It’s safe to say that The New York Times dance critic Claudia La Rocco doesn’t love dance competitions. This weekend, the paper published her take on the industry—from its teaching practices to its portrayal on reality TV. (Click here for the article.)
Though we’re not quite sure why The Times is choosing this moment to weigh in on an ongoing topic of debate among dance educators, Ms. La Rocco does get it right when she says, “in an age when many public schools dedicate few resources to dance, [these competitions] have created opportunities for youngsters who might otherwise have few chances to get onstage.”
Competitions provide access to teachers, choreographers and other role models for professional life that young dancers might not otherwise be exposed to. Whether that experience is positive and nurturing is where the home studio teacher can play an essential and formative role.
What do you do to maintain quality and age appropriate experiences for your students?