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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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Evaluating a Ballet Program: Measuring Success

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Victoria Leigh

I will have to add that if ANY class time is spent on a "recital routine" go somewhere else. Rehearsals must be separate from technique classes. If some of pointe class is used for variations on pointe, this is legitimate.

 

A small problem about the pronounciation section: most parents do not have a clue about ballet terminology, nor do students until they have had the right training to know. They would also not know about the various methods of training unless the parent has had a lot of good training.

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dancer31220

Wow, that is a really good list! LOL. I just have one comment...

 

If they spend practically all of class time working on a recital dance (yes - the whole class time with no barre or center work), go somewhere else. (Note: not all recitals are terrible; you just can't spend all of class time working on the routines. The limit should be 15 minutes. I know of 2 schools who only spend 10-15 minutes of class time working on their dances, and the results are fabulous.)

 

In my dance school during "recital time" we do a quick barre (of course) and then get right to the recital dance and rehearse it for the rest of the 1.5-2 hour class. And I am pretty sure our dance school is a good school. Just thought I'd add that in. :speechless:

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TomarkenFan89

*post removed by moderator

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Victoria Leigh

No, Roxie, she cannot PM or email you. Your email is not visible to members, and you don't have PM privileges yet.

 

Dancer31220, did you read the answers to that list above yours? I'm afraid that I totally disagree with a "quick barre" and then right to the dance for the entire class time after that. If the school does not have separate rehearsal times for performances, that is a problem.

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DancesInHerSleep

Ms. Leigh,

 

I want to comment on this, but I'm going to hold off until you give the "Ok". I know the thread is in the TEEN forum, but the title of the topic is deceptive. May I comment here, or could this thread possibly be moved?

 

Thank you.

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Victoria Leigh

I think maybe it should be moved.........the question is where? I think I will put it on Crosstalk, and maybe take the word "parents" out of the title.

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DancesInHerSleep

Thank you Ms. Leigh for being so quick!

 

This is a very interesting thread. I was just reading some ballet school websites yesterday and quite a few claimed to be professional studios, but also offered pizza parties etc.

 

First I wanted to ask about the pronunciation issue. I'm one of those parents who doesn't know how to pronounce everything and doesn't know all the steps, however I'm actively learning, and DD wastes no time correcting me, or letting me know that she just showed me that step yesterday! That said, I'm assuming we need to be careful about pulling our DKs out of a school based on this because of teachers' accents, or am I wrong?

 

Second, I'm really interested in the "no rehearsal" during class time. Is this philosphy just for the older students or for all students? And at what age? My DDs school is one that reserves about 10-15 minutes of class time for rehearsal, but usually for the lower levels. They have rehearsal outside of class too, but only as the recital time approaches. I'm not sure what the older students (intermediate and advanced) do as far as rehearsals. DDs school is changing its format in the fall, so this is something I'll be interested in looking for.

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BW

Here is an old thread about this very question of rehearsals taking up class time: Technique class vs Rehearsal. I recall it being a pretty good one. Maybe it should be moved over to Cross Talk?

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freespirit

I agree with Tomarken wholeheartedly! :P

 

I just went to the recital of my dd's old competition (dolly dinkle) school. I was appalled! The ballet section especially disturbed me. They had 1st year, beginning pointe students doing a whole dance on pointe! Many of the poor girls actually couldn't get all the way up on their shoes. If they did get up, many kept rolling over. Now I'm not a ballet expert by a long stretch, but anyone who's seen some professional ballet performances could tell these girls shouldn't be performing on pointe, especially a long complicated dance, not just a couple moves on pointe.

 

Of course, my dd's school only lets our level 8 (now F- the highest level) students perform on pointe even though they start pointe in level 3. This may be the opposite extreme; it is a new policy from our new administration.

 

On the subject of rehearsals, our school and many others have classes called "repetory" or "choreography" built into the schedule to allow for practice time for recitals. I just wanted to point out, that some schools schedule special classes for rehearsals. Ours are always after a full technique classe.

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Gina Ness

I don't agree that a only a good teacher knows and teaches a particular syllabus, for example Vaganova or RAD. Most of the teachers I studied from growing up didn't subscribe to a particular formal syllabus and they were wonderful teachers who had all danced in major American and European companies. Perhaps they were influenced by certain of these courses of study (as was I through them!) but, for example, my Russian teachers were pre-Vaganova (Anatole Vilzak and Ludmilla Scholar) stars of the Mariinsky Theatre and the Diaghileff Ballet. And, I had a long career in a major American company without studying "Vaganova" or "RAD". Just thought I would throw that in the stew here...IMHO, it's something that I really believe.

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DancesInHerSleep

Gina Ness,

 

Maybe I misunderstood, but I think TomarkenFan89 meant that IF the teacher was teaching from a particular syllabus he/she should be familiar with it.

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Gina Ness

LOL...Well, that would make good sense! I should hope that they knew what they were talking about! And, thus, the point of this thread!

Edited by Gina Ness

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Guest beckster

I think that, even if a teacher doesn't teach a syllabus it would be very helpful if they knew something about it. Like, if you came to them from another school and said "I've been learning RAD" they would know enough to tell you how their own style differs. I certainly wouldn't expect them to know the levels and the syllabi, but I suppose a well-rounded dancer or teacher would know the main differences from one style to the next.

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Mel Johnson

Right. It's like the historian who doesn't know anything about British government in the eighteenth century and tries to teach about the American Revolution. You don't have to know who the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was, but you have to know about how the mechanism of the Cabinet worked then. If you don't know that, sooner or later the ignorance catches up with you.

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Treefrog

I am going to respectfully disagree with Ms. Leigh here on the matter of learning and rehearsing recital dances in class. Not every student of ballet is suited to a strictly pre-professional school. For many (probably most?) ballet students, THIS is the time in their lives when they get to dance on stage and perform. Many good studios can balance 75 minutes of technique with 15 minutes of teaching and rehearsing a dance. Goodness, isn't learning to dance a dance part of ballet?

 

But, you do have to use some judgment. Is the entire purpose of all classes to get ready for the show, or is the purpose to learn ballet and, as part of that, learn a particular dance?

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