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Ballet Talk for Dancers

retaining corrections


vicarious

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On dd's ballet progress report "Her tendency is to take corrections and other instruction, perform as instructed once, and then lapse back into doing as she had done .... She does not seem to understand that all corrections given, no matter wo whom they are addressed, apply to every dancer in class, including her even when her name is not mentioned."

 

I know, she knows better. Background info she's been at this school since mid June. This school (vaganova method) is a different ballet style from her previous school (American, Balanchine, Ciechetti sp? sort of blend). Both pre-pro. Previous school had same concerns during part of last year. Talked with her then and she improved "a year's worth of progress" after a couple of months. We talked about confidence possibly being an issue. She says she's comfortable in class even though most of the girls are two years older. She says her not retaining the corrections are a matter of "habit". She states that when corrections are addressed it is slowed down without music. When the music starts again she can't do the correction at tempo.

 

I've recommended she return to keeping a ballet journal. To write the corrections she remembers in the journal right after class and review them right before class.

 

What do you see in this situation? What would you suggest?

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The journal is a good idea. Perhaps if she does this it will help improve her focus in class, which is what she needs to do in order to apply the corrections all the time. It will also help because it will make her think about the corrections outside of class. This is a major problem with many students who do not seem to spend any time thinking about everything between classes, so, they come back the next time and make the same mistakes all over again. It's a priority thing. Which takes focus. Sometimes that takes a while to develop, and if she is still quite young it may improve as she gets a bit older.

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How old is your daughter? It seems to me that my daughter had the same problem for a time when she was about 13 years old. I remember that her best friends mother commented her daughter was having the same problem at the time. Don't know if it is a typical problem at that age but I do know that they both "grew out of it" and have the problem no more.

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My DD keeps a journal for corrections. She writes them down immediately after class, while they are still fresh in her mind. She then reviews these corrections prior to the next class. Sometimes she will go over them on her own, say in the morning, just to review, but she admits she generally doesn't have time. DD believes this helps her to remember old corrections, or to focus on those areas that need the most attention. :rolleyes:

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My DD said that she has always taken each correction to the class as though it is given to her directly. If something is being said to anyone she channels it to herself thinking "am I doing that?" She said almost 100% of the time she makes slight adjustments. ...fingers, elbows, etc.

She just brought up this topic last week saying that she has to be constantly thinking as she is dancing.

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A nurse/mom point of view...

 

Are the corrections understood completely? Clarification may be needed. Sometimes it needs to be broken down into smaller components. It may take a few minutes after class.

 

From my limited understanding, changing ballet styles can be quite difficult especially for the younger dancers. It may take ongoing corrections for quite a time. It's not easy thinking through each movement/change and then putting it to music. It's added stress being in a new class. There are physical varibles as well. Growing bodies aren't always the easiest to control.

 

I would give her support but not heavy-handed support. Stress is stress and if she's trying to please teacher and mom and falling short of their expectations, it just adds to the stress. Ballet dancers tend to want to please and be obedient. I wouldn't think it's intentionally not applying corrections.

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