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Ballet Talk for Dancers

to quit or not to quit

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Sometimes I am wondering if it is really worthwhile taking ballet classes seeing that there is no real talent for dance or music.


Barre exercises are not too bad; centre work when it comes to single steps is not too bad; but terrible when it comes to adage, allegro and port de bras.


Do like it very much, but is it worth it if there is not real talent ?

Do not want to be a pro. I'm doing it because I enjoy it.

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If you enjoy it, it's worth it. And no, it doesn't always feel like it. :D


Don't mind about having talent or not having talent. If you are not aiming for to become a pro, then it doesn't matter if you have talent. Talent only tells how good you can eventually come, and how fast you can get there. Even without notable talent you can become a little better every day.


If you can handle the barre and simple things in the center, but not adagio or allegro, could it be that the class you're currently in is a bit too difficult / high level for you? Is there an easier class available that you could take in addition to (or even instead of) your current class? Or maybe you could ask the teacher of the current class if he/she could give you easier versions of the combinations?


(This advice is from another adult beginner ballet student; I'm not an expert.)

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That's expert enough advice for me, Jaana!:D


Fred, if you don't have stage ambitions, as the US Army used to say, "Be all that you can be". Since you're looking at ballet as a recreational activity, then ask yourself, "am I having fun yet?" If the answer is yes, then carry on! If no, then modify your activity to the point where you DO get the satisfaction of accomplishment. Jaana's idea of a conference with your teacher is a good idea.

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Hi, thabks for the info.


The problem here in South Africa is that there is not alot of teachers giving adult classes, so you basicaly have to take what is available, but both my teachers are great, always will to help and give corrections.


The combibations aren't really that difficult. Perhaps I am jsut a slow learner.

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I agree with Mel on this one !.


I have no stage ambitions really but I do enjoy ballet and hope to continue attending classes.I am always trying to improve !.


Fred,if you enjoy ballet I suggest you continue attending classes.This is from another adult beginner.

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Guest beckster

There's nothing wrong with being a slow learner! Ballet is something that comes very slowly to some people, because it is so different from the way we move in our normal lives. It took me a long time to have the confidence for centre work, and even after 2 years I work at a very basic level, still trying to get everything right. If you enjoy it, keep doing it! If you took up another hobby (running, swimming, yoga, whatever) you wouldn't be worrying about whether you should continue since you'll never go pro.

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thanks again for alll the advice.


I do not think I'l just quite, enjoy it to much, but sometimes if you do not get things right you feel like quiting.

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Everyone in ballet considers quitting many times.

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And some (like me) do, for a little while, but no matter what you always seem to get back to it.... There's no escaping it, so actually it's rather pointless to quit, unless of course you want to find out that you can't live without ballet ;) ;) :)

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Oh, yes, there's always the frustration and "why on Earth do I even try to do this".


I expect to be in that state myself about this time tomorrow. I went to the first class with my first summer teacher (*) today, and while today was about on a suitable level (on the easy side strength-wise, a bit tricky speed-wise) for me, tomorrow's class is going to be one level up from here! I'll never make it through smiling... :eek:


(The teacher told me to come and give tomorrow a try, so no chance of bailing out at this point. But when I asked her if she thinks I'll manage, she frowned and said "I'm not sure." Eep.)


(*) During the summer one teachers of the school each teaches all level of ballet for about 3-4 weeks, and then a new teacher takes over. I've not had classes with this teacher practically ever before - I think she subbed for us once during my first year, that's all. She's nice, but her style is different from my regular teacher. :)

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Hi, feeling alot more positive after yersterday and today's practice at home and after reade all your positive repsonses.

Only bad thing is I work afternoon shift this week so no ballet class.

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I guess once adicted, always adicted....LOL.

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i just want to say i have the same problem with my allegro and other centrework. i think it could be because my first ballet teacher spent most of the class on barrework in the first 6 months such that when we did progress to centrework after that, my entire class had problems in the centre, such as being unable to remember complete exercises and doing the exercises fast enough.


i've changed teachers, and am now taking syllabus classes in RAD and CSTD, and i find that my centrework has improved since we now do set work which means that we can spend the entire year (or two) just perfecting the steps in the centre (such as pas de bourees, glissades and assembles, all of which i was terrible at.) maybe you can consider taking syllabus classes?:)

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Guest Hanale

Like you I have been thinking of quitting and God knows how persistent I've been these past several years! True I encounter technical and artistic challenges but we can handle that.


My SPECIAL challenge here is with teachers' attitudes. I have been taking classes for about seven years, at least four times a week. And almost to a tee these teachers have celebrated the glory of perfectionism or, as I wish to call it, "the cult of the permanent beginner". For example, I was promoted one term to the intermediate level course, because they needed to meet an enrolment quota. It was hard, but I endured. The next term that class met its quota, but the first-level beginner's course didn't. I was asked to enrol in it because "even professionals take beginner levels, as they learn so much". I WONDER ABOUT THAT! I found it repetitive.


I am still taking beginner courses, perfecting basic steps and not learning new ones, because (and I quote again) "ballet is really pile, tendu, plie and tendu" or "ballet is about perfection". And, to boot, "adults usually stay in beginners classes for ten years--nothing wrong with that!" See why I, too, am thinking of quitting?


Good luck to you. My good will is spent! Hanale:mad:

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