Teaching Tips

What to Do When Your Students STILL Don't Apply the Corrections You've Given Them 20 Times

Photo by Amber Permsap, courtesy of Metropolitan Ballet Academy

Lisa Collins Vidnovic, director of Metropolitan Ballet Academy in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, analyzes her students to find out why they aren't remembering and applying corrections.

Are they physically able to apply the correction? "Maybe they can't fix what you want them to fix because of physical limitations," she says. If dancers can't support themselves and need more core strength, for example, encourage a Pilates class or at least holding a plank position for 30 seconds a few times day.

Do they believe you? "Older dancers like doing things a certain way, and so it turns into a matter of personal opinion and trust," says Vidnovic. Ask them why they don't want to change, and explain why you think it's better to do it a certain way. "Then it turns into more of an artistic discussion."

Are you holding them accountable? Ask a student before class starts what corrections you gave the last class. "See if they can remember," she says, "and challenge them to answer to you."

Do you see them often enough? If young dancers can't remember corrections, maybe you need to see them more often. "A week between classes is like an eternity for a 9-year-old!" she says.

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