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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouettes en Pointe


dancazrok

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Dana, if you want to learn ballet, and to dance well, get thee to a REAL ballet school ASAP! You cannot do ballet and pointe on a waxed wood floor. Period. End of discussion. Get out of there!

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Actually, my studio is great. The ballet program is one of the best in the area and surrounding areas. However, the director is...kind of crazy. She states that the stage will be that slippery anyways, so we should get used to it. When the studio was built, there was no ballet program, so she built waxed (sprung) wooden floors so the modern dancers could turn well in bare feet. Now the studio is 60% ballet and 40% modern, jazz, etc., and she is so (there is really no nice way to say this) cheap, nor does she have the funding to do so, that she won't get new floors.

 

My teacher is amazing and danced with Sacramento ballet for 18 years (I think as an apprentice, corps member, and soloist?) until she was kicked out for being too tall. She has also danced with Oakland ballet and Montana state ballet.

 

And I apologize if I seem rude, but calling my ballet school not "real" is, without a doubt, not acceptable. You, nor anyone else on this board, have never taken any classes there, nor seen my studio, felt the flooring, or observed my teacher in progress. Just because the flooring is not the best and the director is a bitter old lady who is basically cheap and insane, and not rich, does not mean that it is not a real ballet school whatsoever.

There are 30 multi-level classes a week, with 5 pointe classes a week for beginning, intro, and advanced.

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Dana, your post had been made invisible by a moderator because it was considered rude and disrespectful. I decided to put it back up and respond, because I think you are really one rather confused young dancer, and you need to try and understand what we are talking about.

 

Using the term "a real ballet school" may have been a bit harsh, but, reading what you now say about things there, I really don't think it was too harsh.

 

First, if you become a professional dancer, and long before if you get to a good school, you will be dancing on a marley floor, not a waxed slippery floor. Ballet companies carry their own marley for stages that do not already have it, and most of the schools today have that kind of floor too. You said your teacher's floor is sprung, so what she must do now is cover it with the marley, which is like a linoleum. Yes, it is expensive, but not nearly as expensive as building and springing the wood floor itself.

 

The other things you say about your teacher are pretty harsh too, and one really has to wonder how you could feel that way about her and still think it is a good school.

 

How many ballet technique classes, at your level, do you have each week? How long are the classes? How many pointe classes? Do you have other teachers besides the school owner/director? How old are you and where are you going this summer for your SI? Is this your first one?

If you answer these questions, it will help us to help you.

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The other things you say about your teacher are pretty harsh too, and one really has to wonder how you could feel that way about her and still think it is a good school.

 

Let me clear that up. I did not explain that. I do not take from the director of the dance studio. She is more modern based, and teaches maybe...2 ballet classes a week. The rest are modern, composition, african, jazz, and improvisation. She also is a very, very, harsh teacher, while she is an amazing dancer. I just do not like her teaching style

The teacher I take from is NOT the director of the entire studio, more like second in command, I guess. She basically director of the whole ballet program [the three concerts we have a year]. She is the one who danced with Sac Ballet, Oakland ballet, and Montana State Ballet. she has no command over the flooring quality at our studio.

 

how many ballet technique classes, at your level, do you have each week? How long are the classes? How many pointe classes? Do you have other teachers besides the school owner/director? How old are you and where are you going this summer for your SI? Is this your first one?

If you answer these questions, it will help us to help you.

 

There are around 9 classes at my level during the fall [not including pointe], each one and a half hour. There are 5 pointe classes all an hour long. There are 4 ballet teachers at my studio, and 2 others, who teach tap and jazz once a week. My studio is not RAD.

 

I am going to Virginia School of the Arts for the summer, and possibly the full year. This is my first, "real" summer intensive, although I did go to Idyllwild arts. I just turned 13 in the last school year, so I was not eligible to go to most summer intensives.

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Thank you for clarifying. I'm glad that you are going VSA this summer, and, for your own safety especially, I hope that you will be able to remain there. The floor is a serious issue. Pointe work on a waxed floor is just not safe.

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I just thought I should mention this. I spoke to my teacher today and it turns out that Contra costa ballet ( a huge school and company about 3 hours away) is all waxed flooring

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I don't care who does it. As a practice, it stinks on ice! :)

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But leeet's just wait a second.

 

When you say "waxed" do you mean actual wax or a surfacing agent like gymseal or other polyurethane surface?

 

Wax is a very different thing from varnish, and although THE VERY BEST surface to dance on is unsurfaced wood flooring, such a floor is very high maintenance, with ultrafine sanding required after only a few hours' use, marley over a sprung floor is probably better than a surfaced floor, and the VERY WORST for ballet is an actual waxed surface.

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If it is too slippery to dance on safely, it's still bad. I hope the owner has good insurance, as she could be in for big trouble if someone gets hurt there. :yes:

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Right. :rolleyes: More likely no one has been injured badly enough to sue them, or perhaps did not have the knowledge to do so or the desire to do so. No schools go injury free for a year, much less 26 years, even with the best floors. Injuries are very common in the ballet world, everywhere. Not always serious injury, but no dancers escape it forever.

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As with bonds and mutual funds, history is no guarantee of future performance. What you've got there sounds like a polyurethane varnish, which is a lot safer than natural varnishes, which is still safer than a waxed surface. It's still dangerous!

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Especially dangerous if you are not allowed to use resin.

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Right. :rolleyes: More likely no one has been injured badly enough to sue them, or perhaps did not have the knowledge to do so or the desire to do so. No schools go injury free for a year, much less 26 years, even with the best floors. Injuries are very common in the ballet world, everywhere. Not always serious injury, but no dancers escape it forever.

 

Let me clarify. I seem to be explaining things half was this week. Maybe I'm nervous for the intensive?

Of course there have Been the bad landings from jumps, improper use in lower levels resulting in injury, and overuse.

There have been no floor related injuries so far (except for that one time where I fell over laughing after class... Hmm.).

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