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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Opinions please!

jane s

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Can you do the Intermediate and the Grade 5? That would give you a "challenge" class and a good basic technique class.


The Intermediate girls are doing their exam this term, so the class will go up to Advanced 1, that is the problem. If it was staying as Intermediate, I probably would be sticking with it, but Advanced 1 is just one bridge too far for me!


The second class I do now is on the same day as the Grade 5 and she says it will be mainly Advanced 1 as well, with some Intermediate mixed in for those who did not do the exam.


So it is either do 2 classes on the same day, one of which will still be mostly Advanced 1, or do Grades 4 & 5.



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Good heavens - what a choice! The difference in standard between Grade 4 and Advanced 1 is like five or six years worth of training! That's really a crazy alternative. Level 6 or Intermediate Foundation would probably be the best for you. Is there no way that you can get to these classes?


To be honest, I can't see much point in your taking Adv. 1 classes. RAD Adv.1 is hard enough and the only thing I remember about my Cecchetti classes is that they were even more difficult!

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Exactly! You can see my problem now!


The reason I can't do the Grade 6 is that one class clashes with Modern, which I am hoping to be taking the exam for sometime next year, and the other is too early for me to get to, and is only 45 minutes long anyway (I have no idea why!). Plus there will still be the show rehearsals to come out of that.


The Grade 6 is the class directly below mine (Intermediate are the only class doing exams this term) so there will not be anything in between at all.


Ideally I would choose to be in a class starting Grade 6 from scratch (which the current Grade 5 will be doing once they do their next exam, though I don't know when that will be as they only recently took their Grade 4.)


My next choice would be to learn Intermediate from scratch (this didn't happen this time around as I went into a class who already knew the work, and won't be happening again for a while).


At the end of the day I have to decide in which situation I will get more attention from the teacher - a class of advanced students who belong at that level and are either considering going to dance college or are already in teacher training - or one class of kids & another of younger teenagers who are probably not that far ahead of me technically, although a lot smaller, skinnier & more flexible.


Either way, I will clearly not fit in!


Can I just add as a footnote that the other adults who are in my class now did do ballet as a teenager & have the technique I do not. In the past, adults in the situation I am in now, i.e. promoted to a level where they feel out of their depth, have chosen to quit rather than move down. I really don't want to do that.



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OK, so the deed is done - I am going to have to go back to dancing with the kids!


I talked to my teacher again & it seems all the teachers think that would be the better option for me right now. She said that the Advanced 1 will be extremely challenging even for those who are ready for it, so it really wouldn't be appropriate for me.


However, the Grade 5 girls think it is really weird of me because they don't think I am as bad as I say I am - but then they only catch the end of my present class while they are waiting for theirs to begin, & all they have seen me do recently is the turns from the corner, which are one of my better things, and pointe - where I am a bit further on than they are, so to them it probably looks much more impressive than it is. (They certainly have not seen my truly pitiful attempts at adage & double pirouettes!)


Anyway, goodness knows what the Grade 4's will think then! I just hope the teacher will give them a "convincing" explanation for my presence.


I have also said I will only do this on condition that she gives me proper corrections, otherwise there will be little point in putting myself through the embarrassment of demotion!


All this will be from January, so I'll keep you posted on my "progress" in due course.



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Good luck Jane! I think "demotion" (although a class is what you make of it) in return for proper correction is a pretty good deal given what you were putting up with! I hope you enjoy dancing with purpose.

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Hey Jane!


I'm demoting myself too in January. I was taking the full company schedule at my school but injured my knee at the beginning of October. Since I'm twice as old as the other girls I have to respect the limitations of my body. I have come to realize that, yes, I can still dance........but not at the level and intensity that I was. I will still be taking two company level classes but instead of the three other company level classes will drop down two levels (I think to 6) and only take two additional classes at that level. My teacher said I won't have to push as hard as I make myself in the company classes, it will be easier for me technically, and also allow me to work a few kinks out.


I'm a little nervous about dancing with the younger children too, but I got over the fear of being the "oldest" with the teenagers so I'll get over this too.


Good luck and I hope you enjoy your classes!




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Hi Wendy,


From what you say it looks like you are making a sensible decision - there is always work to be done even in an easier class, as my teacher pointed out.


Sounds like you are in the same position regarding being in a class with younger students though. As you say, I have done it before in the past so I'm sure I will be able to do it again. it's just the idea of it is pretty scary.


I know that the Grade 5's are about 12-13 and the Grade 4's I suppose must be 10-11, but they really do look a lot smaller! (I am an adult of average height, so I will tower above them.)


This week I am going to watch the relevant classes so I get an idea of their standard & remind myself of the work. My current class have done their Intermediate now & have started on the Advanced 1 - definitely a huge step up and some of what we tried was way beyond my physical capabilities (though I did manage to do the batterie! :thumbsup: And I found I could do a single attitude pirouette as well - though of course we were meant to be doing doubles.)


So - next term I will be working on my weakest points, which are:




Pirouettes en dehors from 5th

Sissones ...... and

Turnout, turnout, turnout!!!!!!



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