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UK adult short summer intensive courses


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Someone I dance with who is an excellent organiser is thinking about setting up an intensive weekend for beginning to improver adult ballet students. It would be designed to teach all those things that are generaly drilled into 8-10 year olds, but which adult beginners find are often rushed over in the usual open classes. Possibly a sort of "Everything you wanted to know about ballet but were afraid to ask"


The thinking is that beginner to improver dancers often find that the jump to more advanced classes is tough. I know that they've not been invited to the current extra summer classes that I'm doing at the moment, as these are at Elementary/Intermediate level (oh yes, on Monday our teacher asked for doubles in all pirouettes).


It would be based in the Midlands, where there are excellent teachers, lovely studios, easy transport links, and cheapish accommodation (compared with, say, London).


Just testing to see what interest there might be? What would you be looking for if you were interested in this? Timing? Costs? To give you an idea of cost, currently our 90 minute summer classes (w/o live pianist) are £8 per class.

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That's a great idea ! I live in Paris, but I often come to England, especially near Gloucester, and I would love to do a course like that ! :yes:

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At the studio where I dance, there are four levels: Beginner, Improvers, Improvers+, and Advanced. All classes are open, not any syllabus.


The Beginner is very beginner -- it mostly has people who have never danced before. I asked about doing it as a Monday warm-up but the teacher said to me it really was for absolute beginners. The Improvers is for those who have done some ballet, but maybe don't know a full range of steps, or are only just getting single turns. We can add double turns to combinations, or beats to petit allegro, but they're not set with them for the whole class. To me, it feels like a syllabus class -- exercises at the barre tend to be simply in en croix patterns, without too many changes of direction or weight. But the barre moves quite fast, and can sometimes include double frappés or rond de jambe en l'air (altho' not double rond de jambes on the floor). The centre is quite a lot more basic than the barre.


Improvers+ and Advanced have dancers with a range of standards from syllabus Elementary/Intermediate to professional (although it's soooo long since I've done a syllabus class that I don't really know the level in terms of the difficulty of the combinations). Really, they're pretty standard Open professional classes -- just that there's a range of abilities & skill levels. But we all have a really good time and learn! The barres are actually more simple than in the Improvers, but much more dancey and looking for artistry as well as technique. However, combination patterns get progressively more complex through the barre and often combine what in more syllabus-style classes would be kept separate in barre combinations. Centre moves fast, with the full range of steps used over a sequence of weeks, beats in petit allegro, and doubles and triple turns encouraged , and in the Advanced class, set in the combinations. These classes (which run one after the other) often have visiting professionals, ex-professionals, local teachers, and students from vocational schools (we're near Elmhurst and share some teachers) attending.


It's hard, isn't it, working out how to "read" other studios' levels? It's for me the scariest thing about a new studio ...


So I think my friend's idea i that people moving on from beginner or just improving beyond Beginner might enjoy a really intensive weekend to get to grips with details of technique in a way that you can't do in a weekly 90 minute class of 20 people.

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Tell me about it. I went to a new studio a few weeks ago and discovered that their beginner level assumes five consecutive years of experience (and not five years back when you were young and limber, but the past five years). The advanced beginner class is for professional dancers who want a break from company class. I question what the point is to calling it "beginner."

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Blaise, I second your thoughts. From my own (trans-national) experience, the notion of 'beginner' labeling is very different in the UK and US.

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I am in Derbyshire and I am very interrested in attending this day.Please do post more details in the near future.



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Nothing's organised yet -- it's just an idea, and I said I'd test the waters here to see what the interest might be.

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