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Ballet Talk for Dancers

unnerving first class at new studio


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I signed up for a class at a new studio and arrived to find out that the class was not quite what the receptionist said it was, meaning that it turned out to be advanced. One of the other students was actually another teacher at the studio! And there were only 4 of us total! I was a little terrified, in a good way :rolleyes:


The class actually went on for 2 1/2 hours (oh my god!) and I lived through it. Obviously I wasn't nearly as good as any of my classmates. All those turns made me dizzy!



My question is: if you're so clearly not at the level of your classmates, should you continue to go? The teacher encouraged me to come back but I wonder if that class is a little too small and a little too much for an intermediate (lower end, I think) like me.


Also, anyone else have the experience of taking a class that wasn't what it seemed to be?

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When in doubt, pay attention to what the teacher tells you! :rolleyes:


If the teacher made it clear that you are welcome, then by all means continue. Perhaps you're getting a bit of the "sink or swim" treatment that is usually found in BOYS' training.

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Thanks for the advice; I think I'll continue with that class. Today every muscle in my legs and hips screams bloody murder whenever I move, but it's all for a good cause (I hope). I'll take a day or two to waddle around the house like a duck.


Just out of curiosity, why do some teachers throw the sink or swim treatment at boys? I would think that because of their relative scarcity, boys would be treated gently--but I really have no idea B)


Thanks again :lol:

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Polka Dot- I found when I was getting serious about ballet, that taking a class slightly too advanced for me was really difficult at first, but as time went on, the speed and the exercises came a bit easier. I would also take a class at my level, and one below, to "clean" my technique, as my teacher back then would say.

I never did stop to think about the way the boys were taught- why the sink or swim, Mel?

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Not Mel, but I agree, Hans! :lol: I spend most of my time with male dancers trying to teach them basics that they never learned. B)

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Been there. When I started back after a very long haitus...about 12 years! The teacher in my beginner class loved me and thought I was alot better than I actually am. She kept bugging me to take her int. class. I finally went in and realized that I was no where NEAR the level of technique they were. It was also not really intermeddiate. It was more....FAST intermeddiate. I knew alot of the women anyway because they would take the beginner classes as well and after awhile I became their little project. I would come to the intermeddiate class every now and then for the challenge and after awhile I actually started to get it. I went from just getting most of the barre...to getting all of the barre...to being able to just get up to adagio without losing it. Then over the summer I started to half mark/half dance the pettite allegro and grand allegro portions of the class. And now...well I'm more "intermeddiate" than I am beginner. Just a few weeks ago all the women in the class were like..."yay! She's getting it!" I think teachers can tell if you will be able to handle it. If they think your body will eventually be able to keep up they will want you to stay. The only way to learn in ballet is by doing and your not going to get it right away. It will take some time but eventually you will be dancing right along with them and loving it. It may be intimidating at first but you will come to find that the other more advanced students are actually really supportive and they will help you along the way. If your at a point in your "level" where you aren't really learning any new steps and you feel like you are ready to take the plunge...go for it. It eventually pays off. However, take that more advanced class along with your comfort level for awhile. Most people do that. I figured out that is the secret to advancing in the grey levels of adult ballet. Then eventually you will find that you are adding more of the more advanced class and cutting back on the comfort class. And that whole...sink or swim thing...yeah that's pretty much how it is. The body is a funny thing though and even though it doesnt seem like it at first...it will in fact get much much easier.

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Yes, I had to sink or swim after returning from hiatus. It was frustrating being in the lower quarter of the class for a while, but it paid off. Like kellylynn said, the other students will probably be really helpful and friendly. Especially if one is a teacher.

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