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Too much socializing

Guest Jeujeucda

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Guest Jeujeucda

Hi everyone,


This term I'm in three classes a week. All three are "intermediate" or "advanced". However, although I'm a beginner (less than a year), I'm able to keep up except for some centre work. The teachers simplify it for me (and I'm brave enough to not mind looking like a prancing chicken :) )


In general, I really like them. However, I'm becoming more and more impatient with one of the advanced classes. It's the shortest class I have (1 1/4 hr), and supposedly the most advanced -- it's at the top ballet school in the city, my most expensive class, and the instructor's supposed to be very good. And he is. But there's too much time wasted socializing! The class always start late, and with all the time used just gabbing, we're really dancing maybe 45 minutes.


But how do I tell the teacher or the school? The teacher is often the one who keeps socializing, and all the other students go right along with it. I grin and bear it, but I'm really frustrated. I want to learn, but it's difficult to keep pushing away the thought that this class is starting to be a waste of time and money.


I don't want to be rude, I don't want to appear pushy, especially since I'm the only beginner in the advanced class. But I can't make it to the beginners' class right now. What should I do?




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What does he chat about exactly?


I have encountered this before, normally I try and join in and steer the conversation towards ballet technique if we are not talking about ballet that is, very easy to do....



--Ohhh, wasn't that reality show on tv so awful..I mean that girl..like whatever..like.. as if....totally....etc etc etc


Me- Well did anyone happen to catch so and sos ballet performance on Tv last night, weren't they fantastic, I mean you should have seen their extensions and they all looked sooooo wonderful.

Or, I was watching a documentary online showing pre professional dancers at a ballet school and my word they were soo good, their feet go on and on, and they were so polite..hint hint hint...


normally this shuts everyone up and they go back to class.


Or I just start telling them what I do for my job and normally within 40 secs they change the subject....


Or you can talk to the studio owner, or even write a letter to them, whether it should be anonymous or not I don't know..saying that half the class is wasted chatting about nothing in particular and that you do not pay your hard owned money to socialize when you could do that down the pub!

Put it this way you have nothing to loose by doing so.


Oh and I just remembered, while they are all chatting, be busy practicing and stretching, gives you great time to go through things...I think this is the safe answer for sure. Work on your tendus and combinations, they will notice it and feel left out. Give it a try...

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I experienced the same situation! I felt it was so frustrating that I really wanted to leave... I didn't because I thought it could improve. It has actually, but not a great deal. When it comes from the teacher too, it's difficult to shift the atmosphere to a more studious one! :)


I would say, stand in 5th position, as if you were waiting for the music to start... Usually, if nobody notices the first time, they will the second.

They could even comment on how keen you are (in a derigatory way!); in that case, reply: 'well, I thought we were here to work, aren't we?' :)

That usually makes it clear at least what YOU're here for!

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I agree with the above,

I have the same problem in one of my classes, so I make a joke of it publicly like this:


You guys are all so incredible, but I'm afraid I'll never get there if you keep spoiling me with all this juicy conversation!



Find something humorous to say about your learning being impeded by the great gab and see if they don't straighten up.


Otherwise, drop the class and find one which focuses more.


Best of luck, I think many of us have an issue with this.

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You can also redirect the conversation by asking for an explanation of how a certain dance move is done so that it requires new focus again on what you are doing there. I also find this technique helpful, just wait for a moment to interrupt, and you can say - You know, I just can't get what you showed us, will you please demonstrate this again?

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Guest Jeujeucda

Thanks for the suggestions! I will try to guide the classes back on track with the different ways suggested here. Hopefully they'll work... I'd hate to give up this class just because there's too much socializing going on, cuz it's just hard to find another ballet class I can get to!



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I once had a teacher who liked to gab...for several minutes or more at a time. I would bring him back to reality by saying "I'm sorry, after all that I have forgotten the combination. Would you mind saying it again?" It only took two times of him having to repeat the combination for him to realize it would be easier to not gab.

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Standing in/at preparation ready to dance is a very effective way to let the teacher know you are ready to dance. You can work on your turnout in fifth while waiting. It is the least confrontational method, IMHO.



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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Antony
Originally posted by MJ

Standing in/at preparation ready to dance is a very effective way to let the teacher know you are ready to dance.


Excellent idea. If I were you, I'd be starting my plies and tendus too.


I can't think of anything more aggravating than a teacher wasting precious dance time, by turning up late and spending time gassing. It doesn't strike me as being very professional at all.



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