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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Help Please


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This year I transferred to a boarding school (not a performing arts school, but a school that is SUPPOSED to have an amazing ballet based dance program). Last year in dance I improved alot and learned what to do to work on fixing my bad habits. This year I had to leave my studio so I could come to school but I am still able to dance at home 2x a week. At school I get 2 technique classes and a choreography class a week, so I'm basically taking 5 classes plus rehearsals.


My dance teacher at school is new to the school and seems to have a questionable background in dance (but I won't go into that now). She seems very, should I say "Dolly Dinkle-esk" in her approach to dance and at times doesn't seem to know what she's talking about (its not a good sign when the students know more than the teacher). She has told me that my choreography is "too ballet," and won't let me perform it in an open showing in which anyone is allowed to have a piece and even the beginners get to perform (I'm a freshman in the highest level with 11 years of previous serious ballet training).


Moving on to the real problems that seem small but when added together are a pain in the rear. I have mega hyper extension in my knees and last year my teacher at home told me that if I felt comftroble with it I could adjust my first position so that my knees are together but my heels are not but told me if it hurt my knees to stop immediatly. I started doing this and it made a world of a difference in my weight placement and keeping my knees straight. I get to school and I am told that I must keep my heels together at all times, even if it affects my dancing and balance. Spotting.... don't you spot where you want to land for a turn (aka spotting the corner if thats where your headed and the front if thats where you're going, etc.)? According to this lady you always spot the front. I have major spotting problems and tend to only spot the first of multiple turns so I was told this summer to slightly over spot so I land correctly, however at school the teacher won't let me and says that you always have to spot front. Yet another thing that totally irks me is the fact that there is absolutly no dress code for this class. The other day someone took class in jeans, baggy sweatpants are allowed, you can wear almost anything and get away with it. I'm also not allowed to take class en pointe (there is no pointe allowed because she doesn't want to deal with it) so I can feel the strength I've worked so hard to build up slowly dissappearing. The classes aren't challenging, this is the highest level, and I've still got 3 years after this to go.


I've talked to someone about this (not the teacher directly because I just don't have the courage right now but another teacher) and am looking into getting independent studies in dance next year, but it doesn't help now.


Any insight is greatly welcomed,


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  • Administrators

Sounds to me like your training at home was far superior to this. Any way of getting out of this school?

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I'm a boarder at this school so the only times I can dance at home are on the weekends (which I do whenever I can). I am looking into getting a waiver from evening study halls so that I can try to dance at home or at a local studio during the week as well (I still have to talk to my parents about this though). I live close enough to the school so that it might not be to much of a problem to go home for classes but on the other hand it could be. The school is relitively close to Boston so if all else fails I may be able to look into the Boston Ballet School.

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  • Administrators

It does sound like this is not a good ballet program in the school you are in, so if possible I would suggest that you try to get to Boston.

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