Acquisition of Ballet Technique: Collective Teaching in the Ballet Studio and Social Control

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: 512
Oral Presentation
Yumi OHBUCHI , Nara Women's University, Japan
This paper examines the acquisition of body techniques in a ballet studio from the perspective of social control theory (Hogetsu 2004). To achieve this objective, I conducted participant observation at a ballet studio in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, and interviewed 3 teachers and 10 students who belong to this studio. There are three notable characteristics in the institution of the ballet studio. Firstly, students are divided into classes according to their skill level. This division is practiced primarily as the prohibition of students from joining classes intended for higher skill levels. Secondly, since there is only one instructor in each class, the instructor does not always pay attention to every student, but normally addresses particular individuals to correct her posture with words and gestures. Thirdly, even when the instructor is addressing individuals, those who are not addressed responds and reacts as if she were addressed individually; each student responds as if, even though, in reality, another student being the focus of attention by the instructor, the instructor is personally addressing her.   On the basis of these dimensions, students acquire ballet technique through what we might call “over-understanding” of teacher’s coaching.