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Ballet Talk for Dancers

DVD/Videos: home practice?

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I must be confused. I was under the impression that you just bought your first pointes, hklola.


Sorry about the mix-up! :)

Edited by NadiaDanseuse
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  • Jans


  • hkLola


  • diane


They are, but I am in pointe classes. I don't plan to use the video until after I've been in classes a while and know what to avoid doing at home while practicing. I mainly want it for breaking in shoes before class and when I'm on vacation (as I have pointe 4 days a week which is surely enough!).


I just don't want anyone thinking I'm trying to teach myself! Afterall, pointe isn't like playing the guitar.

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Guest Minna Laine

Thanks for the information and warning :wacko: I am not going to try any pointe exercise at home, either, until have learned basics in class with my teacher, never fear :)


Jans, thanks for the reviews. Bob Rizzo's Simply Ballet sounds promising for home lesson use; I'll probably order some of those soonish.


(BTW, offtopic, I just bought today my first pointe shoes and feel like I want sleep next to them ;))

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Jans, thanks for the reviews. Bob Rizzo's Simply Ballet sounds promising for home lesson use; I'll probably order some of those soonish.


No problem! :) Simply Ballet is really simple, but I think it's good for very basic class at home, some of these others are good for learning combinations :wink:


Congratulations on you new shoes! :P [[Off topic: I missed my pointe class yesterday because of this horrible flu :dry: but I really must go tomorrow to Maija's first morning class although I know it's not very healthy or wise :wacko:]]

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Guest afroballet01

I have David Howard's Ballet Class For Beginners which I got to practice my basic as I am an intermediate student,but haven't had class all summer and I agree that it is truly basic.I also find it quite irritating because the exercises are extremely short and they leave you to do them on the other side.I also hate how David says throughout the video things like: The next exercise is,Now we will show you...In between each exercise.


After using it a couple of times I don't really mind him saying 'the next exercise is...'.It is a nice video to use for the basics.

Edited by afroballet01
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I'd like to add one additional warning to practicing at home: Make sure you have proper flooring, especially for pointe work practice. Most Finnish floors are parquette over concrete. Slippery and very hard. :grinning:


A floor that is too slippery is dangerous for doing pointe work. If you practice jumps and/or releves frequently on a floor that is too hard, you are placing much extra stress on your body and may be more vulnerable to overuse injuries, particularly tendonitis.



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Most of the flooring over here is carpet which you can buy a portable flooring system that will use the carpet for a little extra spring along with an underlayer that has a foam like (I'm not sure) to be more like a sub sprung floor, I plan to buy one of those in a week or so.

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  • 1 year later...

There is a website buy a classwhere advanced and professional dancers can buy a class which they can then do on their own, during holidays, lay-off time, etc.


I recently had the opportunity to review one of these classes.


Let me say straight away that this is in no way meant to replace trainings taken with a teacher, and these classes are really geared to the more advanced dancer.


The class I tried is demonstrated by a principal dancer with the State Theater in Graz, Austria.


So what does it entail?

First you see the teacher, Ingve Groven, rhythmically marking the exercise and talking you through it. He then gives you one or two pointers to watch out for. Then you see the dancer do the exercise; first to the right, then to the left. At least at the barre, if you are taking the class yourself, you will want to do the exercise with the dancer. (Although it is fun to watch him, too)


The barre consists of plies, three tendu exercises, dégagés, ronds de jambe a’ terre, fondues, frappes, a short adagio and grands battements. There is time and music to stretch, etc. after the barre.


The center has tendus, adagio, dégagé with pirouette, pirouette with waltz, small jumps, assembles, jetes, petit allegro with sissonnes, grand allegro and a coda with emboites.


After the presentation of the exercise, and before the music starts, there is always a short “reminder” of what to be aware of. This is not too long, and not too involved, so that one can concentrate well and not get overwhelmed.


The lesson moves quickly along, and in the center you (the dancer taking the class) have the possibility of continuing or repeating the exercise after the demonstrating dancer has finished. (The music continues)



The class is well thought out and each exercise builds up to something else later on. I especially liked the preparations for the pirouettes, from the tendus to the preparation in the exercises for pirouettes themselves.


I assume that if one would be able to burn the class onto a DVD, then one would also have the option of stopping at places, skipping ahead, going back, etc. I was unable to do that as I do not have that option yet.


All in all this appears to be a good way for dancers to keep up on their training when the more traditional methods are not available, as when on holiday, etc.


You will need space, though the barre and a few of the center exercises could most likely be done in a living room if the furniture has been moved away. Ideal would be a large studio, as especially the grand allegro travels nicely.



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Diane - I'm glad to hear you like the class.


But I was wondering if the whole idea will work.


Why cant people just send for one or two DVDs, and then use them as normal? OK, it would take some days to get the DVDs, depending on where you live and postage, but overall it would be much easier and less effort than downloading exercises as you need them, burning them to DVD and so on.


But of course, there are ballet class DVDs out there already, presumably some of them quite successful, so will this one be able to compete?


It would be more expensive at first getting the DVDs with all the exercises you dont want, but in the end I guess it would be cheaper to get the DVDs, and certainly much less trouble in the long run.


I'd be interested to know if it works. I wish the authors good luck with it too.



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Jim, the class I reviewed is complete. The exercises you can download extra appear to be from this complete class.


Your thoughts were my first reaction, too. But, I am pretty sure that the burning would not be a problem for someone who could do that on their computer. (I may even be able to, but I would have to ask someone how to do that before I mess something up)


The class is actually quite inexpensive; selling directly on dvd would raise that quite a bit, and I think that it was important to the makers of buy-a-class: to keep the price down.



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The class is actually quite inexpensive; selling directly on dvd would raise that quite a bit, and I think that it was important to the makers of buy-a-class: to keep the price down.





Thanks for the feedback!


We try to get ot to people who don't have easy access to pro-level classes, or those that want additional material, where the choice of teachers is limmited.


We initially wanted to keep the prices even lower, but noone took us seriously before we increased the price -;)


Thing is that in some countries where we want to reach to - like China, Turkey and Brazil, 9.99$ still is quite a lot...


At the moment it's more about finding the "right" price than the "best" price.


If we were to send out DVD's, the pricepoint would have to be closer to 50$ +p&p


We may be a bit ahead of time, but we are confident that this way of delivery will be the platform of the future. As deliveryformats develop, we will add chapter markers and multi-lingual corrections on the downloadable versions. The DVD-download (to burn @ home) already have chapter markers.


We plan to release the classes in Spanish, German and hopefully Chinese over the next few months, in addition to release more classes and technical studies.


It's true that the "small" videos are from the current full class. This is due to people asking for it. As we release more classes, you can compose your own class with different teachers this way.


Hope this info was helpfull.



Gunleik Groven

Technical producer for buy-a-class.com

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Not ballet, but a good workout is the New York City Ballet Workout. It has some ballet in it with some pilates as well. Very good for stretching. :thumbsup:

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I have the NYCB workouts 1 and 2 and really like them, but then again I am only just returned to ballet and was never that advanced as a child so they are a gret level for me. I am finding that doing the DVD's I am improving in my classes much better and I certainly feel as though my muscles are strengthening where they should be.


I love the version of Tarantella at the end of DVD 2 which gives you a good cardiovascular workout as well being fun, although you would laugh your socks off watching me attempt it :ninja:

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We initially wanted to keep the prices even lower, but noone took us seriously before we increased the price -;)


That is so amusing! I have noticed this phenomenon in many areas, many times. :ninja:


As to cardiovascular workouts: traditionally, ballet classes are not built up to afford that, but there have been attempts to make that a part of ballet trainings, which I find very good. (what I am not too sure of is exactly _how_ that is accomplished... with extra-long sequences? No breaks, so totally memorised classes?)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Minna

Finis Jhung does have a good series on DVD (as suggested by Victoria). The exercises are well explained and simple, but give a good workout. He is very personable, and he gives corrections and suggestions in a way that makes you feel like he is right there with you (if that makes sense). He offers DVD's on barre, center, turns, jumps, and pointe. You can get his videos from Amazon, and they are easiest to find if you do a search for his name.

Best of luck!

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