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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Learning a Classical Ballet Repertoire


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:thumbsup: HI! Nice to meet everybody. I'm new on thie board :D


I'm a 22 years old adult ballet student.

I've been taking ballet almost for 2 years so far, and pointe for 1 year.

I'm taking about 1~ 3 technique classes, and 2 pointe classes a week.

(It depends the schedule, because I'm a college student..)


I don't know other adult ballet sudents feel the same thing,

but I really want to learn a real ballet repertoire!


I'm not going to enter a competition or perform on a stage,

but I would love to learn it. Ballet for ballet sake! :)


Do you think this is a silly idea?

Do you think if I tell my ballet teacher that I'd love to dance a classical repertorie,

she will give a lesson?


IF you think so, how much do you think she'll charge me?


I'm a college student in New York City, so I can't afford if it's too much...


I just love classical ballet so much!



I hope there is somebody feel the same way as I do.


Thank you !

Edited by jungyooni85
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Welcome to BT4D, jungyooni. You'll find quite a few NYC adult dancers here.


In one of my classes, we're learning bits of repertoire as part of our centre practice -- yesterday it was sections from Swanhilda's Act II solos from Coppelia. Maybe your teacher can give you sections of repertoire as part of your normal class?

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Hello jungyooni85, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :thumbsup:


It's wonderful that you have started ballet and that you really love it! Sounds like you have made very rapid progress, since you are on pointe after training for such a short time, but I am concerned that you are not regular and consistent with at least 3 technique classes per week. The technique classes are of primry importance. The pointe classes are not. So, if you are limited, it's more important to take the technique classes.


As for learning classical repertory, that would have to be up to your teacher. There is no way to know but to ask. And the rate for private lessons varies a great deal, so we would not know how much it will cost you.

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Hi jungyooni85! Welcome from over the pond here.


I go to a class in London here (Morley College) which is 1.5 hours. Starts off with a very short 30min barre, the teacher then teaches us pieces from ballet repertoire. These 2 terms we have been doing Les Sylphides.


(Just in case you are wondering there is also a full 1.5 hour technique class immediately before this class)


I go to both the technique and rep classes. It makes the study of ballet so much more enjoyable. Rather than just remembering the steps, the "performance" quality - getting in character etc, it's like realising that I've been singing "do re me fa so" all the while but never actually sang a song.


As you are in New York I imagine there are quite a few ballet teachers around? I'd certainly ask around, there might be teachers interested in opening up a similar class? There might also be other people interested in taking a class to share out the teacher's cost??



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I would definitely recommend grabbing any opportunity you get to learn repertoire. It seems a real shame to me that so many adult dancers in particular just do class month in month out, year in year out and forget that ballet is meant to be a performance art.


Learning repertoire can make you feel part of the grand tradition of ballet. I'm lucky enough to have danced large chunks of the classical repertoire with my amateur company (Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Giselle, Nutcracker, Bayadere, Napoli, Don Q...), and the knowledge that you are dancing what the great companies and ballerinas have performed and handed on to the next generation can produce a real sense of achievement. Yes, sometimes things need to be simplified, but often not as much as you think.


If you were learning a musical instrument, would you be happy just doing exercises set by your teacher, or would you want to be playing Mozart and Beethoven? For me it's exactly the same thing...

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There's also the chance that some of what you have been doing in class actually is part of the classical rep!!!! I've seen teachers make a centre exercise from one or two phrases from variations, but often if the teacher doesn't say where it's from, you might not know.

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