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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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  3. White Socks

    What type of white socks do men wear with their costumes if the tights are knee length? Also... are the tights they are wearing rolled up, or are they hemmed to only go to right past the knee? Where do you buy your socks at a dancewear shop or just a regular store? When I look at guys in videos, the socks seem to be of a thinner material, but I am not sure.
  4. Hello! I'm new to this forum! Straight to the point, I'm 22 years old and I want to take ballet classes. I've taken classes before for some months, when I was in high school, but it was hard for me to keep up because I have had partial spinal fusion (up to the 4th lumbar vertebra, I think) due to a car accident. This causes my lower back to not bend at all. Moreover, my lower spine, at the level of the fusion, is stuck in a crooked position (read: scoliosis that can't get fixed ). The scoliosis causes my right leg to be an inch shorter than my left, so I modify my everyday shoes. If I'm wearing a shoe with a higher sole on the right, my back gets totally straight. But when I try dancing, especially ballet, with ballet shoes, the difference makes it so frustrating... I can't even stand in the 1st position without my upper body going completely off balance. I wanted to ask if any of you have this issue and if you use some kind of custom shoes. Thank you very much! Anastasia Edit: Actually, I have an idea: Do you think it's a good idea to get teaching shoes (those with the little heel) and just add some hight to the heel, like I do with my normal shoes?
  5. Corrections

    Oh I love this quote, that just made my day! Sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming to be given so many corrections in such a short period of time. I know many dancers who write their corrections in a little journal after class. This allows them to not stress about trying to remember everything at once. It also makes it easy to review what needs to be worked on and to set some goals for the next lesson (based on the most common corrections from the week just gone).
  6. I just want to update everyone. We ended up making the switch to one of the best prepro studios in our city. DD has been there for 4 1/2 months and the amount of growth she already made is truly amazing. So glad we took the advice to go for the best our city can offer.
  7. Corrections

    Just a mom here, but I see girls getting a lot more specific corrections when starting pointe because it’s easy to get into a bad habit and that can lead to serious injury. At my DD’s studio, she feels a lot of corrections, especially from the AD, is a good thing. What my daughter has seen is that the AD tends to be more critical of the dancers that are capable of both pushing further (technique wise) and those dancers that can handle that level of critique (emotionally/maturity). There seems to be a correlation between the better dancers and the amount of correction. While my DD loves compliments as much as the next dancer, she’d rather have criticism from the instructors instead of the “doomed silence of mediocrity” as she puts it. Hang in there.
  8. Question about Grand Jete Mechanics

    Thank you, Ms. Leigh. I will let her know and she will continue to work with diligence and patience.
  9. New people, new faces

    Welcome, ansleymater. We are glad you have joined us, and hope you will enjoy our forums and discussions. Keep us posted on your progress in the auditions.
  10. Question about Grand Jete Mechanics

    Jennsnoopy, tall, willowy and all leg types are generally the type that take a good bit longer to gain strength. The bones grow, but the muscles have to play catch up. The jump is the issue, not the split.
  11. Good, ballet specific schools. Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet in Narberth is a Vagonava school, great faculty, small class sizes,, west of Phila. Around Philadelphia is also Metropolitan Ballet in Jenkintown. The Rock School and School of PA Ballet are both in Philadelphia, larger schools and class sizes.
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  13. Drop in adult beginners class in London

    Hi all, I ended up taking a class at pure ballet. Which was in fact a private lesson because nobody else turned up. It was really nice and Kirsten made me work hard. I loved her introduction to pirouettes. Getting that rotational momentum out of the plie is amazing! I managed to do that once. The best thing of it all was that she couldn't believe that I started to take ballet 10 weeks ago Quote: "Either your teacher is really good or you're a natural" - personnally I start to believe the latter
  14. I called IU and asked. The preferred repertoire section only applies to those auditioning for the music department. Just put not applicable.
  15. New people, new faces

    Hi there! My name is Ansley, I'm 19 years old and I'm from Denver, CO. I've been dancing since I was 18 months old. I was a part of the competition life for 11 years and danced just about all styles (ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, musical theater). I've gotten much more serious about wanting a career in ballet in the past 6 or 7 years. I just started training as a preprofessional at Colorado Ballet this season and will be starting auditions for programs in a couple months. So nice to "meet" everyone!
  16. Dance belts

    hello mlm he got used to it a bit. I think he got used to it at some point. but he is not enthusiastic, but there is no alternative he has to wear it
  17. Hello! My daughter is 12.5 and is having trouble with her Grand Jetes. She cannot do the full “split” in the air when she leaps. It looks more like a 135 degree leap. I’m hoping for a bit of insight here. If she pushes up on two barres (pushes a movable barre over to the stationary one and stands between them and uses them to push upward and for support) she can extend her legs out to a full 180. That has her believing it must be in her leap prep and strength. Does this sound correct? How does she get a better prep? She feels it must be a lack of strength and that she is not getting enough power in her pile. She is 12.5 and almost 5’3. She is a tall, willowy girl, and all leg. The shorter more petite girls have these jumps pretty much nailed down. I’d like to say that her long limbed stature has come with awesome flexibility but that is not the case. She’s had to work for every bit of flexibility, core and leg strength that she has and she still has a ways to go. She use to only be able to do extensions to 90 degrees, even after working on and gaining flexibility. Once she realized strength was needed to she added a Pilates class and an extra strengthening class and has seen noticeable improvement. While she know things take time in ballet, my daughter is very analytical in nature and identifying what is the cause helps her pinpoint areas of work. For instance, when she realized that flexibility alone wouldn’t get her higher extensions, she worked leg and core strength daily. It took her 2 months to see any progress and then one day BAM, it just happened and she was at around 120 degrees in her extensions and she could hold them up. So she will put in the work. Thanks for the help. Jenn
  18. Dance belts

    I would not think it is necessary at 9 years old for a boy to wear a thong dance belt. But some parents introduce their boys to dance belts early to help them get used to them. I did not quite understand your question. Could you ask it again? Is he struggling to get used to a thong leotard?
  19. Substitute teachers

    Both my daughters have had this situation. The studio will list a teacher they like for a class on the printed schedule. Many weeks that teacher is not there and someone that is not inspiring teaches in the original teacher's place. They get up at 6 am, go to school all day, look forward to seeing the teacher they love and a good percentage of the time, it's like "false advertising". Instead of being at home doing homework and getting some sleep, they go to some long ballet class they dislike and then have to come home and study, shower, get to sleep after that. In one case the sub was elderly person who seemed to get confused about what combinations she gave out. Don't get me wrong - I respect elders and am impressed this lady can get in a leotard and ballet slippers and teach at all. It's not me; it's the kids who are upset and disheartened when they hear their beloved, regular teacher is not teaching. I believe the teachers in the studio probably have some long connection to this person and they, too, feel a respect and want her to keep going with her passion. My other daughter loves her studio director and signed up for 2 classes a week with her but many weeks, the teacher she waits to see will have an older student in the school teach the class. I believe the director is trying to give these students experience teaching choreography and classes - or maybe there is some work study involved; I have no idea. In both cases, my girls would see the teacher teach a class either before or after their class, but then when they got in the studio - a sub would be teaching the hour they were taking. They wished they just stayed home and skipped class. I want to respect the teachers' decisions and I am sure they have their own private circumstances and responsibilities. I try to get the girls to go to many of the classes and only occasionally skip because it's just life that an entire curriculum is not going to be perfect. Also, many times, the girls get in a group text where they hear "someone else is teaching" and then try to decide as a group whether they are going to go or not. Some studios will also be somewhat secretive about who is teaching. Kids are human beings who are giving up their time and parents are spending the money and as they make the commitment, I believe we should know who is teaching the classes. Not just "purple level meets MWF" and the student is just expected to commit. I know it must be hard to run these studios but life is short and we don't want to waste a year and find out the main teacher you want to be with is not teaching any of the classes for your child's level.
  20. Jumping Help and Building Strength

    Sorry, Throwaway, but the rules of the Young Dancer Forum state that members cannot respond to questions prior to a Teacher Moderator response, I had to hide ppixie's post.
  21. Jumping Help and Building Strength

    What's wrong with bulky muscle? Will that make other parts of ballet harder?
  22. Thanks so much owffan! That is very helpful information; I really appreciate the links. I think my daughter would really enjoy watching the Mid-Winter Performance. I am starting to understand your point about few universities offering such an extensive classical program. Thanks again!
  23. Thank you for the link! I've skimmed it and it looks like some interesting info! I'll definitely be reading over this.
  24. Dance belts

    My son is 9 and has until the change of the studios no dancebelt wornthe new studio he has a very good experience with his ballet dressWhen we got the baletwear from studio we wearmoi Ivan gröse 8/10 and 10/12 and ballet tights and we should try the sizes at homeThe problems are true with the leotard IVAN it a short sleeve V-neck cotton leotard features a built-in fully padded dance belt with thong back.As he put it after the showers there How important it is to wear a dance belt before puberty I nowwas a huge theater … …with much effort I could persuade to find the right sizethe girdle line must be about hip-sitting it may not be too long …we had also received an instruction.It true for him everything very new no nothing under the leotart …the thong …. the but free and the front the correct positionI met with him the deal it can dress up at home before going to the ballet.He is not really enthusiastic after two months
  25. Throwaway account because this is obviously really embarassing to me even though it probably shouldn't be. I'm a 16 year old girl and I started ballet for the first time a few months ago. It was something I've always wanted to do and I decided to just go for it. I'm not unrealistic, I don't have any professional aspirations, i just want to improve and eventually go en pointe. I do it because I love it. I thought I was doing really well because I quickly moved up from ballet I to ballet II but apparently it's the same type of information just ballet II moves quicker. Still, it's nice not to have to be in with 1st graders where the class stops constantly because they need to be reminded which foot is right and which foot is left. Part of my issue is that I'm not small like the other girls. I'm 5'8 and I don't know how much I weigh (I'm recovering from an ED so I'm not allowed to know exactly. I accidentally saw it in my chart a while back but I don't know how accurate or current it is). This doesn't bother me in terms of looks or anything, I'm comfortable with and proud of my body, and since I don't want to be a professional it shouldn't be that much of an issue. Besides, there's a girl in a higher level than me who's bigger than I am and also teaches there so I'm not too worried. But I think this is relevant to the strength issue. I'm terrible at jumping. Horrendous. I can sorta point my feet in the air doing temps leves in 1st and 2nd, not so much in 5th. I just can't get off the ground long enough to bring my legs together in sous sus and point my feet. And my assembles and jetes are even worse. I literally wince every time I see myself in the mirror. I can't help it, it looks so ugly. I know what it's supposed to look like and I'm not even close. To be fair, I did sprain my ankle in August (right as I was going into class, I slipped and fell. It was the second class of the semester and my first time in ballet II. I was devastated), but it's mostly better now, even though it's still weaker than my other foot. It's not for lack of trying either. I know what I'm supposed to do, I know how I'm supposed to do it, but my body just won't cooperate and it's so frustrating and embarassing when literally every other person in class can do it right. I push myself so hard every class, by the end I'm soaked with sweat and about ready to pass out but it still isn't enough. There's another girl in my clsss, a bit younger than me who's been doing it for about as long as I have, a few months less actually. But she's so much better than I am and my teacher has said he's considering her for ballet III soon. I know I shouldn't compare myself to other people because everyone's different and she's smaller than I am anyway so it makes sense that she doesn't have as much difficulty lifting herself off the ground but I can't help it. Her older sister used to bully me and even though she's super sweet to me I'm always secretly competing with her - and failing. I feel like everyone in class is judging me for not being able to do these simple things and I feel even worse because I worry that they're already judging me because I'm not thin. I feel a lot of pressure to prove that I can be just as good as everyone else regardless of what I weigh and I'm failing. By the end of every class I'm on the verge of tears, it's so upsetting. I genuinely feel like I'm the worst person in class. There are two that might be as bad or worse but they also almost never show up, only a few classes a month out of 8. I'm here every week except for when I first sprained my ankle and I'm still terrible. This isn't to say I haven't seen improvement because I have, but I still don't feel like I can compare. I think my main problem is that I'm not strong enough to get myself off the ground yet since I weigh more than most girls there, I need more muscle to jump high enough. My teacher said in class that if we don't point our feet when we jump, we'll start building bulk. Is that going to interfere with my dancing? Looks wise I couldn't care less, just as long as I can dance. But I can barely point my feet at the barre. And in the center? Forget it. I asked him about this and he said I should push on the barre, at least until I can pointe my feet in the air without it. Well, that works for my temps leves in 5th, but not for my assembles and jetes. And the barre I practice with at home is aluminum so I'm really scared I'll break it or bend it which would be so embarrassing and also a huge waste of money. That barre was my early Christmas present. Sorry for the long vent, I needed to get it all out. What do you guys think? Are there any bigger girls here who have any advice/tips/tricks that helped you? Will building bulk hinder me in the long run? What are some exercises I can do to build the right kind of strength for jumping? Repeated plies and grand plies? How much weight can those aluminum barrels hold anyway? I'm using the Vita Vibe 5 foot aluminum double barre. Thanks in advance for any help and advice!
  26. There’s a pretty interesting discussion from over 10 years ago about this ballet on our sister board, BalletAlert!, with old pictures: http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/12324-petipas-talisman/ I was unable to find a full video version online, although I did discover a horror movie called Talisman...perhaps others will have better luck than I.
  27. I went to Onstage Dancewear as a ballet tourist last year and they were great! It really felt like the only proper fitting I've ever had. I actually ended up going home with the first pair she put me in, but I tried loads, and she also recommended different toe pads. I think if they charge a fitting fee (which I vaguely recall only being applied if you didn't end up buying shoes, and was in the region of about $15) it's perfectly ok not to buy shoes if you don't find ones which suit you. I am far from being a pointe expert - having also started as an adult, but I will say this : I got my first pair fitted at Freeds in London, which I later discovered were completely wrong for my feet. My experience at Onstage was a million miles better, I felt fine as an adult, and my RPs are by far the best pair I've ever had. Now I reckon that alone is a good enough excuse to come back for another ballet holiday to NYC. My bank balance will take some more convincing..... Happy shopping!
  28. That's no question. Take ballet! I started when I was 40 years old. Now I'm 42, had my first times on stage with ballet and it's great. I wouldn't want to do anything else. And there was never the question whether I would be welcomed there or not. Everybody's there to dance. I dance. So I must be there. Even if I'm the only adult male doing ballet in my whole city. Do what you love!
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