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Ballet Talk for Dancers

I don't want to go back

Striving for Grace

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I hope you can shake it off and just dance again. I have the same problem a lot. I've been dancing for just about a year, more or less. I have been taking a way more advanced class than I would have picked and often during combos and center work I just get lost. Hopelessly. But you never look as bad as you think or feel. I'm in an open class right now that was supposed to split into 2 levels, but at the last minute a few people dropped out and now we just have separate groups with a harder and easier combo and sometimes she'll combine us.


Imagine my surprise when the two groups were together and I had a couple newbies stand behind me to follow what I was doing! I was struggling to get the class in the beginning, but suddenly I realized I had picked up a whole bunch of the barre and was just doing it. But for every time like that, there is another where I'm just as lost and confused. But then it clicks and it's the best feeling in the world.


Stick with it though. Despite the bad days, the rewards are great. Didn't you say a lot of people in your class have been dancing for years? I'm sure they've had plenty of days like you had. Sometime, pay close attention to the more experienced people during the hard combos. They mess up and have bad days, too. I'll bet they respect you much more than you know for coming in and trying and doing as well as you have been.

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despite tripping over my own feet and not knowing what other people obviously see as really simple steps. It's a trade-off between embarrassment and learning!


As my lovely former teacher in Sydney used to tell us, "It's only when you're tripping over your feet that you're learning."


Goes for learning any new skill - learning is difficult, no matter how much the powers that be try to kid us otherwise. My undergraduates sometimes get a bit surprised when I tell them this - there's a point at which the spoon-feeding stops! And one of those points is the studio door ....

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I hope that you have recovered from your experience. I am a beginner (and I mean very beginner), and after every class I have to remind myself that it is ok to not get every step (heck, it's ok to only get one step!)....but every class I get one more than I did the last class!


I think to be an adult student, you have to be willing to mess up. You're there to dance, so dance! Enjoy it! If you spend the night desperately worried you might turn your pas de something into a pas de nothing, where's the fun in that? You aren't paying money to go to boot camp! Get the steps you can, have fun, and try to learn something. I'm sure you learned a lot of new combinations that you can continue to work on!

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Heck, I've been dancing my whole life. Other day in class, after a LOOOONG day of work, I went to do an emboite and lifted the wrong foot. Just kind of did some dumb looking spinny-thing. I cracked up laughing and couldn't finish the combination...

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As my lovely former teacher in Sydney used to tell us, "It's only when you're tripping over your feet that you're learning."


In that case, I think I got my Ph.D tonight . . . alright kids, it's my turn to whine now.


I had a HORRIBLE lesson tonight. I felt heavy and clunky and weak, and kept losing my balance. I teetered badly during center developpes, and the turns looked like I had more than just water in that Aquafina bottle. My teacher and classmates are very kind, but I still felt stupid. :thumbsup:


I'm REALLY bummed because it was the last lesson of the summer session, and when we meet again after Labor Day, the adults will be merged with the 12-year-old pre-pointes, so I can have the opportunity to fall on my butt in front of them too. :lol::D SULKING.

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My class on monday night was terrible. I was the target for the teacher... put your shoulders back, point your toes, dont sink in your hips, you need to work on your flexibility, your spotting is all over the place, ...etc...etc...etc....

Aunt Flo was in town and i was feeling crabby anyway,

Then I hurt my shoulder and went home early nearly in tears...


Sorry about the big whinge, but it feels better to get it off my chest. now to find the courage to get back in the shoes... sigh...

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the joy does come back- take it from yours truly, the original whiner!


sorry to hear that you hurt your shoulder- take good care of yourself!


be kind to yourself. if there's one thing i've learned here, it's that teachers really won't waste time correcting you if they don't think that you have the potential to use their corrections to dance better... so really, the fact that you were the teacher's target is a good thing... you said you were feeling off because of female reasons, and maybe your teacher just noticed that you weren't dancing as well as you normally do and wanted to get you back to where you were....


i have learned that if you have an issue that will affect your dancing, such as illness, fatigue, serious stress, or are taking a med that affects your concentration or whatever, sometimes it's worth it to say a quiet word to the teacher beforehand so she's doesn't expect more than you can give that day, which can sometimes result in you pushing yourself past your bodys limits. i have approached my teacher in the past by simply saying "Ms. so-and-so, I didn't want to miss class tonight, but I'm just getting over a cold and I'm still feeling a bit weak, I just wanted to let you know in case I have to sit out any of the exercises." my reception has always been discreet and far from negative...


care for yourself then go back to that studio and prepare yourself mentally for a positive class... the longer you hold on to negative memories from your bad classes, the longer they will affect you... as everyone has already said, it's a learning process.


happy dancing!



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I agree with grace on this one appleblossom. Being the centre of the teachers pointers is actually a good thing. In the language of teachers I think its supposed to show they care and they are taking an interest (even though it often happens at a time when you are already down and therefore it just makes you feel worse). If you look back on the things she said that felt like critisisms at the time, you may realise they were actually meant to be compliments: that this part of your dancing is very good so another part needs to come up to that standard.


I recently started at a new dance school and I am missing the critisisms of my old teachers. The new ones are still trying to figure me out so for the moment I'm struggling with whether I'm doing things correctly because they are just not saying anything! :blink:


I hope you can quickly get over this and learn from it because nothing should stop you from doing something that you really like. Hope your shoulder gets better soon! :o

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Well monday night was parents night - and being an adult student who's family lives interstate i decided i didnt want to be the only one without a special guest - so my boyfriends mum came to watch... which was a little weird - but kinda nice.


Anyway, because i was on display i really tried hard. And it paid off. During barre my teacher said i was well pulled up, better than she had seen me. And after class she said i had improved heaps and danced really well that night.


(i have been doing pilates to help my toning, flexibility, posture and strength, It seems to be paying off)


The scary thing is theres two girls just about to do their exam, then I'm the next one scheduled - hopefully for May next year, but it will mean all the teachers attention will be directed at me... no more hiding... no more copying...eek.

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