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Started Taking Ballet Again

Guest Marigrrl

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Guest Marigrrl

SO I finally was able to find a class to fit into my schedule. Everything is going good but the only thing I am disappointed about is the seriousness. The class is all older woman that do no dress properly for class. The only ones dressed in leotard and tights is me and my friend, which is fine, but the class itself is not serious at all. Since being there its a watch and learn type of thing. THe instructor does not offer corrections and seems to let a lot of things slide since we are not going to be ballerinas. I am not looking to be a ballerina but I am paying money to learn ballet and unfortunately I feel as though I am not getting what I am looking for 100%.


This class is fun, and I do feel like I got a workout when I leave and the next day I am sore. But the technique and skills part of dancing is what I am not really learning properly at all. I am glad I found this class to get me back into dancing again but its made me realize I want to find a better school.


So I did find a school that actually has Adult Beginner Ballet, Adult Advancved Beginner, Intermediate etc. I am going to visit the studio soon. I wouldnt be able to join in any classes till about January because the beginner class is when I have school etc. But I would be able to take adult advanced beginner?? Would I be out of my mind to try to take Advanced Beginner class?? What is the difference between Beginner and Advanced Beginner??



Edited by Marigrrl
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The difference between Beginner and Advanced Beginner classes really depends on the school. You'll have to ask, and perhaps see/try out for yourself. :devil:


In our school, the advanced beginner classes - called Beginner II - are meant for people who have studied ballet for about a year or have similar skills. This means knowing common terminology (battement tendu, allegro, tucking under), understanding the basic consepts like rotation and body alignment well enough to be able to work on them, and finally knowing basic ballet steps and being able to combine them to execute simple exercises at the barre and in the center.


Many once-a-week adults are happy to stay forever in this level, since the exercises already have enough flow to them to be interesting, but beginner II level does not yet require a large time commitment to keep up with.


I would personally not recommend our school's beginner II level to an adult person with no previous ballet experience. On the other hand, it might be perfectly appropriate starting level for a person who has a history of a few years of serious study as a child/teen and is popular with mothers returning from ballet maternity leave.



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Paivi, very good explanation, but I really hope your school does not teach "tucking under"! :thumbsup:


I would agree that Beg. II might be fine for someone who had a lot of years of ballet as a teen, but if your training was limited to the years prior to the teen years, the beginning class would be best.

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If you are going to be at your current studio for a while it may be worth your while to talk to your teacher and ask her for corrections. I think many teachers of adult students hestitate to correct us for various reasons. Many adult students are just there for the "work out and sore muscles" as you describe and that's enough for them.


I have had good sucess with just snagging the teacher after class and saying somehting along the lines of, "I really want to work on X, and was wondering if you could help me correct it when you see me doing Y." It's nice because it doesn't seem to matter what X is, they correct you for everything, because they know you're open to it.


Not to discourage you from finding classes that are a better fit for you of course, but perhaps a way to make the currect situation work!

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I agree with Dido, maybe you could speak with your current teacher after class and just explain what you posted - that you're looking for serious teaching even though your pursuit is recreational.


I have had the same experience in many classes as you describe. Sometimes after a period of months, etc., the teacher will just take note of your diligence and improvement and because of that (observing that you are a serious student), will give you the treatment you seek. Maybe you can circumvent that long process by just having a friendly word with your teacher.


In my experience most teachers first and foremost are concerned with your safety. Since there is such a wide range of strength, flexibility and goals for that matter in an adult class often they do "take it easy" on the students.


On the other school - even if you start with them in January I would probably take the beginner-beginner class. That way you can really get the teaching you're looking for from the very bottom level. (Just my opinion). Then maybe next year (September) you could move to the Advanced Beginner class. No rush, right? :thumbsup:


Have fun! :D

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I think the problem is also that teachers for adult ballet often just give a class (i.e. student watches and repeats exercise) but do not TEACH a class (i.e. giving corrections). I would talk to the teacher but if its a "housewife class" (no offence) :thumbsup: , you are certainly better off with a new studio. Why dont you take a the beginner class AND the advanced beginner class? Or take classes in both studios for a while - this seems a solution for a lot of adult students as at the most schools the difference between level 1, 2 and 3 are rather large. There has been recently a discussion on here.... maybe the moderators could find the link? :wink:

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Ms. Leigh,


Not to worry, my school does not teach tucking under. I was just racking my brain for an example of a correction that uses familiar words with a ballet-spesific meaning that can be misinterpreted by someone not knowing the terminology, and that one popped into my head because I used to get corrected about that. :wink:




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Guest Marigrrl

psavola, Victoria Leigh, dido, spankster, Dance_Scholar_London; THank you all for your replies. All of you have been very helpful! I did ask about the difference and got a response close to psavola's but psavola you were more detailed and helped me understand better. I think I will mention something to my current teacher next class about corrections but meantime I guess I will wait to join in Beginner in January. After reading the difference and knowing where I am at, i think its best to start from the bottom the right way. I took ballet as a child and just started taking again but I now know I am nowhere near ready to take an advanced beginner class hehe. I guess that will come with time. I am 23 and my ballet interest is recreational but I want to learn the right way! Its frustrating that my teacher doesn't really offer corrections and its a sort of watch and do the best you can with each step! BUt hopefully it will all work out, and I look forward to taking more classes in January. Till then I am going to make the best of my currect situation.


Thanks again for all your great insights and advice, its truly been helpful!


Mariko :wink:

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I know you've already decided, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents. Two weeks ago my teacher apoligized for all her corrections. I am one of two adults in a class of teens, and she thought that we (the adults) might be feeling uncomfortable. After class I told her not to apoligize. I explained that I was taking ballet class because I knew my technique needed work. Ever since I have been constantly corrected. She is taking a lot of time to work on little things. I am not complaining, that is why I am in class. Just giving an example of a teacher who was hesitating to correct adults and when given permission, has really "taught" class.

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This might not be relevant for you now, but one thing you might want to consider at some point is going into the city on weekends to take some extra classes. I was thinking about this, because I just moved to Nashville from New York, and I've noticed that there is a huge difference in the style of the teaching. One of the main reasons for this, I believe, is that outside of major cities it is impossible for a teacher to specialize in teaching adults. In NYC, the number of serious recreational dancers is large enough to support a number of wonderful teachers who are accustomed to teaching adults who want serious instruction. The teachers at the major New York studios, even at the beginner levels, just seem to have different expectations for their students, which makes a huge difference in the teaching style.


When I was in NY, there were several people who used to come into the city from Long Island to take the class I attended on Saturdays. For the most part, they took classes that sound like yours at local studios during the week, and just came into the city for class once a week (or even every other week). They found that if they got good, personalized instruction from my teacher on Saturdays, then when they were taking the less intensive classes at their local studios, they could work on applying the corrections that they'd gotten on Saturday. I don't know if this would work with your schedule... but most of the major studios in New York are easily accessible from Penn Station. Sometimes it took the people coming in from Long Island less time to get to class than it took for me to get from the Upper East Side, given how the MTA kept messing with the weekend schedule.

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Guest Marigrrl

LisaB, thanks for your reply. It makes a lot of sense, and thanks for the example of your teacher. I guess teachers just feel different with adults haha, but I am going to say something soon.


Sulan thank you for your insight and reply. I have thought about going into the city but wasn't too sure of where to go. Do you know a good place with a beginner class?? Not sure if I would be able to do it now but its definitely something worth thinking about.




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At the beginner level I'd highly recommend Cindy Vallone. She teaches a class called Absolute Beginner at Steps but also rents out studio space at other places and gives independent classes (the Saturday class is actually about 3 blocks from Penn Station). The class can be quite slow sometimes, but she's extremely serious about working correctly with the correct placement. She gives a great deal of individual attention, and expects improvement from her students- not necessarily a common trait in teachers of adult ballet students. If you go to one of the Steps classes (schedule at Steps Website), you can ask her for the schedule of her independent classes, or, once you get PM capabilities, I can message you her contact information (i'm not comfortable posting it publicly without her permission).


There are a number of beginner classes at Broadway Dance Center at various levels- anything called "basic" or "slow beginner" is probably fine. For now, I'd steer clear of most of the classes, such as Kat Wildish's, just called "beginner". Some of them are really great classes, but almost anywhere else in the country they'd be considered advanced beginner or intermediate.


A number of people really like Ballet Academy East, but its a pain to get to from Long Island.

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