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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pre-pro vs. open classes


Guest Chrysocolla

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Guest Chrysocolla

This summer I am doing an intensive that only lasts three weeks, so I am planning on taking a lot of open classes at two studios for the rest of the summer. I regularly take open classes during the year, too.

 

I was wondering what your opinion is on pre-pro schools vs. taking open classes. The open classes I take are all great classes, but I am often by far the youngest, with some exceptions. The other dancers obviously don't have the same goals as I do, since they are either dancing recreationally, or have a job in something dance related, and there are also never performances or choreography to learn. They are still really good classes though, and I feel like I learn a lot, even if I don't exactly fit in all the time.

 

Do you think that there is any disadvantage to taking open classes, or that I should try to take extra classes at another pre-pro school instead? :blushing:

 

:wink: Thanks!

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I think that, if you can take pre-pro classes, that would definitely be better.

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Usually, the level of the dancers and the level of the classes.

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Guest Chrysocolla

Okay...I guess the level of the dancers isn't the same as a pre-pro school, since there is such a range, but some of the classes are really good. What about taking such a class once a week?

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If you enjoy them, sure, why not!

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I agree, open classes in general are not the best. Classes that are part of a program have particular goals they want to get you through, a graded series of things to master. As you pointed out, these programs also focus on learning choreography and other skills necessary for dancing on stage.

 

Open classes are more random and usually do not have much of a progression; OK for the professional to stay in shape, but not always the best for students to learn from and improve. And they generally do not teach many of the skills that are not part of the core technique but are necessary for ballet performance. There are some open classes that can be very difficult and advanced and attract world class dancers at the height of their career (mostly in NYC). Even these, I do not believe are appropriate for students, for the reasons mentioned above.

 

However... if you're learning a lot, that is always a good thing, no matter what the setting. I think open class can work in the situation described (not the entire diet, and for a limited period of time), depending on the teacher.

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I think it would depend on what age you are and what level you're at. Generally in the walk-in open classes, corrections are not given much and the level is not decided by the standard of those who turn up, but to what standard they have decided in advance that class is going to be. In other words if they've decided that this is an advanced level class, then even if half the students are pretty much beginners, the standard will be advanced and the beginners will have to get by as best they can. It might be a fun thing for you to do, but I doubt that it will contribute much to your training.

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Would you think it might be a good way to stay in shape after a summer intensive and prior to start up of regular fall classes? DD has a 6 week break in between. For her 6 week break is too long.

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Six weeks is definitely too long. If that is all that is available, then yes, she should take it at least for 3 or 4 of the weeks prior to starting up again in the fall. Some vacation after the SI is fine. They all need a vacation at some time, just not six weeks of it! :devil:

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What would your advice be to a young dancer in the UK where there is very little available over the summer? My daughter's associate and regular classes finish at the end of June and start again early September. She has a residential course booked for a week in July and is hoping to get a place on another in the middle of August but that depends on the result of a final audition to be held this Sunday. There may be walk in classes available in London but that is too far for us to travel regularly and even before reading this I was thinking that it was a long time to go with no classes.

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She's 10 right?

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I believe that she asked because walk in classes are generally for adults, or at least upper teens. At ten, I think she will be fine with not having a full summer of classes, but perhaps by next year some additional plans for more of the summer in dance could be arranged. :lol:

 

I do think that it is sad that there are not summer programs for them over there, though. It is always better to continue training in the summer, when not in regular school and dance is the priority. There is a lot of progress made in the summer courses.

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OK. I hadn't heard of walk in classes for youngsters, but didn't know they didn't exist!

 

We do have some summer programmes but they tend to be for just a week, and practically every one of them is on during the same week!! I did notice a marked difference in my daughter after the week she did last summer (in all sorts of positive ways, not just in her dancing) and am hoping for the same result from what she does this year. There will still be 8 weeks without classes, though, and I did think that even at her age that was quite a long time.

 

Funnily enough, my husband and I were talking at the weekend about the difference between what is on offer here and in the US and thought that next year we may try and combine a holiday with a SI for my daughter. I may well be back here in a few months trying to get ideas for that!

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