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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet without pointe?


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This discussion of adults and the suitability of feet (and legs) for pointe work brings to my mind a question: What areas of development in ballet are still open to those adults (specifically, women) who do not fill the physical structural requirements of pointe work?


I would guess they can still continue to progress technically in "ordinary" classes, but how about learning partnering/pas de deux work? Do variations or dances for women always demand pointe technique?

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Hi Paivi


The answer is everything is still open to you. Bearing in mind that you don't want to be a professional ballerina then there is nothing stopping you from doing any area of ballet. You can still go to pointe classes and not wear pointe shoes.

I don't understand why a lot of adults presume that pointe classes means 100% pointe work for the entire class. It is a good class to go to without pointe shoes as it really helps with all aspects of your normal classes, it wil also mean that you will probably develop faster as you will spend a lot of time doing releves, balances, echappes etc.

So Paivi you can go to any class. Pas de deux is fine as well, but then it depends what level you want to do that at.


No, variations or dances do not always demand pointe work. Again we are talking not professional here. You can do character dances in character shoes, character dances in soft shoes, ballet dances in soft shoes.

So just because you're not made to do pointe work does not mean that you cannot work along side those that do, or progress as fast as someone who does pointe. A lot adults feel that they are left out if they aren't on pointe. You are not missing out and like I say if you go along to a pointe class in soft shoes then you can do all the same exercises they do. biggrin.gif


[ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: Xena ]

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Guest beckster

Character dance is great fun too! It makes you feel like you are really dancing rather than just doing an exercise. Most of the big classical ballets use character dancing, often to differentiate between (for example) the townfolk and the soloists. If you get the opportunity to try character dance (sometimes called national or demi-character) then definitely go for it!

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So basically, there is nothing inherent in variations/pas de deux and other more advanced work that demads pointe shoes?


Thank you for the encouragement, Xena, though it won't come handy for some years - and maybe never, if my feet continue to develop the way they do now. smile.gif


I don't know if my school has character dance classes for adults, Beckster, I'd have to check. What are the classes like? Are they more about learning technique or about learning dances? (I get to do both folk style and courtly dances in other contexts, so a technique-filled class would be more enticing. smile.gif )

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Guest beckster

I just do character dance as part of the RAD work. We learn set dances which are from a certain country and a certain style. At my level, it is court style and I think Polish (not sure - do Xena or Lolly know?). You get to wear character skirts and shoes and galop round the room! It is fun, but not as technical as classical ballet.

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Thank you for the info, Beckster.


I checked with my school and they do not have character classes listed for adults. But I will post a mental note to myself to try a class if I happen to get the opportunity. smile.gif

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Yes, grade 6 RAD is Polish, there is Mazurka, Polonaise and Krakoviak, a dance combining these elements, and a reverence. On my CD of the music, there is also a Russian Mazurka training exercise which we don't do in class, maybe they have cut it from the exam now? The Russian Mazurka seems more common in ballets than the Polish one so it seems odd we haven't learned it.


I think Grade 7 moves on to Hungarian, but i'm not positive.

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