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Water during class


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My daughter had a guest teacher tonight for her 2 hour ballet class. Her regular teachers allow water bottles in the studio which they can drink from when they are waiting their turn to go across the floor. They are usually given at least one break during the class, and of course, at this time also have an opportunity to drink water. This guest teacher would not allow any water bottles in the studio and would not give them a break or excuse themselves to get a drink outside of the studio. Again, this is a 2 hour, advanced intermediate class.


Everything that I have read about physical activity speaks to the necessity of keeping hydrated before, during, and after exercise. I know in my gut that allowing no water during 2 hours of high physical exertion can be dangerous. I just wanted to check here in case there are other opinioins on this.

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Everywhere my dd has ever danced allows, and encourages water during class. If they don't allow water bottles in class, they at least allow a water break. I'm not sure how her new school works, but she always gets out of the car with a full water bottle, and never gets back in the car with a water bottle. So I know she is drinking it during class.


I cannot imagine a teacher not allowing a water break during a tough 2-hour class. That's my exercise-oriented opinion. It's just not good for the body. Not being properly hydrated can sure lead to muscle fatigue. If they drank enough water before class to make it through a 2-hour class, they would surely need a potty break!



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Somebody's behind the curve on hydration. And it's not the kids. That's kind of the old way of looking at it. "Ballet of the fittest" - encouraging natural selection. Those who can't go without water in a two-hour class will drop out. Nonsense.

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My daughter used to take with one of these "old school" instructors. It took her a while to change her practice of no water or water breaks. After she had to call the paramedics a few times things changed. My daughter once passed out and I got a call to come pick her up because she was "sick". Even as a parent it took me a while to figure out that all my daughter needed was water to prevent her from getting light headed because of heat and exertion. This lady also would not use the air on beastly hot days. I ended up donating a fan which studio A and studio B fought over. My daughter now knows to drink water before, during and after her classes. Even my son, the swimmer knows this and getting better about being healthy and hydrated.

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That's just plain cruel. Our studio allows students to take water into the class and it is an absolute must during summer. Students are also allowed to leave the class for a short toilet break, even the toughest teacher :) doesn't make any comment.

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That would definitely not work at my daughter's school. In Georgia, the studios get quite warm in the Spring through Fall...even the AC can't quite keep up. Without water, there may only be one dancer standing at the end of class. A water cooler sits within a few feet of all classrooms, and the dancers are allowed to get a drink at any time, if they want. There is always a water break at some point. Most will wait for the water break, and every one of them at least takes a sip or two during the break.


I don't understand the old school mentality. It is not as if you are training for scenarios where you have to dance and will not be able to drink for two hours straight. Seems like strange logic to me.

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Guest Until The End Of Time

As a brother of a fitness trainer. My brother always encourages me to drink Gatorade or some type of sports drink, because water really doesn't do anything to someone who dances or plays sports. Excessive workouts in sports and dance you lose a lot of important things in your body. By drinking gatorade or some sports drink it restores them. I am not trying to discourage drinking water by any means or promote sports drinks either. I felt that a parent should of had stepped in and said something to the teacher, because everyone knows hydration is a very unhealthy thing for someone who dances and plays sports. I'd also recommend to stay away from sodas at least 2 hours before any activity because sodas also aren't healthy before any activity that requires sports or dance.

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I was about to disagree, when I came to the turn of phrase that you used, Ernest. I will have to agree about the use of sports drinks in cases of severe dehydration, when the body has lost lots of minerals in addition to water, like potassium and sodium. But, dehydration should never be allowed to get that far, especially in ballet. I'd tell you about profound dehydration, but that's too scary even for me! :dry:

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Sorry to interrupt :dry: as I am not a Mom or Dad, but then how did those dancers in the "old" days survive when water was simply forbidden to all during class? is there not some way that the body adjusts to certain rigors in "stressful " environments( ie no water for 2 hours), given that you plan your hydratation regimen carefully during your day? I am just curious since my 2 current teachers both grew up on the no water regimen during their training. My woman (older)teacher still forbids it in her classes and her excuse is: How are you going to dance on stage if you need to take water after the second set of tendu? (although I am sure this is debatable).

In my personal experience, it was hard at first, I must admit that I was not used to this at all before her, but now, I have learned to pace my water intake during the day to keep well hydrated for her strenuous 2 hour class (meaning not gulp on my 1.5 L bottle right before class and need to go to the bathroom after the first plie). Often, in everyone dancer or not, we have a tendency to drink only when we feel thirsty, and this is already too late a sign of dehydration. I am sure it can be done without one passing out in class, or can it? I would like to have some insight from the ones that went trough that regimen out of curiosity.

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I was a product of the old "no water" days, and it didn't bother me too much. Yes, you do time your water intake to cover your class time, and you'll be all right as long as the temperature remains temperate-to-cool. But it can get trying in the very hot weather. I've only seen a few fall-outs from class traceable to dehydration, but a few is too many.

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Guest thumpinhippo

Knock Knock...not a mum/dad either but I am a student who is allowed but not encouraged to drink water during class. I usually do unless we are approaching exam time when we wouldn't be allowed out of the room (not to mention bring water into the room with us!). I, and fellow students can do it when asked and nobody has passed out before. This isn't a terrible practice is it?

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It depends a lot on the temperature in the room and how hard you are working. There are many days when I don't drink water while teaching, and other days where it is necessary. And, if it's necessary for me, it is much more so for the students. When our studio is very hot I will encourage them to drink water at the break between barre and center, and more often if I think necessary. It's just common sense.

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how did those dancers in the "old" days survive when water was simply forbidden to all during class? is there not some way that the body adjusts to certain rigors in "stressful " environments( ie no water for 2 hours)


Just because they survived does not mean that it was in their best interest for themselves as a whole person or a dancer. Surviving merely means that a person has continued to exist or live after an event. It is a proven fact that muscles work best, and more importantly, need water to function properly. And that is just the muscles, the nurse in me could go on and on about the importance of water, especially during strenuous physical activity. As the saying goes: When you know better, you do better.


How are you going to dance on stage if you need to take water after the second set of tendu?



I don't think taking a couple water breaks within a rigorous 2 hour class will set the dancer up for the above. On the other hand, how often does a dancer perform on stage for 2 hours straight?

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