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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Combinations


ApollaJade

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Does anyone else have issues getting combinations?? I cannot seem to get ANYTHING right the first couple times around. My technique is usually really good, but my brain is AWOL! Any tips?

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Asking the teacher to explain the combination again is the best way to learn an exercise. Try to recognize if you are having difficulty picking up the musicality, the sequence of legs (how many of this or that), what the arms and head do, seeing it getting it but then when you go to reproduce it you realize you just did not get it. Go to your teacher. Ask questions. Ask questions publically as well as after class, but I think you may find that if you have a question maybe the others do too. Without communication the teacher is really playing a guessing game. When students do not learn exercises they are limiting themselves from learning but also limiting the teacher from teaching. Students will never know how much a teacher is able to contribute if they do not learn the exercises.

 

Just for information, what is your age and how long have you been studying ballet?

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Knock Knock - may I post? ApollaJade, do you mark as the teacher shows the combinations? If you do it with your legs (better than the version with hands) it helps the "muscle memory".

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Great suggestion for sure. It is the most productive way to reinforce a combination when you are learning how to study! :)

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I used to have a lot of trouble picking up quickly on combinations (the teacher would show it, I don't know, 5 times, and sometimes I still wouldn't get it). What I do is look for patterns and focus on where the feet go before worrying about the arms and head. Also, with your normal teachers (and this is kind of cheating :shrug: ) you get used to the combinations they use. For example, my teacher nearly always does a chasse back tour jete or foutte out of a pique arabesque. Now, with my usual teacher, I can pick something up on the first or second time! Different teachers, different story.... they only SHOW the combination twice!

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What I always do for combinations is I 'mark' them as a teacher is showing them. That usually helps, but if I'm completely hopeless I'll stay after a little and get one-on-one help with my teacher. :shrug:

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Getting combinations is really hard, but I'd say that the more often you practice it in class, the better you'll get. Another thing that you could try that might help is to ask some friends to make up a combination, demonstrate it however many times your teacher usually demonstrates it, and then you can try and remember what they did. This way, you'll get better and better at catching on.

 

But don't stress out about it. Getting combinations is really hard, so don't get impatient if you feel like you aren't making any progress. Good luck!

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