Front Page of The Wall Street Journal: Self-Taught Ballerinas Online

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a front page article called “On Their Toes and Asking for Trouble, Self-Taught Ballerinas Go Online”, about aspiring dancers who are dangerously strapping on pointe shoes in their homes – many of whom have not had any formal training – and posting videos on YouTube to receive critiques from viewers.  It seems like the majority are following what California’s Anaheim Ballet says in its online weekly videos: “Ballet is for everyone, and now it is for anyone who has a computer.”  When it comes to pointe, and all dance training for that matter, videos and online critiques can never replace learning in a classroom with teachers and other peers.  Click here to read the article, which includes links to several videos, including the frightening one posted above. 

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6 Responses to Front Page of The Wall Street Journal: Self-Taught Ballerinas Online

  1. Philip says:

    This is kind of scary!!!

  2. Taylor says:

    That’s insane. Insane. If you search for some of the videos they mention in the article…insane.

  3. Evan says:

    Philip and Taylor,

    I hear ya. What these girls are doing is terribly dangerous and will only hinder their progress. Yet another reason why dance cannot survive solely through online videos. It’s a living, breathing, 3-dimensional art form.

  4. Taylor says:

    The thing is, I think it’s good and fun that people are getting into dance through what they see online…like maybe copying jazz routines or even ballet exercises…but POINTE is going to ruin their bodies forever! If they do it like that.

  5. Doug Fox says:

    It’s good Journal covered this topic. Self-teaching has its clear dangers. But proving causation is always difficult. What percentage of young girls would experiment on their own without proper training even if YouTube were not around?

    Also, I think it’s unfair to use Anaheim slogan against them. This line could be interpreted to mean many things including passively sitting at pc and watching ballet.

    I think important point about learning pointe is that teachers and others should consider how to use YouTube, video and the web, in general, to educate kids about the extra dangers of teaching yourself, especially given high rate of injuries even properly trained dancers get — that’s my 2 cents!

  6. Taylor H. says:

    Online? How can you learn dance online? I just started pointe last year[making this my second year] and it is very difficult and dangerous if you don’t have a teacher to tell you what your doing wrong. I think they should be in dance classes first before even putting on a pair of ponite shoes!

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