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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Correction Face


dido

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I love corrections (duh) and I have begun to notice that a few of my teachers tend to over explain or appologize for their corrections. Partially this is because it's very frequently the same damn thing (shoulders, elbows up, heels down in demi plie) and I SWEAR I am listening; I write them down, review them before class and am making progress; but I am beginning to wonder if it might be the face/manner with which the corrections are received.

 

My face is very square and immobile with a teeny little mouth and though I always nod and immediately re-do the movement/correct it I am afraid that the expression of seriousness is coming off as "irritated by correction."

 

But a smile doesn't seem appropriate (unless I'm totally botching it--in which case I laugh and run to join the second group)?

 

Anybody got any advice?

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dido...I wish you could come to the studio where I teach and be a positive example for one of my talented students!

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Dido, a smile is totally appropriate, I always smile and say thank you when my teacher corrects me for the upteenth time. It depends if I'm in full flight, then I just give a huge smile of acknowledgement and carry on, and ask for clarification afterwards.

Jeanette

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Let your teacher know that you appreciate corrections. I also have difficulties to smile AND correct myself at the same time.

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I always say Thank You and redo the movement.

 

I am also very worried that one of my teachers is going to think I'm not listening to her. Some of the turnout related questions I swear I am working on I get over and over. After 3 weeks she put my feet back into the correct place and then said something like "I know you are working this is going to take you a few months to fix" which really made me feel better. I guess they can tell you are trying even when the improvement isn't immediatly there!

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I think a smile and nod is totally appropriate. Even if you try and totally screw up..a smile can also show that you realize what you're doing wrong, and are amused by it and not frustrated.

 

Making real eye contact with the teacher too is good for showing that you're really listening.

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I tried smiling in class on Sunday and it felt weird (because I am not a smiley person) and it seemed to work, I got many corrections (from the teacher who has seemed most anxious about this) without any "I am only saying this for your own good, and in the long run it will be better," explanations.

 

Not that I mind the explanations, but it worries me because of course I take that for granted and (like Skittl) am only not doing it out of pure stupidity and muscular inability :wub: .

 

I will try to leave the Celebrity Poker face :wink: at home and work on putting how I feel about corrections :blushing::grinning::D on my face in a non-phony way.

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If I get corrected by the teacher, many times for the same thing, I sometimes will ask her if she thinks I'll ever get it. I always get "of course", but several nights ago, I was able to FINALLY get a move that we've been working on for quite some time, and we clapped and I bowed, and I said "finally" and she apologized for not being able to figure out a way to enable me to do the move sooner! I have always felt it was my problem that I couldn't either remember or just plain do something (there are soooo many things to remember, shoulders, back, head, arms, fingers, etc.) that I have never imagined a teacher would feel it was her/his fault that she/he couldn't communicate the corrections effectively! Shows you there are many sides to everything!

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You know, sometimes it is a matter of communicating something in a way you can latch on to.

I remember constant corrections to get my shoulders down and back and I was plainly forcing them as far as I was concerned. It was very frustrating. Then I visited another teachers class and he just came up and shifted my ribcage for me...up and forward. I wish I had seen him coming up behind me...I was startled but it was the best fix I ever got. My shoulders immediately dropped into place and relaxed. After that everything did across the floor got easier too.

I guess your teacher was aware of the communication thing. Hopefully she wasn't feeling too guilty. It is just sometimes you say it just right and sometimes you don't.

Laschwen

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Unfortunately this communication problem is not limited to ballet classes! I find many times during the day at work someone (usually moi) will say something that is miscommunicated. In a dance class we have the good fortune of being able to use physical communication in addition to verbal communication! You are so absolutely right about having a teacher correct you phyiscally instead of just verbally. I think that as adults we lose a lot of that physical correction that the younger students are (hopefully) getting on a daily basis. My teacher is 79 years old and most corrections are verbal. I know it is difficult for her to physically move the adults around.

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Being able to communicate what I want is the hardest thing about my teacher-training. It's one thing to know how to do a step yourself, it's a completely different thing to get a student to do it. Esp. a student who isn't the same body type as you. You have to know how to work with everyone! I find it especially hard when talking about posture. There's one student in my class who I've had since fall, and I can't make her stand correctly, and I can't make her do a grande plie correctly. I still observe other teachers' classes and take notes, and I learn something new to try almost every week. I'll get that girl fixed yet!!!

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