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Open classes


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I was wondering how you guys feel about taking open classes... is it a good thing to take classes somewhere else with another teacher once in a while, or is it best to stick with one teacher and one teaching method?




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Unless you're an absolute beginner, Miriam, it's fine to take classes from other teachers in other schools.

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No, I'm not an absolute beginner... I've been taking balletclass since I was 6 (I'm 20 now..) But whenever I go to a new school they want me to start in the beginner's class again :-(

I moved so I had to change schools, there they didn't want to put me in the class for my age level, so I was in a class of 8 year olds at 13 (that's no fun!), than I took the class for my age level for a couple of years and than I moved again... Than I went to a school where they had an adult beginner's class and an advanced 16+ class, so they put me in the adult beginner's class... I started getting a bit bored there after a while (the teacher was explaining stuff I learned when I was 10) and the girls from the 16+ advanced told me to try there class because they thought I could handle it... however the director of the school refused to even let me try the class.... so I quit there... Went in search of another school.... found a lovely school, very small, 4-5 students in a class, lots of attention and corrections, just no room for jumps across the floor... and no opportunity to take more than one class a week...

So I went in search of a school to take additional classes... I went to one where I thought the teacher was just disgusting, no corrections, excercises way too fast for anybody in the class to keep up with (not just me!) and showing bad technique when showing the exercise... so that wasn't an option...

Now I went to another school which was pretty good, roomy classroom, lots of students though... teacher who did correct... but... she wants me to start out at level 1 till summer, and than after summer I can go to level 2 (they've got 4 levels, and the 4th is not pro or anything, just advanced)... I thought it was ok but the level 2 class is at the same time as the class at the other school.... and I just don't want to drop that perfectly good class...

So, I need to convince the teacher to let me do level 3, because I don't want to be at level 1 for the rest of my life... (they only do barre and *one* exercise across the floor in the level 1 class)..

Well, anyway, I'm totally frustrated about the whole thing...

Does anybody have any advice to win over the teacher in letting me do level 3 without offending her?


Back to the open class thing :-) I saw this Dance Centre in Amsterdam where they have open classes, so I thought I could take a class there once in awhile...

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I was thinking I could stay in level 1 AND take level 3, would that convince her?

And do you think that not being skinny (nowhere near being skinny) might have an influence in putting me in a low level? Because at the school where they but me in the 8 year olds class they did let my (very skinny) friend go to our age level class without ever having balletclass before...


I am *so* frustrated!! :-(

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Hi Miriam. It sounds to me like open classes might do you good, if they are at the right level for you. In most open classes there are a wider range of shapes and sizes and ages, and people tend to get on with dancing rather than worrying about what level the class is. You can try lots of them out to find out which one suits you best.:D

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It's not the fellow students that bother me, I don't care about that and I've never had trouble with fellow students....

It's the teachers who don't like my body...

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Do you want to dance professionally? Or are you dedicated to being the best you can be for your own satisfaction as a recreational dancer?


If it is the second, I think you have the wrong teachers! Any teacher worth their salt who teaches adult recreational classes should not make body shape/size an issue, instead help their students make the most of their talents. Your determination to succeed and continue dancing should be admired by your teachers. It is obvious you want to do well. You need the support to allow you to do this. We all have our limitations physically, and we can learn how to work around these with the right encouragement, but our physical limitations should never be confused with how we look as people.:D

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I would agree with Kate B in general, but with two caveats:


1. I really think that ANY teacher --- regardless the student's aspirations as a professional dancer --- should place students according to their dancing skill. If a student is too skinny to be hired professionally --- well, people can lose weight. But if that student is never allowed to learn the dancing skills that would enable a professional career, then that student is out of luck.


2. Dancing professionally IS a process of being dedicated to being the best you can be as a dancer. The reason why is a simple matter of time. The more you dance, the better you'll get. And professional dancers dance more --- and focus on it more intensively --- than people who do something else from 9-5 every day.


That said, I think it always makes sense to be all you can be as a dancer, given the time you've decided to put into it.

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I think at 20 I'm too old for dancing professionally, so it's just for fun... but even though I'll only ever dream of dancing Swanlake I do want to get better at ballet, so I don't want to go back to the beginning anytime I go to a new school because that way I'll never get past beginner level...


Anyway, I just came back from an open class at that place in Amsterdam, it said beg./int. but was taught at way int. level, and I absolutely loved it!! :D:)


Balletclass on sundayafternoon, can't get any better than that :D

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Sounds good Miriam! Do they have other classes you could do at other times during the week?


Citibob, thanks for adding caveat 1. That's what I meant to say...:) On caveat 2 I would like to comment that perhaps you could interpret that as saying that non-professional dancers are not as serious about what they're doing when they dance. Any adult recreational dancer worth anything feels nothing but that they are a dancer when in class (and often in the office or supermarket!), whether they can make it to one class a week or ten.;)

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Do you get weird looks too when you start to jete through the cerealaisle? :)


They've got more classes, bit expensive though because of the open class system... I'll think about it... I'll take some class there anyway....

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