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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Don't seem to be getting better!


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I am really getting frustrated! I just don't seem to be getting better, I have been taking private lessons as well as 2 classes per week (plus 1 class of modern and tap), but I'm worried that I will never improve. I did try and join an adult beginner class, but I felt it was moving too slow for me, we spent about 15 minutes of an hour class working on a plie in first position!


My private teacher says I have got good long legs, and a nice neck line and nice feet. She said I could work towards Intermediate Foundation RAD. I am worried that I am not good enough for it though!


And I still sickle my feet, although I know I am doing it, I just cant stop! Its in practically everything I do!


Sorry, I'm just frustrated!


Does anyone else feel they are in this position? And can anyone recommend on what I should do? I feel so awful! Maybe should I try and find more classes, although am having a hard time doing that!


Any advice would be great!


Jen x

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You got a nice compliment from your teacher when she says that you could work towards an RAD grade. Thats fab! Dont worry to much about as long as you take enough classes.

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I think it's just going to be hard only taking 2 ballet classes a week +privates. Your body's just not getting what it needs to progress at a rate that you hope for. 4 classes would be a good start. I'm sure if you could get 4 1 1/2 hour ballet classes a week, you'd see more improvement.


If you have nice feet and still sickle, your turnout probably isn't being used consistently. This takes strength too. I've found doing some pas de cheval a very good way to start building the right feeling for rotation from the hips down through the toes and space. Not sure why exactly. I just like what pas de cheval does. It sort of engages the right muscles in an obvious way that you can feel...without adding strain since it's such an easy step to do.

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Yeh I would love to do 4 one and half hour classes, but its just not available to me! Most classes in the area only do one lesson on week on graded RAD. So I've had to do RAD Grade 6, RAD Grade 7 and an RAD Inter Foundation (Private) to make up the lessons!


So hard to get classes in the UK!

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Are there any schools in your area which offer non-syllabus classes? I think it helps a lot to do non-syllabus classes in terms of progress as it is not as repetitive as a graded class.

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Well i've had a look, and not been that succesful!

Most of the Ballet teachers I have contacted said their classes were only 45mins long! This is just not enough!

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Wow that is short :wink: The shortest classes that I know here in London are one hour. Never heard of 45min class. If you want to follow more RAD classes, it might be worth contacting RAD to ask for teachers in your area :)

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Oh believe me Jenny I hear you, and yes DSL, there are plenty of 45 minute classes, it's crazy! Although, in fairness I did actually take a 45 minute ballet class when I was much younger. But then I moved to one and a half hour classes and got used to those for years and then I had to go back to 45 minute ones it was awful, I left as I couldn't stand it. I have now found a class that is an hour and a half, but as usual it is only once a week...groan, and this is in Manchester. It looks like you have to live in London to get more than two classes a week. I still find it really disheartening, especially since ballet classes were available every single day of the year every hour of the day up until 10pm, when I lived in San Francisco. Why can't everyone love dance as much as us here in the UK? Why does it still seem to be so unavailable to most people here? There seems to be such a snobbery value attached to it here, which is just not there in the US.

Maybe Jenny, you should try and make up for lack of classes by doing complimentary exercise to ballet, i.e. pilates, some strength training, gymwork. I ended up finding a hip-hop class, at least I move to music and it's great fun. I go back to ballet next wednesday..even if it is only once a week.

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Yep, London seems to be the centre of ballet in the UK. I know students travelling from Brighton to London to take some pointe work classes. Thats a long way but obviously there are not many classes available either :wink:

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Now that's a schlep! British Rail must love them! My grandmother was born in Brighton, and her family lived in West Country. I can't for the life of me figure out what Nana Wood was doing in Brighton in February! Maybe it was one of those cravings - she wanted a frozen whelksicle! :wink:

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Now that's a schlep!  British Rail must love them!  


There are actually a couple of students I know that travel quite far from outside London to go to take a class in central London. I am glad that I live central enough to be able to walk within a couple of minuates to most of the places where I take class :dry:

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I think they believe that everyone outside of London just doesn't want to do Ballet! I would, if I could afford it, travel to London to take some classes, it would mean an hour treck on the train most days and cost me about £15 a time!


I think if some ex-dancers set a school outside London (maybe a chain of schools so it would be available up north and down south!) that offers lots of classes, they would make a fortune! I know loads of people who would want to go!

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I think if some ex-dancers set a school outside London (maybe a chain of schools so it would be available up north and down south!) that offers lots of classes, they would make a fortune! I know loads of people who would want to go!


That sounds like a great business idea. :angry: One of the reasons for not having many schools outside of London is probably the fact that London does offer much more performance opportunities (or others opportunities). I always have a look at the message board when I go to a school. Its really useful for networking :wacko:

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I'm in a similar situation, where I can only take 1 class a week. It is frustrating, but I'm doing the best I can. LIke Xena, I've turned to other sources to get my dance fix and work on my technique. I've found jazz and yoga classes to help with some aspects of ballet and have several ballet videos at home that I do faithfully and some pilates as well. I would much rather take more ballet classes, but sometimes we don't have that option. While classes would be best, I do find that these other sources do help me in ballet class.

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