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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Beginner's class yesterday


Chinafish

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Gggggrrrr.....

 

Right, I don't know how to start this but not be horrible while venting.... (this is difficult!!)

 

Yesterday I was in an adult beginner's ballet class. I was using a portable barre and the girl (who looks like in her late teens) using the opposite side of my barre looked new to the class, (brand new shoes, brand new leos - well at least they look new!)

 

We were going through the barre with a couple of plies and then tendus, and I noticed the girl was very nervous. From time to time she would get frustrated for not being able to keep up a tendu exercise (something like 2 front, 2 side, 2 back, 2 side, then reverse) make these frustrated noices, just dropped her arm in front of her and looked like she was beating herself up for it.

 

Every time the teacher gives a new combination she would gasp and look really scared. Assuming she is new I tried to comfort her by saying "You're fine, don't worry" :unsure:

 

After the class was finished I was stretching near where the teacher was. She was the first one to go up to the teacher to say something. The teacher's reply caught my attention:

 

No I think you're better staying on the demi-pointe, you will need to strengthen your legs and feet a lot more before you can go en pointe.

 

Now I'm sure you all know what she asked.

 

And my immediate reaction? AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! :rolleyes: (erm I didn't scream in the studio. My inner voice was fuming!!)

 

There's these two other girls (well they're in their early 20s I suppose) who do the barre in this class en pointe, and change back to flats at the center. I thought this might have triggered the girl into asking such a question.

 

It really makes me go Ggggrrrrr when this happens. Then again it's not her fault - most girls who do ballet dream of going en pointe. What's doing my head in is that she somehow got the idea that virtually anyone can go en pointe at any level of ballet!

 

Now I admire my teacher even more - if I were the teacher I would not have been able to give such an unhurtful answer. :wacko:

 

Phew~ There I've let it out.... (tried to vent it to my boyfriend but he doesn't seem to understand..........ggggggrrrrrrrrr..........)

 

Cheers,

Fish

 

Edited to add: I tried to put in a more descriptive title but failed to do so without being horrible... my apologies...

Edited by Chinafish
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Is your friday class by any chance in the little studio upstairs at Danceworks? I wouldnt recommend any to do pointe work on that floor. It is already too slippery in flats!!!

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Guest DancingPixie

At least the teacher was honest! Out of interest, where was this 'beginners' class where some were on pointe? I too dream of getting back on pointe, but with only one class a week it may not happen anytime soon :rolleyes:

DP

Edited by DancingPixie
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Yep it's on the top floor, but it's the big one not the small one.

 

Either way both floors are too slippery..... My legs started to slide apart when I tried to do a grand plie a la seconde yesterday!! Putting rosin on didn't even help one bit!!!!

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Well I meant the big one, its not big but bigger than the other one ;-) I did once a class on pointe there but it is really too dangerous so I wonder how these girls on pointe manage it. I suppose as long as the class is full Danceworks does not care much about making the floor less slippery. I reported it twice to the reception desk but this did not help at all!! The only floor suitable for pointe work is studio ten (right behind the reception)

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DSL: Well the one behind the reception is Vinyl/Marley (??) and I find it too sticky to dance on (well using flats anyway - I could not dance using my leather flats, had to use canvas!). Maybe it's different for pointe work though.

 

Friday late afternoon I see a bunch of girls doing pointe in studio 5 - that floor is so much better than the top floor one!

 

As far as I know the two girls have been dancing for a few years and they come to the studio pretty much every day. Well I go Tuesday through Friday and I see them there most of the time. Both of them know the teacher really well as well. The teacher have also said that she is NOT going to start a pointe class, though.

 

The barre that we usually do on Friday does not involve a lot of releves anyway, I suppose not more than 20 times in total (and that's already counting both sides and reversing or repeating, so maybe in total about 5 exercises?)

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Heh, I bet this happens all the time. Many people don't really read up on ballet before coming to class - as they, rightfully, expect to be taught things in the class - and even when they do they might pick wrong material and just be confused more.

 

Nice that your teacher was so truthful and constructive! And I hope the new girl will get over the intimidation, it can really be scary in the beginning.

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Chinafish, I know the class as I have taken it a couple fo month ago. Re your sticky slippers: Have 2 different pairs for the studio on top (as you will use rosin or pick up what is on the floor) and another pair for the marley floor. Otherwise you will literally glue on the marley floor. I asked already about pointe classes at Danceworks. Studio ten (behind reception) is probably too big to fill a pointe class and the other studios are not suitable for pointe work. I suppose no teacher will take the risk teaching an actual pointe class on such a bad floor.

 

Jaana, the class on Friday is a beginners class but some people take it to work slowly on technique or wear pointe shoes.

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Dance Scholar; yes, I understood that, I was just referring to people like the new girl who come to class expecting to be on pointe inside a month or not knowing what turnout is. I am not trying to say people should know those things before taught them, either - I was just kind of grinning to the fact that teachers who teach us beginners must certainly be prepared to loads of weird questions. :unsure:

 

Sorry for having been unclear.

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Dancing "on pointe" is sometimes a huge fascination to girls or women who have become aware of ballet and wish to begin dancing lessons. It can even be the main reason they show up to their first class. They soon find out that there is a lot of study required to achieve this, and they either accept it and begin the (wonderful and rewarding!) task of learning ballet or fall quickly by the wayside. chinafish...don't be frustrated by this student or feel she needs to be "put in her place" by the instructor. It is better if the instructor is kind to her. This student will find out soon enough if this is what she really wants to do (ballet study, that is), and you can tell yourself that you know a BIG something that she doesn't know...Your initial feelings to help and be supportive were very nice...it's what I would have done, too...

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Guest DancingPixie

I was just wondering if you would give a little more info on Danceworks. I am particularly wondering if anyone has tried the Anna du Boisson elementary classes at lunchtime - if so, what are they like? Do Danceworks still charge a £60 registration fee? It seems the natural place to go, but I would be very grateful for more information. Keep dancing and posting! DancingPixie

Edited by DancingPixie
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Gina: Um... It wasn't so much as "the teacher needs to put her in place", it's more like the frustration of people nowadays where they do not research the background information before plunging into the area!

 

Or maybe I'm just one of those crazy people who google every possible thing I can think of! :thumbsup:

 

DancingPixie: No unfortunately I have never been to Anna's class. The fact that the studio is at Bond Street and I work near Aldgate doesn't really allow for an hour's ballet class over there!

 

I've only been to the evening classes by Teresa, Beatriz and Franziska. Also been to Renato's Sunday class.

 

And Yes I think they still charge the £59 reg fee (they waived it in January!! You missed it!!). I opted for the annual direct debit because it works out cheaper for me.

 

Anything in particular you want to know?

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Chinafish, you're like me! I wouldn't have imagined to go into a ballet class without reading what ballet classes are like, and it was a total amazement to me when I learned that most of my class mates did not know what e.g. the basic leg positions or things like plié or tendu were before their first class! (Some did not know that before their twentieth class, either, at which point I think I started to have the right to be seriously annoyed...)

 

But I have come to realize though that I am indeed special (crazy, yeah, maybe) in this respect. It is also true that people come to class to learn these things, and they have the right to expect that everything they need to know is either taught to them in class or in refrences given by the teacher. And so what happened in your class was in a way what should have happened: a new student asked a question, and got an answer.

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DancingP, Annas class is ok. She is really friendly and encourages you but sometimes the class is overcrowded. There are a lot of regulars in her class. However, she does not give a lot of corrections.

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