Okay, so call me a Dance Mom or a Stage Mom. I think my son’s got some talent when it comes to dance. That said, some other people who know more than I do about dance, and who aren’t related to Julian, think he’s got some talent, too. But lately a few dance professionals seem to be telling us about how Julian’s talent is “raw” and like a “green field” with no houses, sky scrapers, or other structures built upon that field.
Excuse me? Does this mean that after 11 years of training at the best dance schools we could find and with the best dance teachers we could afford, that this young male dancer has learned nothing? Does this mean he has not constructed even a foundation on his “green field” of talent since he began dancing at the age of three? Does this mean that at the age of 14 not one other dance teacher has managed to mold that “raw” talent at all – or put it on the grill and cook it even a little?
Give me a break.
I think maybe these, albeit well-meaning professionals…I won’t name names…want the credit for taking Julian’s so-called talent to the next level, and that’s fine. They are helping him do that, I admit. (And I’m happy and grateful that they are.) But do they want to take credit also for the foundation that has been laid already, which they seem to be ignoring, and which they will now build upon it. Do they want to take credit for the seeds previously thrown that grew that beautiful, long, swaying, healthy grass that they will now cut or tame or pull the weeds out of to make it healthier, stronger, more able to withstand the weather and to grow and mature into a strong field of…Well, you get the idea.
Seems a bit egotistical to me. Does every dancer or dance teacher end up with a big head? (I know they don’t really…) Does that grow somewhere in that field, or is it a weed that can be pulled? Someone have a weed killer named “Ego-Be-Gone” (like “Weed-Be-Gone)? If so, I want some fast! I’ll spray Julian’s green field with a thick dose. (I don’t doubt that some people think he has an ego a bit too large of his own…) Then, I’ll buy some great fertilizer: “Dancer Grow” (like “Miracle Grow”)!
Do you think that then he won’t need those big-ego-ed dance teachers any more?
I know…too bad, though. It would have been nice. Cheaper, too. And would have required less driving.
Yep, there are definitely some teachers and school directors out there with HUGE egos! I’ve also crossed paths with them, unfortunately.
As I recall, your son will be attending the ABT summer intensive this year. I don’t know if the summer teachers will give you their assessment of your son’s training, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask. Other opinions are always great to hear.
My take on what the teachers said about “raw talent” is a way of them saying he’s got potential but his technique needs work. I have no way of knowing if that is a valid assessment or not, but that is how I read it.
Unfortunately, one can spend 11 years training (and at expensive schools) and wind up with lackluster technique. So yes, it is possible. I’ve seen it happen. Again, I have no way of knowing if this applies to your situation or not.
My advice is to have a professional who is not connected to his training in any way evaluate him. Most of the big professional ballet schools will do this–but again, maybe this isn’t applicable to your situation since your son is interested in mainly other forms of dance.
Anyway, that is my $.02.
My best to you,
Great post! I’ve been training for one year now. I’m really enjoying my classes. Keep posting!