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Ballet Talk for Dancers


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I don't know if I have a problem or not. But I certainly have a problem with it. The trouble is that I hardly ever gets any corrections. I have taken classes for several different teachers and almost none of them gives any personal corrections to me at all (only one teacher gives me personal corrections). I really try to work hard in class and when I don't get any corrections I even work harder. But all I get is all those general ones, but at a certain point you don't know if you have corrected yourself to the better or to the worse. Especially when you have heard the same corrections to the whole class several times. I just can't figure out if the teacher "let me go" because I have corrected myself to the better or if I'm so bad that they just don't see me. It really bothers me!


Is it common among teachers not correcting because they think that the student doesn't have the natural ability to dance?


Maybe there is something wrong in my facial expression?:)

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Susanne, with these teachers, do other students in the class get personal corrections? That is, is it just that the teachers don't generally give them, or that they don't give them to you?


I have found that what adds to the number of corrections I get is showing interest. During the class, there's not much you can do other than pay attention, try and correct what you are corrected on, and look interested.


But sometimes when I don't understand a correction or am not sure if I can put it to use, I'll go to the teacher after the class, saying something like "Excuse me, I'm not certain if I really understood what you said about..." or "Is this what you meant when you said...", showing the step and correction.


I have noticed that after I have done this, I get more corrections in the class, too. Possibly the teacher feels it's worth the effort to correct someone who really tries to understand it.


Also, I've noticed that with most teachers, you have to come to their classes regularly before you start to receive a lot of corrections - regularly meaning at least about 4-5 times, at least once a week.


That said, I'm sure there are teachers who don't correct those who they think have no natural ability for ballet. Such persons have no business teaching adult beginner classes, though, in my opinion; they should concentrate on pre-pro training.

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Thanks for your words Jaana!


But the teachers do correct the others (perhaps not every single one but the majority and I'm always with the minority). I have tried asking questions after class, and to he only teachers who corrects me I have asked a zillions of questions after class in order to get the attention. I just didn't have the energy to bug the other teachers because it makes me feel like a teachers-pet-wannabe and that I think, I'm too old for!

The others don't have to bother the teacher with lots of questions in order to get corrections. It must be something in my face that looks "dead" :)


And I have never missed one single class! So I'm really trying. But maybe too hard :confused:

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Susanne, I agree that bothering teachers too much is a bad idea too - and I really hate those people who have to ask a question about everything. :) Actually, I think I will start another thread about it...


Sounds like either you are very good at the level you dance and don't need correction, or the teachers are indeed ignoring you. I'm not sure if there's any way to find out which without asking the teacher - and I know I would never do that myself...:rolleyes:


I hope someone else can add something more helpful.

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By the way: I one of my classes one girl said that she had asked another teacher to correct her. As a result she gets tons of corrections, she says. What do you think about that? But she wanted to become a pro-dancer (modern and jazz).


I just can't figure how to ask that question. I'm afraid to seem ridiculous asking for such a thing, since I don't want to become a pro-dancer. Since I'm not flexible at all (I'm doing my best stretching every evening) that is very obvious too.


But on the other hand I do have the right to get proper training despite of my natural ability, don't I?

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I would go talk to the teacher, and try to make sure she/he understands that I can be invidually corrected whenever necessary, and do not mind the class overhearing my corrections.


As absurd as it sounds, there are really adult ballet students out there who do not like invidual corrections, :confused: and if your teacher has previous experience with that kind of people she/he may be reluctant to correct people of whose receptiveness they are not certain. Especially if you are older, the teacher is younger, and the age range in class is great, the teacher may have been trying to be sensitive and not make you feel being "put down publicly".


If you cannot start the discussion with: "I notice you are not correcting me invidually..." maybe pick a few related tracks (spaced few weeks apart if you're worried about looking like a teacher's pet) of: "I used to do and you corrected us about it, but I don't know if I do it anymore...".


This signals to the teacher that a) you're interested, :) you're listening to his/her general corrections and understand them. The idea is to get him/her thinking about communicating to you about your progress. There may also be an opportunity to explain the reason why you do not know wheter you do X.


I'm not very good with indirect approaches though, so maybe somebody else can chime in?



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Guest scuffite

I, on the other hand, get corrections pretty often with the many different teachers I have (that's another story altogether!) and I have often wondered why as, modesty aside, I know there are girls in class who need more corrections than me.


I think, a large part of it is making frequent eye contact with the teacher (I do it unintentionally, my eyes always look that direction!) and I tend to smile a lot.


So, try making lots of eye contact and smile away!! :)

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Guest sissonne

I agree that perhaps you should communicate to your instructor that you are open to corrections. Every one of my instructors for our open classes have said they're not sure where to correct and where not to since some adult students are just there for the exercise or to enjoy themselves and don't want corrections. I spoke with each of my instructors after class and explained I was there for improvement and hoped they'd be as hard on me as they would their professional students. All have appreciated this and given more feedback without detracting from the rest of the class.

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The correction problem seems to have been solved. Nope, I didn't talk to my teacher because I just couldn't figure out how to say it! (I think even proposing would be easier for me :) )

I switched to another group where there are fewer students, and that's great! Now we are around 10-15!

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Hi Suzanne,

glad you moved on. If it happens again, try this approach...


"I'm really enjoying your class, and I would like to let you know that anything you could tell me which would help my technique is so much appreciated. Thanks for the great class!"


My other way for getting attention in my classes is to make the teacher laugh. When I get a smile or a laugh, there seems to be a better connection, and then I ask them not to kill me during class please so that they don't have to wipe up the floor.


That usually reduces the tension if they have a sense of humor.

Then I ask them to please make the combinations much harder so that I have to consider learning something else besides ballet.


Since I'm a beginner, they usually really laugh and then we have a great time. Then they are happy to correct me.

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Guest karenfixe

This is an interesting thread and got me thinking about my own teachers.


I've found that I can go for weeks (sometimes a few months) before one of my teachers notices me enough to either give me a correction or a nod that I did something right. I've been dancing for over 20 years and my technique and balance are pretty good, but for the first time (yesterday) in about 4 months, my teacher came over to me to give me help about my shoulders. The ONLY reason I can find for this change is that I've lost weight. This teacher spends most of her time and energy with one particular girl that is destined to go pro. I take classes with the teenagers and am the only adult in these classes because the other adults at this school are not at the technical level to handle that work yet. I watch how the kids treat this girl and they ignore her. She is a snob and very rude, but this teacher allows her to act this way to her classmates.


I have another teacher that notices and corrects EVERYONE. As long as you have a desire to learn, he does not care how old you are or if you're going to go pro or just work to better yourself. I find myself looking forward to this class and being treated as an equal to the other students. Funny thing is, this is the class that I walk out of feeling elated and excited about dancing, not bummed out because I haven't gotten that pirouette combination yet.


Maybe I'm crazy, but I think the female teacher thinks of me as a just another monthly check. Has anyone else experienced this?

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