golden Rule, it might be “Begin at the barre.” Classes begin at the barre, where students learn to perform a step competently before they attempt it in the center. Most instructors follow this rule in teaching pirouettes; standard instruction books such as Gretchen Ward Warren’s Classical Ballet Technique (pp. 141 and 177) advocate the practice of half-turns with relevé in retiré at the barre (while recommending that beginners execute one full pirouette in the center).

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The Correct Way to Correct

“At least you didn’t find anything wrong with my ears!” If you hear a reaction like this to criticism, you may have just lost a customer. You want to bring out the best in your students by offering enough criticism so that they improve—but not criticize so much, or so harshly, that they lose self-confidence, withdraw, or defect to other schools. Striking that balance is one of the hardest tasks that you face as a dance school director or instructor.

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Ballet Scene | Striking an Ethical Balance

One recent scandal after another—Tyco, WorldCom, Enron—so undermined confidence in business ethics that most business schools now require courses in that subject. You might think that directors and instructors at commercial dance studios live in a different world, but they do face ethical issues in balancing their school’s and their students’ welfare. The most common dilemma is a conflict of interest between the welfare of the school and that of its students.

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Ballet Scene | Beginners’ Teacher Blues

“I’ll teach at your school, but only advanced or, in a pinch, intermediate students. I won’t teach ballet to beginners.” Is there a school director anywhere who has not heard this version of “I don’t do windows”? Many instructors consider it beneath their dignity to teach ballet—or any kind of dance—to beginners. A lack of teachers who are interested in and qualified to teach beginning ballet, along with some of the ways school directors respond to this problem, can negatively affect the quality of the instruction.

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