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"Good" Pointe Class?


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Would those that are knowledgeable be able to give me an idea of what is a 'good' (healthy, safe?) pointe class. Just back to dancing here after summer break and daughter 16 ( Just starting RAD ADV 2 ) has been complaining that a new teacher is 'a bit over the top' in pointe class e.g. releve onto one foot continuously for 10 minutes, releve onto 2 feet in parallel continuously for 10 minutes etc - Is this accepted practice or should a pointe class be more a continuous 'mix' of exercises - I'm ready to speak to the teacher if necessary but don't know enough about what is correct practice. Thanks!

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luludancer, I am not an RAD teacher, however, what you describe sounds over the top to me, and not just for dancers just returning from a break. I don't think I have ever given the students any type of relevés continuously for that long. An exercise that takes that long to do in a group after group situation, with repeats, is not unusual. However, if the whole class is doing the relevés continuously for that long, I think it's too much.

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Yes, that was my initial reaction - I don't think these were specific RAD exercises - daughter has been en pointe for 4-5 years now so she is no stranger to pointe, so I thought if she was finding it a bit 'excessive' she was probably right. I'm a little worried about the potential for injury as the girls tire. Now to approach the teacher....... I suppose it would be much less controversial for daughter to say it is making her ankles sore but she probably won't.....

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I don't teach RAD pointe, but the ADV 2 work is nothing like that. Sounds like somebody channeling some Old Mad Russian. As such, she's probably going to be difficult to deal with.


Edited to add: Your protection is that the syllabus books are available through the Academy. If she's working too much "free material", then you have a graceful, if risky, out. "Student is not being taught the syllabus!"

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I think it was in 'Pointe' class which is not necessarily Syllabus work as there are usually 2 or 3 levels in together ( a necessity in a smaller school ) but if the ankles are 'shot' from the first exercise, they're not going to benefit from what follows - I don't know that much about it but it does seem to be more sensible to rotate the exercises I would think?

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Yes. That's too many in a row.


Now, how to handle the teacher....that's a bit more dicey. Are you able to observe the class at all? It might be good to have an adult back-up for the kids that it was in fact, 10 minutes. Sometimes adults think that teens exaggerate.


I'd imagine that other girls in class felt the same way. Was this teacher new to the school, or just new to the level?

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Yes, I don't mean to doubt your daughter, but considering how my dd often "tweaks" a ballet story for good comic or dramatic effect, I was wondering the same thing. Was it actually ten minutes, by the clock, or did it just feel like ten minutes. Three minutes releves on one foot might feel like quite enough, since at the rate of one releve, say, every two seconds, (and probably more rapidly) even three minutes would make ninety releves (or more)! I would try to ascertain that ten minutes is the literal truth of the situation before going in there with my sword unsheathed. But even if it were just three minutes, (if in turn it were still just ninety or a hundred releves) that might still be too many....Phew! Exhausting just to write about it! I think Mel's suggestion about checking the syllabus is a great idea! :thumbsup::grinning:

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Thanks for your input. Decided to approach it softly, softly - daughter is going to talk to that teacher next week ( has other teacher today ) and explain that it is not allowing her to do her best for the whole lesson ( especially when it comes to turn combinations at the end of lesson) and see whether the teacher is willing to at least let her do less repetitions - perhaps the teacher will then make amends for all. Trying to back off at this age and let daughter sort things herself wherever possible! Will keep you posted!

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Excellent! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just checking in to let you know that daughter spoke to the teacher and had a positive response - she does have very tight achilles and mentioned that the repetition was causing a bit of pain - teacher said it was ok for her to do what felt right for her - hopefully it may prompt her to moderate a little for the whole class! Thanks for your input! B)

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Yay!!!!! I'm so glad it worked out!! B)

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