How to play dance with my father again on piano
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Dance With My Father Noten | Luther Vandross
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April 29 - Dance Day.What dances were like for our compatriots in the 19th-20th centuries
For the third year, "Motherland" has been collaborating with the amazing site "Prozhito" (PROZHITO.ORG), which contains more than 2300 diaries of Russians of the 19th-20th centuries. The next issue of "Live with the Motherland" is dedicated to the International Dance Day, which is celebrated on April 29.
The style and spelling of the authors have been preserved.
Stepan Zhikharev, writer, playwright, translator, senator, theater-goer and memoirist
January 26/February 7. [...] On the 3rd of February, a big ball was appointed at Count Orlov's, which is called a feast for the whole world. There are many dancers in mind, but there are almost no dancers at all. Some well-known ladies who knew each other briefly in the count's house were commissioned by the young countess to recruit good gentlemen. I do not know why Katerina Alexandrovna Muromtseva considers me among the good gentlemen and offered to take me along with her eldest son. "But I can't really dance," I said, "I'm shy and clumsy." - "Et pourtant vous avez danse chez les Werevkines et vous dansez souvent chez les Lobkoff, comme si je ne le savais pas" .). - "It's true, but the Verevkins had a ball easily, and at the Lobkovs I dance pour rire (for laughter - fr.) in my mug, and I don’t dance, but jump like a goat." - "And at the Orlovs you will jump like a ram - that's the whole difference! Talk to yourself incessantly with your lady - and they won't notice how you dance."
I refused, but Katerina Aleksandrovna resolutely announced to me: "Vous irez, mon cher; je le veux absolument: a votre age on ne refuse pas un bal comme celui du comte Orloff, ni une femme qui vous a vu naitre.Сest ridicule "(You will go, my dear; I definitely want this. At your age, they don’t refuse either such a ball as Count Orlov’s, or such a woman who saw you in diapers. This is wild! - fr.).
There is nothing to do, I will equip my ball costume: a puce tailcoat and a white waistcoat with a Turkish shawl vest. I'll undress with my grip!
Adelaide Eleanor Sophia Hauswolf, Swedish prisoner during the Russo-Swedish War of 1808-1809.
October 30/November 11. In the morning dad decided to go to a masquerade. [...] The hall was large, but poorly lit. Music was Semevsky. Only a few of the townspeople were in fancy dress, but their costumes were so bad that they could be mistaken for commoners. Luckily, they weren't dancing, just running back and forth curiously. The governor opened the ball with a Polonaise with me. I was wearing a uniform dress with a wide ribbon, which caused a lot of questions.
It was said that there were not many people today, but there were 130 people. The ladies were dressed in beautiful fabrics and adorned with jewels, but without elegance or taste. They danced so badly that even our maids danced much better than them, and of all the men there was only one who could somehow lead his lady. From a good life and constant sitting, the women here are so extraordinarily full that during the polonaise and round dance they drag their feet; from a waltz or a quadrille they are lost for the whole evening. [...] I danced a lot and had a lot of fun, but dad was bored. At 12 o'clock we left.
Pavel Svinin, writer, historian, diplomat, editor and publisher of Otechestvennye Zapiski
11th [February]. [...] It is strange to believe that here (in New York - Rev. ) at the best balls only two violins squeak and a drum beats - and the American Cottillions somehow jump over them both in moderation and not in moderation - just to dance. Apart from the cotillion, nothing else is danced here. Fathers and mothers are against the waltz - considering it indecent for a girl.
Natasha Rostova's first ball. Frame from the film "War and Peace".
Daria Fikelmon, granddaughter of M.I. Kutuzova, the mistress of the literary salon, where A.S. Pushkin
August 12/24. Saturday. A big reception at the Chief of Ceremonies Stanislav Pototsky. The ball was given in honor of Khozrev-Mirza. All Persians miraculously kept themselves in high society, so alien to their way of life and habits. It seems to me that they could easily be forgiven for looking at us with surprise and, probably, even with slight contempt, because the mazurka and waltz, it would seem, should shock people who are used to the fact that their women live as recluses and wear a veil. . But, on the contrary, they seem to like everything here, and they are friendly to everything.
N. Rusheva. N.N. Pushkin at the ball. 1967 Photo: RIA Novosti
Alexander Nikitenko, journalist, literary historian, censor, official of the Ministry of Public Education
January 6/18. Attended a ball with General German, class inspector at the Catherine Institute in the Smolny Monastery. All of our ballroom meetings are the same. The difference is only in the decoration of the rooms and in the greater or lesser luxury of the treats. Three kinds of people are usually present at balls: dancers, Bostonists and spectators, who in turn are divided into spectators of the game and dances. The latter include obsolete ladies - the mothers of the heroines of the French quadrille and cotillion - or men invited to count. Dancing has always captivated me. I love to watch the play of faces of dancing couples.
Women especially provide grateful material for this; as for men's faces, they are very rarely expressive. At this ball I found no more than three or four; to them, undoubtedly, belongs the physiognomy of my friend, Ivan Karlovich Gebhardt. Two distinctive features of his character are surprisingly clearly imprinted on his face: light, graceful-sly subtlety of mind and nobility. His face boils with the play of life, blooming, beautiful. It is light, open, noble. But be afraid to meet his smile: subtle Attic irony will appear in it, like a thorn near a rose.
February 14/26. The masquerade at Volkonsky's is the most beautiful of the festivities that one can only see. The Quadrille of the Empress from the opera "The Miraculous Lamp" was excellent and exceptionally rich. She herself looked charmingly beautiful in her costume. Having bypassed all the halls with a cortege, the Empress sat down on the throne, and the participants in her quadrille performed dances very gracefully, but still they could have been better arranged. Then our quadrille began and had a great effect. We danced the minuet and gavotte just fine, and everything, admittedly, turned out lovely.
Wilhelm Küchelbecker, poet and public figure, friend of Pushkin and Baratynsky, Pushkin's classmate at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, collegiate assessor, Decembrist
October 7/19, . After a very, very unpleasant yesterday, I had fun today like a child. Istomin started for us un petit bal de famille et imaginez vous (a small family ball, and imagine - fr.) I, an old bastard, danced quadrilles, mazurkas, waltzes without rest, and God knows what else, of course, confused the figures as well as possible ; but, really, we had more fun than at other prim city real balls.
Varvara Morozova, daughter of industrialist and collector A.I. Khludova, philanthropist
July 21/August 2. [...] I looked forward to yesterday, confident that I would see V. I was expecting his arrival with emotional excitement. Finally, I saw him, and he bowed to me for the first time. I was in awe and eagerly awaiting the dance. I told Lydia that I would hate him, unless he invited me to the first quadrille, with trepidation I expected his arrival, he was not there, finally, he came up and engaged me. I was overjoyed and even went so far as to kiss Lydia's hand. How cute she is! Now, I thought, I have confidence in you.
Finally, the quadrille began. God, what attentiveness, courtesy, he seems to want to charm her. From the first minute we began to talk, and then all my suspicions were justified, and I am glad that I can boast of foresight. He said a lot of pleasant things to me, and so the whole evening flew by.
Peter Kropotkin, scientist, anarchist
2 September. Steamboat "Konstantin". [...] On the "Konstantin" the wardroom is 27 feet long (the width of the ship) and 16 feet wide. Here they arranged dances; found 2 violinists, concocted a triangle - that's the orchestra. Of course, there were hunters, and even more so hunters for dancing: priests, the daughter of an ordinary officer, steamship ladies, one ardent food official, the printer Andreev, Kononovich, myself, even Babst. One cannot be satisfied with quadrilles - the tremblant polka, the unchanged mazurka polka, the roll (waltz. - Ed.). But the roll did not go smoothly: the musicians did not know any other way than in three steps, convenient for dancing with a pipe in their hands or, perhaps, with a mug of beer - you can be sure that with such slow movements it would not have spilled.
Tatyana Sukhotina-Tolstaya, eldest daughter of L.N. Tolstoy, memoirist
May 29/June 10. [...] This evening papa was talking about what kind of person he would like to marry me to. He says, certainly for a person outstanding in something, but not a secular one. “Like, he says, if a mazurka dances well, it means that he is no good.” In my opinion, too. Are we being judged like this? And I tried so hard to learn how to dance the mazurka best of all, and when Misha Sukhotin told me that he was ashamed to dance with me, because I dance so well, and he is so disgusting, how proud I was!
September 29 (September 17). I just came from the staff room, where my mother is celebrating her name day. They bought harmony and treats, and they dance there. Their dance enthralled me. Arina the cowgirl dances wonderfully: she will pass so smoothly, then she will stop, she will move her shoulders and turn around quickly and start dancing again. I really wanted to go too, but it would be awkward, and they would feel it. No matter how beautiful the waltz and the mazurka are, it is incomparably and less and more beautiful, and goes straight from the heart, and most importantly, more original: everyone shows his character in his dance, and it’s good that this cannot be taught, everyone has his own special manner.
Maximilian Voloshin, poet, translator, landscape painter, art and literary critic
December 17/29. The whole evening passed remarkably cheerfully. After a while, almost everyone had already gathered, and the dancing began. Olga V
Vladimir Lamzdorf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire
February 3/15. Gears tells me about yesterday's costume ball at Grand Duke Vladimir's. [...] Sovereign yesterday, pacing around the living rooms, entering into conversations; it seems to me that his majesty goes too far in his modesty. Girs invited Princess Yusupova to a French quadrille at the moment when the sovereign was approaching her with the same purpose. "Ah, you have already been invited, so let's dance the next quadrille," the sovereign seemed to say. Despite all the efforts of the princess and Girs to prove that no previous agreement could compare with the honor of the royal invitation, the sovereign confirmed his decision and gave Girs the first round of a quadrille with Princess Yusupova.
At a ballroom dance class at the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens. Photo: Karl Bulla
Vera Khludova, 11 years old
January 11/23. I'm starting to write a diary! [...] Today we went to a dance lesson with the Naydenovs (cousin), where we now dance: polka, waltz, minion, pas de quatre - we dance all this! I love to dance, but only to watch when they dance dances that we did not learn, new ones - then it's very boring! Look around, yawn!
Eugene Lansere, artist, member of the "World of Art" association
January 22-23/February 3-4. Saturday - Sunday. 3 am. I have just returned alone (that is, with Mile) from the very first ball at the Meisners. Mom, Cat, Manya and Kolya still remained. I only want (and only because I haven't written for a long time) to draw a small parallel with the ball at Uncle Lyulya's.
Some facts: then I wanted to be terribly, I was afraid and worried. Then there was some kind of fun dancing (polka, square dance), stayed until 5 in the morning and after that was quite pleased with the evening. Somehow I grew cold and lost my taste for balls (before that, I longed painfully to learn how to dance). Today, until the evening, I hardly thought, I went indifferently and almost confidently. And just as he felt embarrassed, proudly tormented by his boredom, and finally left.
And now it's just the opposite - again I painfully want to learn how to dance, again dances and balls seem to me something magical, a goal that I want to achieve, and I'm already thinking about the academic ball with thirst and I want to learn how to dance, well, at least a waltz!
Sergey Zimin, theatrical figure, philanthropist, founder of a private theater
January 18/31. U N.L. Zimin's blessing was a lot of fun. I even danced. To do this, they began to study with the ballet dancer Domashev, a wonderful dancer of the Bolshoi Theater. Small in stature, but surprisingly elegant, he fascinated us all, and we enjoyed studying with him.
Sergey Vavilov, physicist
April 30/May 13. Vysniki. I went out into the garden in front of the house. A charming bright May night, the old house is lit in some places and acts as an elegiac bright spot among the ancient chestnut trees. Fun in the yard, tambourines, harmonica. The polka and mazurka are famously beaten off, couples are spinning. It is somehow inexpressibly sad to look at this fun. 2-3 days will pass, there will be Schmidts, Mullers and all sorts of Haudegen. Something like "Feast in the Time of Plague".
Celebration at the collegiate registrar's house. Early 1900s.
Nikolai Golovin, professor of geodesy at the Moscow Land Survey and a number of other institutes
January 13/26. Yesterday was St. Tatyana, Alma Mater Day, Moscow University. The day before, the students of the Moscow Polytechnic [Institute and students of the Land Survey Institute] staged a concert-ball on Novaya Basmannaya in the house of the former Prince Kurakin. They invited me, they sent honorary tickets. But neither I nor Marusya could go there. Yesterday the students, and today the listeners reported that the evening was a success, there were teachers and professors with their wives. Many young people stayed until morning. Sofya Ivanovna Bocharnikova, our permanent clerk, stayed until 9hours of the morning. And after her departure, the hidden young people still danced until 11 o'clock in the morning. The artists were pleasantly surprised by the composition of the audience, it was "clean". They say that now it is the greatest rarity.
Nikita Okunev, employee of the shipping company
July 12/25. Oswald Spengler (German) wrote the book "Death of the West", which has an incredible success. It vividly proves that all civilized humanity is now in a period of collapse, an unprecedented catastrophe and on the eve of death. The mass seeks support in crude mysticism and ... in the foxtrot. It means "fox step", the so-called fashionable dance that came from America. This is the legacy of tango. In the tango, he says, there was the refinement of vice, and in the foxtrot there was only the rudeness of depravity.
Yu. Pimenov. NEP. At the restaurant. 1927
Nikolai Mendelson, philologist, teacher
5/I. Yesterday in the gymnasium there was a meeting of those who graduated from all the issues. 50-60 people gathered. E.I. Yermolova (Yermilova?) showed off her ballet studio. Ballet is now fashionable, as is poetry. As in the old days, very old, embroidering purses, the pianoforte and the French language were a necessary accessory for the upbringing of a girl, so now "poetry" - theoretical and practical - and ballet have become the same necessity. Girls and girls from the studio in most external data do not have: bad figures and ugly legs. Two or three, however, nothing. Dancing, in general, is very mediocre.
Ksenia Solovova, chemist
March 14th. I danced in the gymnasium with Kirill Focht, he is so sleepy, he does everything wrong. I didn’t even have much pleasure in dancing! Whether it's Styopa's business, it's nice to be with him, he's so dexterous. He is now quite firmly settled in my heart.
Irina Knorring, poet, memoirist, emigrant
February 2nd. For the first, and maybe the last time I saw dancing in Paris. There were many French women, and they gave the evening a peculiar Parisian flavor. Small figurines, cropped hair, raised shoulders, short dresses, lined eyes and bright lips - dolls, porcelain figurines. God ordered them to dance the foxtrot, it is stylish and even beautiful in its own way. And when our Russian aunt with breasts in three girths begins to bend, to stagnate, then this is ridiculous and ugly.
Feature of the new dances: they are not cheerful (not my idea). The French women dance seriously, they perform sacred rites. No flushed cheeks and sparkling eyes. There is no fun and no beauty, but dancing does not always serve fun and aesthetics, and such a touch of two bodies, so close that you feel every curve of the body, reaches its own. Sometimes it is enough to take the hand above the hand to feel the trembling "of the whole body along." Yes, Marina!
Olga Radivilina, schoolgirl
January 3rd. After dinner, everyone began to dance the foxtrot, what a nasty dance it is: people press against each other with their whole bodies up to the head and then move in this position on the floor, making barely noticeable figures that in an ordinary position would be taken for indecent.
People dance the foxtrot to hug each other, why can't they hug without music if they want to? Why is it considered indecent? Why is it not indecent to make voluptuous movements to the music? I don't understand why there are such conventions. If you want to hug, then hug without music.
I really liked Rudzutak's behavior, emphasizing my thoughts. One young woman (one of the people I like in this company) invited him to dance the foxtrot (he doesn't dance at all). He took her, put his arms around her, pressed her to him. She struggled, but he was strong, holding her a little so he released her and said that it was better than a foxtrot. In fact, it's better than the foxtrot. But not everyone is allowed to do this, and not everyone dares to hug a woman, and not every woman will allow herself to be hugged without music.
Boris Sushchenko, resident of Barnaul
December 17th. Left home at 8 yesterday, arrived at 1 1 / 2 at night; played with Oleg Vit. 3 hours in chess, (won), and from 11 am to 1 am - ... "and!" tango and foxtrot! Here are miracles in a sieve, I'm dancing... tango. For the time being, successes on the "bang", the sequence and "formulation" of movements do not fit in the head - the legs fail; summary, or what, start?
K. Korovin. Village dances. 1936 year.
Nina Kosterina, Komsomol member, daughter of the repressed writer and journalist A. KosterinI would like to start the diary from a date that for some reason stuck in my memory. It was April 8th. I was fifteen years old and celebrating my birthday. At the party I had Alik, Boris, Volodya, Volya, Lusya, Tonya and Vitya. I was worried before the evening and was afraid that it would be boring. However, the evening went well - not a single birthday of my life was so fun. And that evening, for the first time, I "risked" dancing with the boys - with Alik and Vitya. When Alik hugged me around the waist, and I put my hand on his shoulder, I involuntarily shuddered - it was such an exciting and joyful feeling. I have been dancing for a long time and love to dance, but never with such pleasure. Jokingly, Alik lifted me into the air: my heart sank, my breath caught and my cheeks burned with heat ...
In a holiday home. 1938
Dmitry Mikhailov, high school student
November 23rd. For a long time I wondered: "Why don't our guys dance?" After all, the guys 2-3 years older than us already danced in the 8th-9th grades. They don't dance because they are embarrassed to learn. (And why don't I dance? Yes, that's why, too, perhaps).
This evening there were several guys and girls in the class for the rehearsal of the play. Well, they messed around, of course. I started talking about dancing. Galya Fursova told me: "Dimka, let's learn to dance!" And instead of the usual refusal, I said: "Come on." She looked a little embarrassed, but that's okay. For a few minutes she taught me to dance the foxtrot. Artemov V. (Pistik) immediately wanted to study. She taught him further and almost learned it.
And now I'm sure that all the "leading" guys in our class will start learning to dance. May 3 I celebrated the First of May in a way I couldn't even dream of. We went to the factory yard, where they had a dance. I didn't dance because my shoes fell apart in the winter. I was in my grandmother's leather slippers and therefore huddled on the sidelines. But it didn't spoil my holiday. And in the yard, the bosses, a little tipsy, were dancing so much that it was a pleasure to watch. The accordionist played everything that was asked: a Russian, a gypsy girl, a lady and even a quadrille.
At rest. 1943
Vladimir Tarasov, participant in the battles for the liberation of the Baltic StatesYesterday we were given warm footcloths and mittens. Suddenly the radio started playing tango. Kostya and I could not stand it and let's dance. How I would like to arrange a small evening, dance, have fun. But, alas, oh!
Grigory Kasyan, political instructor
December 19th. Hospital N 3336. Toropets. The other day I learned to dance to the button accordion and have already danced the Boston waltz, tango and foxtrot. All this can bring me closer to any circle of people. I attach special importance to dancing. These days of mine are quite interesting, but you will quickly forget about them.
Ion Degen, tank commander, poet
You won't go crazy at the front,
Without learning to forget right away.
We raked out of destroyed tanks
Everything that can be buried in the grave.
The brigade commander rested his chin on his tunic.
I hid my tears. Enough. Stop doing that.
And in the evening the driver taught me,
How to properly dance padespan.
At six o'clock in the evening after the war Photo: from the collection of Vladimir Sergeev
"He beat us not to bruises, but so that we were afraid": what happens in creative schools
Afisha Daily collected stories of people who survived psychological and physical violence in schools with a creative focus. They told how their relationship with hobbies had changed, what happened behind the closed doors of classrooms, and how the incorrect behavior of the teacher could affect the child in the future.
"The teacher beat me not to bruises, but so that everyone was afraid"
19 years old, Kharkiv, danced
It was the desire of my grandmother to send me to dances, who herself wanted to dance in childhood and realized her dreams through me . At the age of five, I was enrolled in the children's state school of theatrical and stage directions in Kharkov, in the department of pop children's dance. I studied under pressure, went to school with tears and screams, sometimes I had to be pulled off the sofa because I dug my fingers into it and yelled that I would not go anywhere.
It got worse when my department was closed and our group was sent to the populists (folk dance group. - ed. note ), where the most terrible teacher was, a man of about seventy. The group was given to him by force, giving him a choice - either to engage in folk dancing with him, or to leave the school altogether. A month after we were connected with the populists, everyone left my group except me. I was left alone with the older guys - I was six and a half years old, and they were all from eleven to seventeen.
The teacher shouted and insulted all the students. For any disobedience, the boys received ringing slaps on the back of the head, and sometimes kicked in the ass. He dragged them by the ears, threw them into a corner. He called them losers, slackers and mediocrity who can't do anything and think only about girls. I remember there was a boy of about thirteen who was very hooligan. The teacher chased him all over the hall, and when he caught him, he grabbed his hands, twisted them, sat on top and beat him wherever he could get. The boy twitched and shouted that there would be no more. At the same time, he didn’t beat him to bruises, but in such a way that everyone was afraid. He touched the girls extremely rarely and not in the same way as the boys - he did not go beyond slaps on the back of the head.
But jokes about our uniforms were prepared for the girls. Any of us for him was a "draughty mare". I constantly heard in my address that I am heavy and gallop like a horse, although in childhood I was very thin. It doesn’t matter how much the girl weighed, whether she was on a diet, we were still “heavy trucks” for him.
Also, when you asked to go to the toilet, he started laughing and mocking. I was afraid to ask for leave and once wet myself from fear, then danced for three hours in wet pantyhose.
Since folk dances also involve working in pairs, and the girls in the group were up to fourteen years old, he joked that our breasts had not yet grown, and our partners had nothing to grab onto. And when one of the guys put the hand in the wrong way, then usually we heard something like “You will keep women’s boobs like that” or “They touch a woman’s ass like that” and stuff like that. I was very small and I was more embarrassed than older girls. They tried not to react, but to isolate me from the teacher, to distract me. He also often told bawdy jokes that were clearly not for children's ears.
But it never occurred to anyone to complain about him, probably there was a fear that after that they would treat us even harsher. Then I told my grandmother and my parents about it, but, unfortunately, no one wanted to hear me, they attributed it to my laziness and childish imagination. There was an attitude that the teacher is always right, no matter what methods he uses. Years later, I discussed this issue with my mother. She spread her hands and said that she did not think that everything was so bad, and she was sorry that I had to go through this. The situation with my grandmother, who sent me there, is deplorable: no matter how much I speak, she is unlikely to understand me.
It was during that period that I first developed complexes due to weight, [it seemed to me] that I was fat and big — this later became one of the causes of my anorexia already in my teens. There was a huge self-doubt, a fear of learning something new out of fear of screaming and violence. I still hate folk dances, and when I see something connected with them, I start shaking, my eyes are immediately wet. I remember that time with horror. I would gladly master other styles, but as soon as it comes to folk, the reaction is categorically negative.
In total, I studied there for two years, in tears, fear and torment. I left because of health problems - in childhood I was often and very sick, so I missed a lot of classes and hardly caught up. And it was very difficult to work out after two months of sinusitis, otitis and other nasty things, and I quickly fell down again for several weeks. As soon as I left, I had more free time, I got less sick and felt much better.
Unfortunately, in the post-Soviet space such teachers are rather the rule. I have come across this more than once, both in a regular school and outside it, in circles and sections. My friends, acquaintances, parents - I heard similar stories from everyone. This is probably the influence of Soviet upbringing, because people of the older generation usually behave this way. The younger the teacher, the calmer and more adequate he treats the children.
Another reason for such lawlessness is complete permissiveness and impunity. If people knew that they would be punished for their actions, they would think a hundred times before beating and humiliating students, crippling their psyche.
I rarely remember this time so as not to be sad again. I do not hold a grudge against the teacher, but he is disgusting to me, and the thought of him is disgusting. It's disgusting that he allowed himself this and considered it right. It's disgusting that because of him I have a constant fear of making a mistake, it seems that they will start screaming, and maybe they will hit me.
“My mistakes pissed her off, and in a fit of emotion she threw a chair”
17 years old, Magnitogorsk, studied piano
When I was eight, I entered a children’s music school, I persuaded mother to send me there. Everyone in my family was into music in one way or another. Grandfather had a piano in his apartment, which attracted little me very much. My mother used to teach me simple melodies on the baby piano when I was five.
There was a teacher in the first grade who practically did not study me. She gave the task and went about her business. When my mother found out about this, she changed my teacher. The new teacher was very demanding. She had to correct the mistakes of the past, so we studied both in the summer and after school. By the end of the second grade, I started to burn out. As a result, working capacity decreased and even bigger problems appeared by the third grade. They have always been associated only with the piano discipline that this woman taught.
It didn't matter if you bruised your finger or cut your pad - the requirements remained the same, no concessions. She hit hard and often. Usually on the hands when I made a mistake. Even if I was just starting to analyze the piece in class and saw it for the first time.
One of the days when my mistakes pissed her off, she scolded me, I cried, and then she threw a chair, apparently in a fit of emotions. Just on the floor without aiming at me. And she left.
But all the teachers did this, and there was no thought of complaining to anyone. Plus, my mother also considered this the norm, so I had no doubts that this was how it should be. Very often the teacher said that I would not succeed in life, that I was not adapted to it. She loved to belittle my own level in my eyes in every possible way. She said that I was a very weak student, and later I found out that one of the best graduates was playing my program for the fifth grade.
Due to the depreciation of my successes, I burned out more and more. I lost interest in classes, I was lazy and often skipped. But music was still the only thing that interested me, what I clutched at, so it’s impossible to bring up hatred for it in me. As a result, I graduated from high school and entered a music college. Now I have problems with the discipline of the piano, I'm still scared to sit down at the instrument and learn something new, I'm terrified of mistakes, which, of course, are inevitable in the learning process. College teachers do not allow themselves physical violence, but they also consider devaluation to be the best motivation for a student, often trying to offend with words, underestimate self-esteem.
I let go of the situation and I understand the reasons for this teacher's actions, although I don't justify them. After graduation, we saw each other and talked, I am not offended by her and even treat her well. She did a lot of good things for me, she really tried. From my personal experience, I can judge that there are a majority of such teachers. One of the reasons may be the specifics of the profession itself. Whatever you say, a musician is a creative person. Perhaps this can explain the irascibility and excessive emotionality. The personal experience of my acquaintances suggests that this is also found in other creative activities, be it choreography, painting or literature. Again, I am not trying to justify anyone in this way.
I have no particular desire to play the instrument after this. I entered the department of music theory, where the piano is one of the specialties, but not the main one. Most likely, I will continue to study music, but from a scientific point of view: maybe I will become a lecturer. But I categorically do not want to be engaged in teaching, since I am emotionally unstable on my own, and this may not have the best effect on the children I will teach. I don't want to be like her.
“They called us mentally retarded, they said that we have crooked legs, arms, we are fools and idiots”
31 years old, Petersburg, studied ballet
One day my mother came to me and asked if I wanted to become a ballerina. I answered that I wanted to: before that, we went to see The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theater, and it was magical. Beautiful ballerinas, like light moths, whirled in the dance, and I immediately wanted to be like them. Then I did not know how much work is behind these images. Mom took me to an exam at the Academy of Russian Ballet, where I miraculously passed all three qualifying rounds. That's how I got into this world. Immediately after entering, zombies began, and the whole atmosphere of the classes spoke of the need to reach the end and become a ballerina, no matter what. Therefore, we endured a lot of things in the name of the big idea that all the teachers instilled in us.
The unspoken leaders immediately appeared in the group — girls who always stood out and got good grades. I had average data for ballet, so I turned out to be invisible, a person who interfered with the high results of the group. I was always treated mediocrely, without attention, and I was very worried about this. I tried to do something about it, studied extra, tried to improve my grades. But I couldn't jump above my head, no matter how much I wanted to. This desire to prove my importance and get approval has accompanied me to this day .
I didn't have to go on terrible diets, suffer from malnutrition and fainting for the sake of ballet. But we had girls who were constantly losing weight. And no matter how much they tried, they still looked bigger than miniature ballerinas - they were said to be "broad bone", "broad hips", "broad shoulders". Usually we just drank water and ate apples in class, but there were also those who drank special teas and pills. One day, a girl fainted from malnutrition and overexertion during a final exam.
In addition, there was constant moral pressure. It was necessary to be better than the rest, to raise your leg higher, to jump higher, to try harder, more efficiently. Under such pressure, we, little girls, were throughout the entire training. At that time, we didn’t know what it was to be and not to be in the resource, and we just played around as long as we had the strength. It was hard: every day the lessons began at nine in the morning and continued until six or seven in the evening, sometimes after classes we went to performances at the Mariinsky Theater, which ended almost at night. At the same time, it was necessary to do homework, because no one canceled the general education program. I remember how I was driving to school in the morning and thought that I just wanted to sleep and nothing else. We were lucky that the academy had psychological help, we could come to a psychologist and talk about what worried us.
In addition to competition in the group, everyone had a desire to win the teacher's attention. He was an idol, a guru, the main person in the lives of little girls. As soon as you didn't stand out with your results, he stopped paying attention to you. We were not scolded, but simply ignored. Gained weight or stopped jumping high - that's it. They didn’t explain why they stopped working with us, but simply tried not to notice. I wanted some kind of acceptance, motivation, to be told that you may not be perfect, but you will still be accepted. And this was not.
The teachers were different. Everyone was afraid of some, hated someone, but there were also those who aroused admiration and love, we aspired to be like them. You could approach them for advice, get sympathy. It's great, I still remember them with gratitude.
Although there was no physical assault in the school, teachers had their own methods of punishment. For example, put you against the wall and make you practice the movement for hours in front of everyone. Everyone is dancing, and you stand alone at the counter, train and cry . It was a shame. Most often, they put it there if you thought slowly and could not quickly grasp the combinations.
Sometimes they could deliberately unpleasantly and painfully poke between the shoulder blades so that you would hold your back or slap on your leg. Often called mentally retarded, they said that we have crooked legs, crooked hands, we are fools, stupid, idiots.
These are the favorite words of teachers in ballet schools. Specifically, in me, they thought that I had a big head, so I was asked to do low buns to make it look visually smaller. We were often measured, looked at volumes, centimeters, kilograms, the ratio of the length of arms, legs and torso. They wouldn't kick you out if they found inconsistencies, but they would ask your parents to think about it - fix something, lose weight.
This all left a big imprint on my self-esteem, I became a scared, intimidated and insecure teenager. Because of all this, after graduating from school, I did not go to work in the theater. I didn’t like it so much and it was unpleasant that I told all my relatives that I would never be a ballerina, I would burn all my clothes and leave this sphere forever. It almost happened, I had a huge break.
When I left ballet, I realized that life is not limited to ballet only. All the years of study, we lived in our own little world, in a vacuum. Without him, I realized that I can be good, that you can just relax and enjoy life and do not have to meet some standards all the time. At school, we were not allowed to put on makeup, wear jewelry, or stand out. You could only be a queen in a ballet class, but in life you had to be quiet and modest. After leaving the ballet, I realized that my personality is important for those around me, and not my success, and this discovery was surprising and inspiring. I didn't know this before, I lived all the time in stress and with the feeling that I had to prove to everyone that I was good . At the same time, I cannot say that studying at the academy was in vain - now I have my own ballet school, which would not exist without it.
When my acquaintances asked me to give an outdoor ballet lesson, I suddenly realized that I could be useful to people and enjoy myself. I can give something very complex and dramatic, but serve it as a holiday, a rest. So I opened my ballet school for everyone. Girls with similar traumatic experiences often come to me and also tell me that they want to do it, but they are afraid, they think that they are not good enough. I try to convince them.
Everything that was at school, I worked with a psychologist and rethought it myself. It doesn't bother me anymore. Although, for example, now I have recovered after giving birth and because of this I feel very uncomfortable. I am a person who will forever focus on my weight and think that he is not thin enough. It is in me forever and comes directly from the ballet school. Constant struggle with the body and the desire for it to be perfect.
“She compared our work to cow cake”
17 years old, Moscow, studied at the art department
I studied at the art department at an ordinary comprehensive school - three or four hours in the afternoon, after school. Since childhood, I wanted to become a fashion designer, and this requires academic skills. I sincerely liked to draw, I wanted to connect my life with it.
More serious studies began in the middle classes: drawing, painting, composition, sculpture. Then the teacher also changed. She drew and wrote amazingly, but her pedagogy, to put it mildly, suffered. The teacher was strict and demanding, but I am a gentle person. If they start to put pressure on me, all desire disappears. Initially, I was among the strong students - at the Olympiads I went beyond the qualifying rounds, and in the fifth grade I took third place in Moscow. But time passed, and the older I got, the more I heard: “Redo”, “Where is the progress over the summer?” And so on. I almost don’t remember the praise, it was depressing. In the last year, I went there only because "well, don't leave everything in the middle of the year." The result ceased to interest me, because something was always wrong. She could compare our work with "cow's cake". At the screenings - this is the presentation by the students of everything that was done during the lesson - we regularly cried because of her criticism.
The teacher could sit down at someone's drawing, take a wide brush, mix blue with black and cover the entire huge A3 sheet, they say, redo it from scratch. It pressed. At the end of the seventh grade, I was fed up with everything, and when we changed the teacher again, even with a normal, softer approach, it was difficult for me. At the end of the eighth grade, after repeated tantrums and quarrels with my parents, I left there. Everyone around me called me "artist" more often than by name. It pissed me off. Well, even though this does not apply to the teacher, my father laughed at me all the time, saying that the artist is growing, free cash desk, that's all.
Now, two years later, I don't draw at all. I can not. Of course, there are some hearts in the margins of abstracts, but these are not full-fledged landscapes that we could write for hours. There are some of my framed oil paintings hanging in the room. They are beautiful, I like them, but I don't want to touch a blank canvas. My mother has a dream that I paint another picture with her favorite flowers, irises. I somehow overcame myself, bought a small canvas, took my old paints from my sister, and an hour later I was sitting with tears. This is an internal block that I cannot overcome, and, in general, I do not see the need. Mother accepted that I no longer draw, and jokes in the style of "go crazy and come back" I pass by my ears.
My canvas is now a Word file. I went into writing, I will apply for a philologist.