dancepig Posted August 25, 2003 Report Share Posted August 25, 2003 For many reasons, I have been taking drop-in classes in my residential area. The difference between taking drop-in classes where I live and taking them while on vacation is that I can take a drop-in class with the same teacher for several months if I do this where I live, and that in itself can make a difference. However, I have learned more than I thought I would and it hasn't all been about ballet technique! One of the bigger realizations is the huge difference between the personal agendas of the different instructors. And, I have come to the awarness that it is crucial to know what the instructor's agenda is before making a commitment to the class. Before this, I would always make my decision on whether or not I would stay with a studio based on the ambiance of the studio (size, floors, lighting, etc.), and the size of the class and the style of ballet the instructor uses (Cecchetti, Vaganova, RAD, etc.). However, if the instructor's agenda does not match the student's agenda, the program is less likely to succeed. By agenda, I mean what the instructor hopes to achieve with his/her students. Some expect their students (especially the younger students) to go on to a higher level each year, others simply hope to enable their students to move with grace and good form. Some instructors try to teach more technique than others, while others are hoping for more musiciality and appreciation for the art form of ballet. And of course, each instructor feels only he/she is right. The only problem I found with taking these classes (three different instructors every week for six weeks - WHEW!) is trying to remember what each instructor wants in the way of port de bras, foot placement on some particular steps (pique turns) and angles at the barre (I was corrected yesterday because I turned to angle myself when doing developpes at the barre). But a big enlightenment came when I attended several classes with women who had been taking classes for years and had not progressed much beyond the first year. I found they were content in their style of dance and didn't really care if they progressed. Heavens! I had never seen that before. So I realized a lot of how we preceive ourselves (in many ways, other than just dance) is how much we are exposed to "normal". Since most of my classes have been with young teenage girls, I had forgotton what is "normal" for a person of my age (48). This was good because I am challenged more by dancing with the younger set, bad because I expect myself to continually keep up with these teenage girls as they progress and ugly because, well, use your own imagination! I would love to know what you think about taking a drop-in class whether on vacation or where you live, and also what you think about losing a sense of what is normal. Quote Link to comment
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