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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Asking for Private lessons


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Currently my studio doesnt offer private lessons -not that I know of, at least, but i also dont think theres a policy against them-. However next semester Ill have to attend 5 classes per week in order to preform in our production of The Little Mermaid, and have a busy schedule in college. (Just f.y.i im 18, danced since 15 and on pointe 1.5 years, but have been taking about 3 classes per week so far) Also, Ill have to stop attending the wednesday class w/ my favourite teacher will because of college class on Wed afternoon. (I have 2 teachers, one, at most classes, who is the director and owner of the studio, she is supposed to be good but can be mean or ignore some dancers in favour of correcting others -i say this because she has her favourites, who she corrects a lot, and forgets to correct as us as much, also the new girls in my class is a natural dancer and since she joined it seems like the rest of us sometimes arent even there). Because of this I really want to ask my other teacher for private lessons, but i dont know how!!! Im kinda embarressed in part :blushing: , scared she'll say no (or that my other teacher will be mad).

I feel these classes would help out a lot, specially since Im alate starter and am currently trapped taking both ballet 3 and ballet 5 classes, even though i guess i should be ballet 4 (B3 has girls who are 100% beginners placed there because of age and only 4 of us are on pointe, and do begginers stuff, and the B5 has far more advanced girls who are going pro and we do whole classes en pointe sometimes)

(There is also a chance of asking a substitute teacher we had last semester, who is actually the best dancer in CR... and very nice and strict as well, but she might be too busy...) So, what could be a right approach i might try?

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  • 1 month later...
Guest LittleMissChievious

Its always good to use flattery :blushing: Just let the teacher in question know that you need more practice with your pointe work, and would like to know if she would consider private lessons because you really enjoy her classes. You really have nothing to lose....all she can say is no, right? And she's not going to hate you for asking for extra help...in fact, she may even admire your dedication to ballet!

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LittleMissChievious, you have given very good advice, however please remember, this is the Young Dancer's Forum and all questions must be answered by a Moderator prior to a member.


Although I do not recommend regular private lessons, perhaps a few to reinforce your classroom work could be helpful. It would be wise to exercise good manners. Since you do have one teacher who is the director/studio owner, it is recommended to speak with her first. Unless you are able to use another space for your classes, she should be informed. Studio rental and the payment of a teacher can be quite costly. Honesty is also a factor to be considered.


It does not sound like you are too comfortable with the situation at your school. My first advise would be to speak with your director regarding your dissatisfaction and fears in class. You may find that speaking your mind politely may be an effective tool.

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You've just answered your own question. If private lessons ARE indeed the only way for a student to receive good training and you're not in the depths of Death Valley, or the middle of a jungle, or live in an igloo (i.e., in a remote area), then there's something wrong with the school you're going to.

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There, you're really taking as much a chance as with a school, if not more. If the teacher has a record of producing professional dancers in this manner, then it's probably OK, but such an eccentric method of teaching kind of went out with Serafina Astafieva, who was Dame Alicia Markova's teacher. (That's circa 1915-1925). She didn't need the money, and only taught the people she felt like teaching. You could just as easily find a fake that way. Imagine taking ballet lessons from Zelda Fitzgerald! :)

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She was the wife of American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. She had taken ballet as a child, and decided to pick it back up (1927) as an adult. She was pretty awful, and also mentally ill. That and drunk most of the time.

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Mr.J is there something you know nothing about?


Oh well, as an update on my first post I never did ask for those privates. Still the sub now has a begginners class in my studio with only about 4 students and Im thinking of taking that once a week.

My regular teacher might give me a hard time about it at first, :wacko: , but she'll get over it, i hope (because it's at the same time I usually take a class of hers, but she said I have to take 4 classes a week and Im taking 6, so it should be ok -plus one at another studio :yes: ). It's just that I feel like I learn sooo much more with the sub, and she treats me with respect (two major pluses), so I'll give it a shot.

Thanks so much for all your imput, everyone. Feel free to coment, as always -just don't tell my teacher about that other studio... let me brake that to her later :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest dancingstar32

Just wondering...why would it not be beneficial to take privates just to supplement your regular classes? I am not really looking to take regular private lessons, but I'm curious. I AM considering private lessons because I am kind of stuck in a situation where one level is not challenging enough, but the next level up is a bit too challenging, especially in the grand allegro. I know you can't tell how my technique is, but if I am close to being able to do the next level up, about how many privates would you suggest? Like 2-4 or something just to catch up? Also, I know they are expensive, but approximately how much are they usually? Sorry, I know I asked a lot, but thanks!

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