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Beginners Class Lessons


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Hi again folks,


Well as some of you know I have been taking private ballet lessons and they have been going really great!


You may remember my last post regarding examinations for adults, it was suggested that I attend not only my current private lessons but group classes as well.


I attended a ballet 'class' lesson today. It was great to be in the same room as other beginners and I did find it useful having them there to follow if necessary. Having others around you also made me aware of space!


However, I was somewhat disspointed as for the majority of the lesson no one received any correction or comments. Bear in mind there were only 4 in the class!! I understand this is not always possible in large numbers!


The teacher (Not the proper teacher I feel - student possibly?) was picking things of the top of her head to do and moving through LOADS of things off the cuff.


I some how get the feeling that 'some' (Not all of course!) teachers dont take adult teaching seriously. By that I mean that because they feel older pupils are not going to make profesisonal dancers, they dont put particular effort into their class?


Dont get me wrong I know many people enjoy the recreation side of things, but at the same time it is only fair that we get taught properly.


I may have just had a bad experience this time as it wasnt the named teacher taking the lesson, so I will give ti another go and see what happens!


On a good note...............I cant get enough ballet, I know its sounds ridiculous but I really have got a bug, I look forward to it each day and even practice,loL! Also my private lessons are going well and feel I am gaining alot from them!


How I wish I learnt when I was younger! :-(



Thanks for listening folks!

Edited by balletjames
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Fear nothing! And remember, teaching adults is a specialty, much as teaching the very young. As you have noticed, sometimes students are "broken in" by having them teach adult class. I feel that this practice is a mistake, just as elsewhere on the board, it has been noted that new teachers sometimes get put with the "baby class" when they first start teaching. BIG mistake. Take what is beneficial from each class, and apply it. Also apply corrections you have had from previous classes and see how they work in the "real world" environment of a group class. Onward! Excelsior! :blushing:

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Point of view of an adult beginner: I would say search around for a class with a GOOD teacher. There are some wonderful teachers out there, and they put as much effort into teaching adults as to youngsters. Life is too precious and short to have to put up with an inadequate teacher.


A skilled and experienced teacher can do it off the cuff - but that is because he or she has all the exercises, and their relationship to each other and to the body's needs and the progression of exercses deeply ingrained. For a less experienced teacher, it seems to me that off the cuff is a very bad sign. Or maybe this one just had to stand in at the last moment (as it wasn't the named teacher).


Teachers often hold back at giving corrections at first, because they want to get to know the students and how they are learning before wading in. If you want more corrections, I'd say let the teacher know that you welcome them. Also I've realised that some teachers only give general corrections, and this is their way of dealing with it.



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Jim is correct, I think, in that many teachers, myself included, are a bit careful with corrections at first.

I want to get to know the students, to find out if they are "open" to as many corrections as I would naturally be inclined to give. ;-)


I have also found that especially beginners - adults and children - cannot take more than one or two corrections per "go", as there is just too much to concentrate on.


The "off the cuff" way of teaching is what often happens when a teacher notices that the planned lesson needs instant "tweaking".

I do this all the time.


Oh, and I totally agree that there are good and not-so-good teachers of ballet - adults and children.

Personally, I really enjoy teaching adults. :blushing:


balletjames: Keep on keeping on!

It is wonderful that you enjoy it so much!



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Lucky you balletjames, to be in a class of only four. I am usually in classes of 20 (although when I'm fit enough to do the advanced class there are generally only half a dozen of us).


I agree with Jim & Diane about teachers holding back a bit with a new student. Some adults react to corrections feeling bad, as they may not be used to the constant corrections of a ballet class, seeing them instead as personal criticisms. There's a difference, but maybe if an adult isn't used to that, it might feel harsh. So teachers of adults go easy I think.


I have fabulous teachers (ex-pros who really know what they're doing) but only one of them gives really hands on corrections (& I feel sorry for him -- I get so sweaty it must be horrible to have to correct me hands on!). Others give general corrections, or will point out specific things with one or other of us. The thing is to apply general comments and corrections whenever they are made.


But that can be tough when you're such an absolute beginner, so that might be where your private classes can supplement open classes, rather than the other way around.


My tip if you're in London is to seek out particular teachers -- my experience is that REnato Paroni (he teaches at a number of central London studios) will give specific and detailed individual corrections. But his beginners classes are very slow and crowded, so you'd need other classes to learn a fuller repertoire of steps (but I'm a fan o his teaching -- if I'm in London, I try to get to his beginners class to tune up my alignment & turn out).

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My adult teachers takes us adults seriously, some maybe a bit too much ;-) but I enjoy it...

so it all just depends on the teacher and studio.


Keep trying out different teachers until you find a better fit.

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I've had beginner classes from teachers giving no corrections, or maybe just a few general corrections, and from teachers who give lots of personal corrections, including hands on. Like others have said, keep looking, but also think about the corrections you get in your privates to use in class. I guess some people prefer classes with little to no correcting going on, but not me.

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Just two days ago I made a point in the adult ballet class I teach where there are only 3 ladies taking regularly. I pointed out that more advanced ballet students crave feedback from the teachers. I wanted to put into perspective how lucky they were to have me come to each of them individually as they held their balances. They are still a little uncertain about being watched like that but they do seem to be getting used to the idea. I say it every week, this is a real ballet class and they are real ballet students, even though they are adults.

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Hi James. Just thought I'd say hi, i too am an adult beginner (at 19) working in London and attending lessons there. Good to hear more men are getting into ballet at a later age!


Also the adult ballet classes will start at Central in 2 weeks and i highly recommend them, the teacher is fantastic! Could be worth a go?


http://www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk/aectimetable.php is their site :(

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Thankyou for the information. I would love to attend these lessons also but I work away every couple of weeks which can make it difficult. Perhaps I will make enquiries if they can be a little flexible with my attendance!


Thanks again!














Edited by Moderator to remove unnecessary quotation of previous post. Please use "Add Reply" at the bottom of the page.

Edited by Redbookish
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