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Ballet Photos - Members
Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique (karma: 10)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4193, member since Thu May 01, 2003
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 05:56 AM
Made sticky by imadanseur (79325) on 2009-06-23 11:21:52
Edited by oz_helen (35388) on 2009-06-24 01:53:31 typo
Edited by Sumayah (204191) on 2012-05-24 20:41:50 edited per request

-Please be nice. Please consider the psychological impact of what you are about to say. There is a difference between saying "Your feet look horrible, can't you even point them" and "try to point and elongate at your feet more". Simply stating your honest opinion does not equal constructive criticism! Constructive criticism is meant to help people work on their weak points and be aware and fully use the strong ones, not put people down and make them want to quit. DDN aims to be a supportive encouraging community.

-We welcome all levels, shapes, sizes, ages and genders here. Just because not everyone can dance ballet at ABT or Maryinsky theatre doesn't mean they can't dance ballet. People have different goals and reasons to dance, not everyone aims to be professional. I enjoy and find it educational and inspirational to see the full diversity of the people who dance.

-Before offering your advice please read through the thread to put the picture in perspective and avoid being repetitive. Sometimes a sneak peak at the profile of the poster is helpful too. Not everyone posts to get a review, but just to share. If the person asks for no critique, please respect their wishes.

- There are different methods within classical ballet, that do things slightly differently. For example the Vaganova attitude is more open than the Cecchetti one. Remember that the person you are seeing or giving you a correction may simply be taught a different method. More on this on different methods sticky: www.dance.net . . .

- Unfortunately the genetic lottery has quite an influence on your ability to dance ballet. Some people have anatomical reasons for what from a picture can look like a mistake. Some people can't fully stretch their knees (hypoextension), nearly everyone who has danced ballet should be aware of different degrees of turn out. To fully give the best feedback one has a difficult (often impossible) job of trying to determine between a limitation and unused potential. (I think most teachers would so want a superman X-ray vision, but alas it's not for sale.) Some of the ideals of ballet we are taught and aim for really are anatomically impossible. The best example of this is keeping your hips level at all times, unless your bone have the ability to go through bone, at high extensions and arabesques no one can. (And this often also has an effect on the turn out of the supporting leg.)

-Remember that people offering advice on the Internet often are not professionals. Take things with a grain of salt. If something seems odd to you please do consult someone who is professional on the matter.

-You can't see how a person dances from a photograph. There are important aspects of ballet (atmosphere created, dynamic of movement), that can get muddled even on a video.

10 Replies to Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique

re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By adageacemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3982, member since Thu Sep 01, 2005
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 06:27 AM
I'm sure a lot of this has been said before, but I don't think it can be said often enough, so thanks :)

Also, one thing to add to elfie's post - if "constructive criticism" does not mean being blunt and hurtful, it equally does not mean sugar-coating absolutely everything and giving inappropriate praise. That is just as unhelpful and un-constructive as being hurtful. Just because we're aiming to be an understanding and supportive community does not mean that a single picture of someone standing in first or a tendu devant requires a reply of "Oh gosh, you're SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DANCER. You're amazing!!!! " This type of comment may seem nice, but it is neither helpful, nor accurate, nor will it necessarily make the person feel good. People can often tell when they're receiving excessive or false praise, and can feel patronised by it.
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By Mandymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2035, member since Tue May 16, 2006
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 06:59 AM
Ohh goshhhh!
Thank you so much, for finally putting this into one huge post. I know no one will miss this, now, hopefully! And adageace, you added a really good point! :) Thanks!
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By longlivedancemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 469, member since Wed Aug 01, 2007
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 09:01 AM
Well said *thumbs up*
I think some people just get a bit comfortable critising whilst sitting in front of a computer screen, when they wouldnt dream of saying it to someones face. Its a lot easier to say anything here, but it doesnt mean that you should.
I think this did need to be raised!

LLD
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 09:11 AM
The only thing that I would like to add is this...dance is for everyone!!! It doesn't matter if you are 30 pounds overweight, if you have big boobs or small boobs, if you have flat feet and no sense of rhythm. Dance is a beautiful form of expression that should be available to everyone...not just those with perfect body type. There are many people that dance that know they aren't going to be a professional or even want that. Let them enjoy what they get out of it and be encouraging. Tearing someone down not only makes them feel bad, but it will add to your own bitter toxic energy. Try saying something positive and see if that makes you feel a little better about yourself.
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By Dylademember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 687, member since Thu Apr 26, 2007
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 09:54 AM
Wonderufull post.
You use words with wisdom. I wish I could be a student on your classes.
Hugs! Dylade
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By miraclefrmheavnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2068, member since Mon Jun 02, 2008
On Tue Jun 23, 2009 08:41 PM
Edited by Rainbws_Watrflls (197101) on 2009-06-23 20:42:40
I agree and also want to add that it doesn't even matter if you are over 150 pounds overweight. Dancing is for everyone! Thank you Elfie for that posting.

And I do agree it is the small-minded comments that cause people to quit. I should know, I quit because of small-minded comments myself.

Dancing is for everyone, period! As my mother always told me, "If you can't say something nice, keep your mouth shut!"

P.S. The photo is really good as well. Definite smiles looking at it.
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By never_katiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 803, member since Tue Aug 26, 2008
On Wed Jun 24, 2009 09:27 AM
I dont think I could have said that any better. Nice job!
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By Rachelpoteet Comments: 20, member since Wed Jul 02, 2003
On Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:16 AM
I think its quite useful ~
re: Factors to consider while giving and receiving critique
By ElizabethPerson Comments: 56, member since Wed Nov 10, 2010
On Tue Dec 28, 2010 06:42 PM
Thank you for posting this. I think you properly reminded everyone what to say when posting comments on pictures. I'd say the most important rule is to be polite, no matter what your opinion is.

Comment #9943626 deleted
Removed by hummingbird (128773) on 2012-05-24 08:18:28 This really is a bit off topic and could be sent as a pm to that member as they are still posting on DDN.


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