The major concern should be the teaching of technique, not syllabus. If your 8 year old pupil can't remember the enchaînement you've been doing with them after 6 weeks, it really isn't that big a deal. Instead the teacher should be concerned with whether their alignment is correct, their posture, their hip, knee and foot placement, are their ribs tucked in, are their shoulders down... Bad habits picked up when young can cause serious problems with posture and muscle imbalances down the line. Injuries are most often sustained from flaws in technique. It is easier to learn correct technique the first time round than to unlearn incorrect technique and relearn all over again. It is down to the teacher to be vigilant and thorough and to pay attention to each individual child.
This can be further complicated by various stages of growth in the child; if their body is changing, their coordination and motor control will be affected and suddenly they may have difficulty with an exercise that previously had been performed perfectly. Instead of drilling them on it, allow them the chance to familiarise themselves with their body, just ensure that they understand and are striving for correct technique at all times.
|Boys at the American School of Ballet. (c) Ellen Crane 2007.|
Syllabus and rep will come to dancers in time, the most important thing to worry about is that they are learning the correct technique and alignment from the outset. If it is taught properly from the beginning of training, it becomes second nature and reduces the likelihood of dancers developing muscle imbalances and postural problems. It also means when the terminology finally clicks into place and the various awkward growth phases are over, you have dancers that will suddenly have the poise, alignment and technique needed to develop their practice to it's full potential.