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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Goals


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Dear Balletmistress Victoria & Major Mel,


I am 22 and have been taking ballet since I was 6. My facilities, as my teacher very kindly puts it, is not as good. Bad turn out, weak ankles, just to name a few. My baseline is lower than the rest. Lately, there has been pain in my right foot, which the orthopaedic says is due to an accessory navicular bone. It is apparently quite common, though the pain persists even after class is over. He says it is ok to continue with ballet, though my teacher thinks I should lay off the big jumps for a while.

Due to work committments, had to take a break of about 3 months. Went back again when i went back to school. A friend has recommended that I go for her teacher's class as well. Have not taken up her offer as yet. It was a little depressing to compare myself to this friend who started way after me (she is 26 now, and she started at 16), but managed a distinction in the old elementary RAD exams (whilst I did not make it), plus that was the first ballet exam she ever took. My teacher on hearing this again spoke about how some people have better facilities, and how i shouldn't compare myself to her. I enjoy ballet, though sometimes watching the younger girls do better while I fumble is a little disheartening.

Are there any things I can do to improve my techniques? what do you recommend?

I'm sorry for this long winded post.

Thank you very much for your time.


Best Regards,


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Your teacher is quite wise, blatherskite! Don't compare yourself to others; compare your work against your previous work. "Aha, I'm doing that better than I did last year!" Looking at others is inevitable in ballet class. But it's a tool! You look to the others in order to see what they do right, then try to emulate that, but don't disparage yourself for not doing better than they. It takes a considerable amount of detachment to be able to do this, but it's worth it, just in preserved mental health!


And the doctor is right. Supernumerary bones in the ankle happen all the time. Again, your teacher is correct. Take it easy on big jumps.


And welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :wink:

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blatherskite I understand completely how you feel, as I have the same problem - poor turnout. It can be disheartening but when you acheive something, or you get a complement from the teacher it, to me, feels so much more rewarding because I know I have to work double hard to make my work look as good as some of the other girls in my class. So when my work is praised, it feels like my hard work is paying off!


My aim at the moment is to hopefully work through the higher RAD grades, and then take the RAD Intermediate Foundation.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for the advice!! :innocent:


Slowly going back to class, although sometimes have no choice but to skip class. :blushing:

Even though there is no way to go professional, I'm just taking it as exercise and hoping to improve along the way..


All the best to everyone! :wink:

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I really think that the most important thing is to enjoy dancing and work all your best and get to your maximum. Don't ever let yourself to have a chance to regret in the future. Take all the chances and good luck.

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