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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Which would you prefer?


4 members have voted

  1. 1. Which would you prefer?

    • No ballet classes
    • A bad ballet class

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Hiya guys,

First of all many apologies for not being around more. It has been difficult finding the time to get to a computer considering I no longer have an office or the internet at home. But that will be remedied soon I hope! I will tell you more about my experiences of finding or not finding classes in my new home...if people want to hear or not...I am not sure,but i may bore you anyway..it is a story of hope and long journeys....


Anyway, this poll/question stems from Jaana's post on the main adult board. She mentioned that she would rather take no class than a bad class. I too have been weighing this question in my mind, and i thought it would make an interesting poll or spark off an interesting discussion....


Jeanette xx

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Well, you probably guessed what I would vote :D


Depends on how bad is bad, though, of course. And I might get desperate if no good classes were available at all (though I like to pretend to myself that I would not).

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I am thinking along the lines that if the ballet class was bad but you were still able to adjust the exercises some to get a little work out of it, then maybe? I don't know. I can't live without ballet class though, I get antsy :D

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If the class is bad because the teacher is incompetent or irresponsible, I'd be very concerned about the possibility of injury.

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There's the problem with adjusting the combinations myself, that I'm not yet technically capable enough to practice on my own - I'd just teach myself bad habits. And a bad class, where I'd have to figure out how to do a combination and, probably, also to correct myself when doing that modified combination would actually be practicing on my own...:)


Maybe if I was on a higher technical level, I might even go to a bad class and just use the music and the mirror to teach myself during that class... if that was the only option for a ballet class, I might be tempted. That's supposing that the teacher even plays decent music most of the time, instead of, e.g. chatting half of the class...

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My answer depends on so many things... I guess I'm not very good at polls :)


If the 'bad' class has a high probability of causing direct injury I would rather have no class - period.


If it is the difference between having a couple of bad classes or none at all... I have found that I can put up with a lot of garbage... but I also know and accept that I will likely have 'remedial' work to do when I get back to my former teachers.


If I knew I was never going to have 'good' teachers again, or if I was still a beginner - I would probably decide to stop taking class... there is too much potential for injury.


If it would be the difference between taking 7 or 5 classes a week - I would skip the bad ones - they would probably be counterproductive anyway... even though sometimes it's hard to get rid of that - "but I could be dancing now" feeling. :)

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I've had to be honest and say no ballet class. That's what happened when I first moved here and I didn't like anything I went to. I just stopped. A hectic work life which morphed into a social life also contributed to what seemed like a non-choice.


Basically, the classes I went to were so wrong for me (or bad, depending on how you look at it) that they made me feel really bad about myself and my abilities. Luckily I have found a decent (generally good) class to go to. When that's not on for whatever reason, I don't seek ballet alternatives, I will go to yoga or for a swim.


It just isn't worth the (dare I say it without sounding hammy and pretentious) ANGUISH of going to a class where the teacher is only interested in the show-offs at the front who have their set places at the barre and physically push you out of the way when you are doing centre work. I have enough bad days of dancing without that to contend with!;)

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Guest mic31

I think that no class would be better than a bad class....to me a bad class has, an accompanist that plays at such a fast temp that the songs that he/she is playing sound like a record played at the wrong speed. Also a teacher who gives out difficult combinations and doesn't give any corrections. This I think is just asking to get injured.

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Ok, I notice I didn't define a bad class. I'll try. Bad class is something where one or more of the following happen:


- teacher doesn't know ballet

- teacher doesn't give correction

- teacher constantly lets students to attempt doing techniques that they are not ready to try (i.e. that will teach them seriously bad habits or are outright dangerous)

- teacher wastes time on chatting, or allows students to do so


Class that is on a wrong level for me, or has a teacher giving out corrections on the way that doesn't suit me, might, in my classification still be a good class, just not the right class for me.


I might take the latter, if the situation was desperate. I would not take the first.

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I agree with you there Jaana! Put in that perspective I'd do exactly the same.

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If it were for a regularly scheduled "bad" class, I probably wouldn't go...but if it was an occasional "bad" class due to unforseen circumstances - I probably would go.

If I could go back to a "good" class, I feel like the "bad" class would at least allow me to strecth and not get terribly out of shape while missing the good one- but I think I could make the barre work at least somewhat work for me, and get some good from it. Hopefully, I'd be able to identify something that was harmful or reinforcing bad habits, and adapt the exercise accordingly. Luckily, I haven't had a "bad" class yet. - Had plenty of classes that were WAY above my ability, but not "bad".


If the teacher is "chatty" however, it just makes me want to run into traffic and scream. THAT I couldn't handle.

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Class that is on a wrong level for me, or has a teacher giving out corrections on the way that doesn't suit me, might, in my classification still be a good class, just not the right class for me.


Well said Jaana! I totally agree.


I guess I didn't really define 'bad' either - interesting to see different peoples' opinions on this. I guess I equate 'bad' as being either harmful to my ballet technique or to my body.


There is also 'annoying' which may also drive me away from a class after a while... but not as quickly as when my brain screams out "danger! danger!" :)

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I agree with your classification, Jaana. I guess I would also add to your list:


- a bad atmosphere (grumpy/pushy/unfriendly classmates!)

- a class that is advertised as 'general' and is actually advanced because in my opinion this means that the teacher is not taking into account the abilities of everyone in the class


I don't think the teacher is always to blame, which is why I've put my first one down, and these have been the main factors in the classes I have not enjoyed one bit. Mind you, when classmates are being visibly pushy or inconsiderate, teachers have a duty to say something if they notice what's going on.:)

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Guest bellepoele5

I think I would rather take no class then a bad class. But at college last year I took a semester's worth of bad classes because I wanted to keep dancing and it was my only option. It wasn't so much that it was bad I guess just that it was below the level of dancing I was used to. We didn't move into 5th position until halfway through the semester and this was extremely frustrating for me since I've danced from the age of 4. Plus I was asked to take class in ballet slippers the entire semester when I haven't really danced in ballet slippers in a long time, at home I was taking every class on pointe. So having taken a "bad" class I would agree that taking no class is better unless you're devotion to ballet outweighs your options to take a better class.

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I'm some kind of masochist I guess because to me any ballet class is better than none -- once I've already found the time to go and an available class, gotten changed, gotten warmed up, etc., you'd have to sprinkle ground glass on the floor to get me to leave! In the occasional bad classes I've landed in, I found I could still work on things on my own and modifying or sitting out combinations I can't handle or think are a bad idea.


Reading all the definitions of what makes a class bad has been oddly fun! It reminded me of the mother of all bad classes I took once when I was out of town. There were a couple of whiny students behind me at the barre who kept sighing and loudly complaining after each exercise how stiff or tired or whatever they were. Plus the teacher kept chatting about other things in between exercises, really spoiling that good rhythm you can get into in a good class. Drove me crazy, but then I thought, well, maybe this is just a chatty kind of class, so during center when there was a sequence I didn't quite get, I thought I'd get in the spirit of things and ask one of the other students about it while we were waiting our turns. She claimed she didn't know, then goes out and does the whole combination perfectly! :) Meow!

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