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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Correction notebook

Guest alliecat93

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Guest alliecat93

I keep a notebook of all the correction that the class, or I personally, get. I review the notebook everyday before class so I can hopefully not make the same mistake again. Sometimes it's really hard to remember everything, and then I feel so bad when I make the same mistake again. I realize that people make mistakes more than once, but if I had written it down I probably wouldn't have done it.


Do you think it would be okay to bring my notebook to class with me? (It's one of those little ones with the cover that flips over) When the teacher is trying to find new music between combination I could quickly write down the corrections form the previous exercise. How would you feel if a student did this in your classes? I would of course, stop writing immediately when I shouldn't be writing. I would do this between the combinations at the barre and then after class I could just write down all the corrections I remember for center. Should I just ask my teachers before class starts if this would be okay? If this is something that wouldn't be appropriate in class, please tell me so I won't look silly asking! ;)


Thanks for your help! :)

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It would depend entirely upon the teacher. The notebook can be a helpful thing to help your memory of corrections, new vocabulary and so on. Ask your teacher if it would be all right. It certainly would be with me.

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My very favorite teacher used to do this when she studied with Joffrey (she wrote her personal corrections at the beginning and then general ones at the end) and used class time like you said. I also write all my corrections, but I generally find it personally easier to sprawl in the hallway right afterward and write them out then. Either method should work, but if you write them in class be sure to ask your teacher. Either way, it's a VERY good idea.

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While I totally support the idea of a "correction notebook", I think I would find it quite distracting and also a problem if it was used during the class. I move the class too quickly for that, and if someone is busy writing they are missing the explanation for the next thing or corrections for what just happened. I would prefer that the writing be done immediately after the classes.

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Guest Lukayev

In regards to the notebook idea,


I believe it really helped me during my SI last year. I had three completely different variations to perform (actually, two, but I used the third recently for my Spring Showcase) and one of the guest teachers graciously agreed to help me with them. And seeing as she (Maria Vegh) is a great resource for dance, I figured I should have some way to remember not only what is flawed in the variation but what I can brush up in terms of overall technique.


Of course, I was too beat to write down everything as I went along (which, and I'm going to agree with Ms. Leigh here, I thought would be distracting for both the teacher and me anyway), so when all three variations had been run through, I just went over them in my head, step by step. In doing so, I was able to recall everything Ms. Vegh had said and I wasn't taking away from rehearsal time either.


A really great tool for technical improvement (in my eyes, anyway) is having a class taped and then watching it at home, notebook in hand. Not only does it often look completely different than what we may catch a glance of in the mirror, but I have come to realize that there are some really nasty habits of mine that I have to break. Another advantage to this method is hearing everything that the teacher says during a correction that one might not have caught during class. The opportunity for me to tape class only comes about twice a year, but all of my big performances (spring, summer, and Nutcracker) are good taping opportunities as well.


Of course, it always necessary to get your teacher's OK before anything. :)



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Guest dancer04

Last year I kept a notebook during my Summer Intensive. I still have it too and read it quite often in fact. In mine I wrote down corrections that I received, new terms or steps that I had never done, and compliments that I received. An entry of mine looked like this:


Corrections: Be sure hip is not up in retire or passe. Don't pound heels into the floor. Pull the opposite side of my body around in step over turns.

Things I don't normally do: En dedans pirouettes with arms in first. Step over turns out of a fourth position.

Compliments: Much better on step over turns.


Corrections: Don't put weight on back foot after pirouettes. Shape is more important than extension. Be sure that ecarte isn't too far in second position.

Things I don't normally do: I knew everything!

Compliments: The landing of my pirouettes were looking better. on arabesque in balance: "That's the idea". I believe that was from Miss Leigh.


I wrote things down directly after each class and then again when I got back to my dorm after classes. I reviewed my notes before each class and tried to ork on the corrections. It was evident that it helping because one day I had a correction about finding my fifth position and about three days later Miss Leigh commented on how my fifth positions were looking much better. I enjoy reading these things now as a lot of them have been corrected.

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