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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Marjolein

Have you ever walked out of class??

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Marjolein

I have... today. Not ballet, jazz.

 

Wanted to try class at the school where I take tap. It's still a struggle to find enough classes to keep my dancing up to working standard, and their tap classes are excellent.

 

Class started 25 minutes late, teacher asked me if I speak French (class was in Brussels), after I said I don't speak it perfectly but do understand everything, she chose to ignore me. We barely did a warm up, just a tendu and plié and then I was expected to do grand battements... :wallbash: :wallbash:

 

Then she went on to do choreography, without saying a word to me about what they were going to do. Even if she didn't want to bother marking it through for me, I think she could have at least said: we're doing this choreography you haven't done before, just try to follow along, or anything.

She just didn't say a word...

 

Am I wrong to find this incredibly rude? I left the class. I know it's not done to leave class before it ends, and I never have before. I could have followed along and tried, but I just couldn't handle this teacher. After I left, she started screaming at me.

 

I did talk to the school's AD (and my tap teacher) and he completely agreed with me and reimbursed me for the class.

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hlambers

Some teachers definitely aren't accomodating to newcomers, but this sounds just plain unprofessional on her part...seems like you dodged a bullet! Especially as adult students, I really don't see a reason to put up with teachers that are unpleasant, especially for a dubious class like the one you described.

 

Whenever I try out a new studio, I always pay attention to how new students are treated. They don't have to spend a lot of time talking to me, but a quick introduction shows that they actually care about their adult students and, consequently, their development.

 

And yes I have walked out of a class early, much to my embarassment. When I just started ballet, I went to a drop-in class that was wayyyyy above my level. (I had misread the descriptions.) I couldn't keep up at all and was really just wasting my time. It was a big class, and I don't think the teacher even noticed a newbie in the ranks, so really nothing come of it. I stayed for the whole barre but left before center. Since then, I've learn to check and double check class descriptions and starting times!

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n_lynde

I stopped attending a class under similar circumstances. The woman spoke with a heavy accent (it was her second language) and as I wasn't speaking my native language we had a super lost in translation thing going on. However instead of just speaking slowly she made a point of stopping the whole class and bellowing "Do yooooou understand?" across the room at me. It was humiliating and I decided I didn't want to learn anything under those circumstances.

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Sharon B

I have walked out of class, once. For a reason completely different from those mentioned so far. Several years ago the regular am ballet teacher where I take classes left for a full-time position teaching at a performing arts school, ( she still teaches at my studio weekends), She is am amazing teacher, the nuances, her adagios, musicality, I could go on, inspire me. I tried class, twice, with the new teacher ( who has since left). I took barre, it was ok, she kept going between RAD and Vaganova terminology, so that was confusing. However, it was her adagio in center, that put me over the edge . It was the ugliest thing ever, the movement and the music didn't go together, it was rushed, there was no passion....well I left right after.

 

That said, there are occasions when I will leave a class rather than be frustrated with what is going on, but never before barre is over.

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Kini

Once and only once during a City Parks and Recreation drop in class. After a very very short barre we skipped center work and went to across the floor where we did every combination of bourrée possible that the teacher could think up, to the front, side, or back. After about the third combination I excused myself and explained that it wasn't the type of class I was looking for. :blink:

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silvergreydancer

Well, I think you have a valid reason for leaving. I wonder if anything was said by the AD to the instructor in question? Not doing the proper warm up is asking for injury!

 

Yes, I have left class on a few ocassions. I'm always very respectful to any instructor I take class from unless they cross the line. I don't accept rude or inappropiate comments from an instructors. It's happened twice. As with you I spoke to the AD. Neither has taught at the studio again.

 

If a class is over my head and I mean way over. I'll usually move to the side and watch. Sometimes the movement or combo comes, sometimes not.

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Claude_Catastrophique

I never left class but I stopped taking some classes by pretending to have back or hip pain, sat out and watched the rest of it. Then I excused myself by the teacher, left and never came back. This always worked pretty well. Usually it was the content of the class I did not like or did not agree with.

 

I personally would not tolerate rude behaviour from a teacher. After all you are a paying client.

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Sharon B

Claude_Catastrophique you are right, one doesn't have to accept rude or bad behavior from an instructor content one doesn't like/agree with. I have on a couple of occasions left a class, using y having to go to work as a reason (not always true). Sadly is the content of the class I had a problem with, but how the instructor tends to favor 1 person over everyone else ( and yes this is an adult open class). Now rather than get upset, I simply leave or take a different class ( sadly most often the other class is a lower level, but less stress).

 

Sometimes leaving is simply the best option.

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MJ

I would not take it personally, but that teachers style is difficult.

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Laschwen

No, but I sometimes wish I left one that was of the zero quality you describe, however without the rudeness. Had there been rudeness i wwould have up and left without a word. I was so bothered by the lack of knowlege displayed that a week later I stopped in to complain. The person at the desk was totally shocked. I was not surprised.
Really, the grande battements 10 minutes into class thing is getting on my nerves ever since that class. I thought it was a very unusual thing but I have been in 2 classes since that tried the same thing and now you say you have been in one as well... Oy. Some of us are older people. They can hurt us if we go along with stuff like that.
Of course had I left after just one or two demonstrations of ineptitude I never would have got to hear the real kicker toward the end. We were just about to do yet another combination TO ONE SIDE ONLY when the "teacher" said to a student she knew before that day "That's a tendu, right?" SHE WAS NOT SURE.
Sorry. I won't rave any more.
This class was like a bad movie you do not leave because you have a strong need to see just how bad it can get so you can revile it properly later. It has been maybe 3 years and I am still not over it...

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Sharon B

It is fascinating what constitutes a "bad class," rude, disrepectful behavior from teacher/students, an inept teacher, etc. Sadly, sometimes I think we get what we pay for. Not that this is always the case, but we as dance consumers, and sadly we are consumers in every sense of the word, must learn what good teaching and quality is. Sometimes one can find an absolute gem of a class/teacher in a place we aren't expecting to. Case in point, I have a couple of great teachers, but occasionally the one ( male) gets way to flirty/chatty with the young pretty students, and then the class stinks. However, I have found an amazign teacher ( also Russian) who teachers at a not so good studio (relatively poor facilities and only 1 adult class), and her class is everything a class should be, at at a cheaper price. Sometimes I do feel like walking out of class when the male teacher is particularly annoying, and I have left after barre several times , using the excuse that I have to go to work tutoring. For me this gets me out of a situation I don't enjoy, and also doesn't cause trouble. The problem is that his behavior continues.....

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MJ

The proper reverence for leaving a class is to proceed to the door, when appropriate, and give a small bow or curtsey before leaving.

 

Child dancers may need to get permission before leaving.

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Sharon B

I can assure you MJ that I always offer the proper reverence up leaving a class.

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Returning to this thread after a HORRIBLE int/adv class yesterday. I wonder .... what are some teachers thinking? I decided to try a new class at a studio I normally attend. I am teaching a different schedule during the summer at my regular studio and so thought I would try a class I don't usually have a chance to attend.

 

Bad idea. The regular teacher was not there and we had a substitute. The substitute teacher was on time, but had no lesson plan, no music, and NO CLUE about proper technique. She began the class by asking all of us why we were there, how long we had been dancing, our ages (our ages?????) and what we hoped to accomplish in class. She gave pliés, tendus from 5th, degagés, and an exercise for entre ch'quatres, an exercise for pirouettes, an exercise for brisées, and then we left the barre. Nothing from 1st except the pliés, no ronds de jambe, no fondus, no adagio, no grands battements, no stretching exercises (although she did give a bit of time for us to stretch on our own and because she kept talking about her life - mom with a small child, her health - had a bad headache yesterday, etc. etc. etc. between exercises she made up and then changed or forgot I had a LOT of time to stretch between exercises)

 

She told us that of course since we were attempting to master ballet, we knew we had to "tuck it under and suck it in". She said ballet is harder for females because we have more curves we need to flatten. Her own alignment was way off, she had no rotation at the top of the leg, her upper body was misplaced and very heavy looking.

 

The class started with seven people. We all lasted for a bit in the center and then we all "had to leave". All of the class members thanked her politely and left.

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silkmaiden

Pas de quoi - this is my face right now ---> :blink::green:

 

What in the. I have no words. If this is your usual studio I hope you and everyone else complain loudly!

 

Just about everything in that class is made of epic fail. I was gonna say that how in the world did they let someone SO unqualified 'teach' the int/adv class, but actually it's probably better she did do your class and not beginners who might have actually listened to her crappy advice.

 

Ok I am curious though - what in the world is an exercise for brisees at the barre?!?

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