Research the Method Your Child Is Studying

With all the research tools available on the internet it is important to “do your homework” when you are looking for a ballet teacher. Do not be afraid to switch teachers if you find, through your research, that he/she is not teaching a good method. While loyalty is a good thing in general, you should really be most loyal to providing your child with a quality ballet teacher and method of classical ballet instruction.

Try searching the internet using the terms “RAD,” “Cecchetti,” and “Vaganova” with “professional dancer” and see what you find. It is important to research the professional dancers the “method ” claims to have produced. I found an RAD site which claimed that Margot Fonteyn and Amanda McKerrow were RAD-trained dancers. This is patently false. While they both may have studied with an RAD teacher during their early years they were not trained exclusively in the RAD method. A very talented and determined student could study a poor method for a few years, find better instruction and have a stellar career. After researching the Vaganova Method you will find many, many dancers, from corp de ballet to major international ballerinas, have studied exclusively in the Vaganova Method before they got their first job. You will have a hard time finding a method that can even come close to claiming the same results.

Many teachers do not teach a specific method which is actually better than teaching a method that is proven not to produce good results. A solid professional resume is actually the first criteria to look for when searching out a teacher. It is not necessary that they were a star with a major company (some of the very best dancers actually are not very good at teaching) but they must have spent some time dancing with a reputable ballet company. Without a professional career a teacher will not understand what is most essential to producing beautiful results. It is easy to get lost in the details and not see the big picture. Instruction must be balanced with an equal emphasis on strength, flexibility, coordination, line, artistry and musicality.

I hope you all enjoy your research. Remember, your child deserves the best.

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