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Vaganova Method at SI


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My question is this: how easy is it for a student to adjust to a Vaganova Method during two intensive weeks or more and then adjust back to her school where the teacher does not favor that method? Our teacher said she would need to drop many of the changes that will be put on her during the summer training after she returns. But that she thinks it will be good for her to learn it, in spite of this. Will that be confusing for this 13 year old dancer? Or do many non-Vaganova method dancers take it in the summer and adjust back with no problem?

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As a teacher, I would have to say, it all depends upon the teaching at both ends. Every method of teaching is only as good as the teacher. Well informed and organized teachers in the US, will have experience in working with students of various methods of teaching and able to guide the students in just plain good ballet practices. :o The longer I teach, the more "good ballet teaching is just good ballet teaching" keeps chiming in my ears. :angry:

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So, do you feel that if the teaching is good (and this is very pure Vaganova) that there are universal skills that would be developed during her time there which she would not have to toss when she returns? I am sure the answer must be yes, but I would like to hear some more opinions. Can you tell me what are the benefits for those who have studied Vaganova method?

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It all depends upon the teaching at both ends. It is not a Vaganova issue really. How prepared are both ends of instruction, to deal with the results of both ideas of teaching?


Having studied Vaganova as a teacher and having instructed Vaganova as best as one can, in ideal circumstances in the US, it still depends upon the teaching at both ends. Maybe you are looking more from a parental view point? :o

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My d has been RAD trained for 12 years . She attended a Vaganova si prior to her advance 2 exam year with

no problem.


As Miss Vrsfantic said, "Good ballet teaching is just good ballet teaching"



I might add that anyone who is fortunate enough to have her personal brand of "Good ballet teaching" will forever be changed for the better.








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My DD does have a wonderful teacher. But she had made the comment that my DD would have to shed some of the Vaganova details she will learn in the SI that makes me ask this. The teacher says she doesn't care for the looks of certain typical Vaganova gestures that are taught and said that they would probably be correcting the way my DD had learned. The training at her regular school is based on the Chechetti technique and supplemented by Vagonova. The school does state that they teach dancers elements to be familiar with all the major syllabi to give them versatility. So I guess we're okay! I just hope there is more to be learned and kept than our school will make her throw away - and it sounds like it will be fine, from your comments. Thanks.

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marigold, it is difficult to "make a student throw away" anything because it stays in the mind and somewhere in the body. Please do some research on what the Vaganova method actually is. You will find that Maestro Cecchetti was a major influence on the Imperial Russian School and therefore, also Vaganova. The Vaganova Academy very proudly educates their students to know the influence of Maestro Cecchetti, even giving him credit for quite a few more advanced "set" exercises. Unlike Cecchetti, the Vaganova program does not have "set" exercises except these few.


All students of ballet will find that when they leave "the nest", so to speak, they will learn so many new and wonderful things, as well as retain the information from their home schools and teachers. They will even learn things they will not like and think they will never use and bam, there it is again to haunt them! :wink:


The issue will always be, as with parenting, ballet teachers have a responsibility to train students so they will fly away and have their lives and careers. At some point we teachers must help the students to transition into independence in a knowledgable and professional way. A short two week program with a different teacher just might be a helpful aide in this necessary process.


I hope you and your DD will enjoy learning new things. :thumbsup:


Thank you hushinfazen for your very kind acknowledgment of my work! :o:angry:

Edited by vrsfanatic
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Thank you again. Yes I need to learn a lot more and actually just learned how to properly pronounce 'Vagonova"! My DD's teacher has so much on her plate that she is often rushed and doesn't have time to elaborate after a quick comment. I appreciate your explaining more about it. We will definitely enjoy learning all these new things. Any advice on how to avoid appearing to be too much of an obsessed-with-ballet mom at the studio and still keep track of it all? As a teacher, I am sure you have a perspective on that. Maybe you would prefer that question not be in this forum.

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Marigold, while you are waiting to hear back from vrsfanatic, I thought you might find some helpful information on this thread:




I wouldn't worry about looking "ballet obsessed". It's hard not to be when it's such a huge part of our kids' lives! I would think that a ballet teacher would welcome an educated parent.

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Wow - thank you for referring me to great posts, which I never would have found with just the Search button! So helpful and great advice.

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I just wanted to add that Vaganova has an "a" in the second vowel rather than an "o", and the accent falls on the "an" of the same syllable: vah-GAH-noh-vah. And, while I agree with vrsfanatic about everything she says, I think, if your child were attending a Balanchine school, she might find it more difficult to switch back and forth. All of the more classical schools of ballet, rather than neo-classical (Balanchine), will be closer together in technique than any of them are to Balanchine, in almost every way. Some kids find this easy to grasp, and so make transitions back and forth between them without too much difficulty. Others may find that once their hands, feet, limbs, head, neck, etc., begin to move one way, it may be hard to remember all the ways those body parts are now supposed to go! But, as Vrs pointed out, your dd probably won't have too much trouble since the Cecchetti and Vaganova are so close, especially if it's only for two weeks! Hope she has fun :-)

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Oh no, that was not a good time to spell it incorrectly! Thanks for the correction, because it will really sink in now. :innocent:

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