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Advice on Vaganova


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Hi Group!


Wow - am I nervous. After MONTHS of exhaustive study (of which this group was number one) and carefully searching I have finally enrolled in my first Ballet class at a local college. Monday August 18th 3:15 PM EDT.


The class teaches the Vaganova method. Is there any experience or advice about this method that anyone with experience can offer? It is good, bad, so-so? Anything I need to keep my eyes open for?


Any general advice? :sweating: YOU GUYS are great - thanks!



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Congratulations!!!!!!! I think you'll be just fine. Just listen to the teacher and do the best you can. :sweating:

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I have only taken classes that use Vaganova method because the schools I attend, and the private coaches I select all teach "Russian school" ballet. I like the emphasis my teachers put on correct placements of feet, height of arm extensions, squared hips, squared shoulders, moving the head-arms-torso-legs in coordination during exercises. One of the moderators is vrsfanatic, and she teaches Vaganova method, and you'll find plenty of posts from her on the subject of Vaganova method, among others.


Here are some snippets from older posts that you might find helpful....naturally, you can do a search on "Vaganova method" too. A number of these were posts from....you guessed it, vrsfanatic.


"I really have a great appreciation of the Russian Vaganova method especially when it is taught by an EXPERIENCED principal dancer of a PRESTIGEOUS ballet company that boasts the best repetitors and rehearsalers (e.g. Kirov and Bolshoi); the method that emphasizes the correct turn out from the hips, simultaneously maintaining line of gravity of the student over the heels not behind."


"Vaganova is a method developed for training starting in childhood, with daily classes and an exceptional physical facility for ballet. The ability to rotate to the degree required is already there, even if they cannot yet use all of that rotation in a weight bearing position. That will be developed gradually, over time, with highly qualified teachers. In the US there are very, very few fully trained and certified Vaganova teachers. (Vrsfanatic is one of them! :yes:)"


"The method refered to as Vaganova, loosely in the US and other countries, actually cannot be put into effect without a few things...


1> Teachers who are certified by Vaganova Academy as having studied the method.

2> An 8 year program of study, with a system of examinations for development from one year to the next

3> A course of study, 6 days a week, from the age of 10-18

4> The study of character, duet (partnering), variations and repertoire.


This makes the beginnings of a school that teaches the Vaganova method. It is not a style. There are not a few spices that are added to flavor the work. It is a rigorous training methodology. It has a syllabus, a list of steps to be studied in each level of ballet that must be done in a very specific way and developed as the years progress. Styles of dance, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, Neo-classical, Balanchine are all are performed by ballet dancers trained in the Vaganova methodology. Vaganova trained dancers also perform various other dance forms such as modern, jazz, character, folk, Broadway shows, Riverdance type, etc."


"the Vaganova method was never intended for adult beginner ballet students. In order for something to really be Vaganova it must be taught as an 8 year program of study 6 days a week by someone who is certified to teach this method by the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, as it is intended to be taught. That does not mean that it cannot be adapted to be taught in this country or elsewhere, however, it just is not really Vaganova. Please do not judge the method or program of study without first recognizing that any program of study is only as good as the teacher teaching it. :wink: It is similar to any course of study that has been codified and issues diplomas for teaching. The diploma does not necessarily guarentee that the teacher is good, only that the method has been studied as a teaching program. As someone who does have the necessary certification to teach this method, I would have to say that you are asking the correct questions regarding the things that seem to be off. It can be approached in a different way. If is is feeling forced, then most likely it is."

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Trysden. I think you just have to go along, try to remember to put one foot in front of the other, while staying upright and not bumping into the furniture!


If I remember correctly, you're a complete beginner? You really will have a lot more to worry about than the style or school of your teacher!

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I have taken almost all styles, and basically, at a beginner level, they are about the same. It's the same positions, and the same movement. The difference in styles is mostly in the arms, placement of the head and some variation of terms. As said before, just listen to the teacher, and try not to smack anyone with your arm or leg, and ENJOY!


Oh - and congratulations on having such wonderful insight to sign up for a ballet class.

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Thanks for your great advice and encouragement! That is EXACTLY my plan!


Thanks - but i must give credit where credit is due. That insight actually came from HERE! You guys are the best - thanks.

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Hi Trysden--


I'm still a relative beginner. The school I take class at uses Cecchetti, but I will also be taking an open class that teaches Vaganova. (I start tomorrow!)


Anyway, I was a bit nervous about mixing "styles," but I think--at this level--it doesn't matter as much.


I think you should go to class and have fun!! Are you excited? :whistling:


YAY you!! Keep us posted on how things go.


brandymichele :nopity:

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Am I nervous? Are you kidding? It is impossible to describe the mixture of nervousness and sheer Christmas-Morning-Anticipation!


I received an email from my instructor this morning welcoming me to the class and letting me know to be sure and not to show up dressed out for the first class. (I don't think I planned to do so anyway - but it was nice to hear from her nonetheless.)


My wife and I just completed our home ballet studio so we are ready to show up, learn and then return home for some serious, focused practice each day.


As you asked, I would be happy to share this experience with the group -if anyone actually cares to hear of the inane adventures of a newbie adult Ballet student :grinning: ?



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I received an email from my instructor this morning welcoming me to the class and letting me know to be sure and not to show up dressed out for the first class. (I don't think I planned to do so anyway - but it was nice to hear from her nonetheless.)


She wants you to come naked????????? :nopity::grinning:


Just kidding!!!! Please enjoy and do report back- it will be helpful to others!!!!! :wacko:

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!! :yes:


Ballet in a nudist colony............ :pinch:

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Sorry group - but it is those "mental pictures" that make my life worthwhile!


Hey - you started this whole "mental thing" dancepig - and OBTW - THANKS!!! :yes:



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