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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pointe at adult dance summer schools


amanndddaaaa

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Many people at the Richmond camps I've been to do not do pointe for one reason or another - some have never had pointe, some have injuries, and some are just "been there, done that" and choose not to.

There are usually other classes you can take during the pointe class. Even people who take pointe class often opt out of performing on pointe. So it definitely not a problem if you are on flat shoes all week. You will certainly still get a lot of classes, and fit in fine.

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There actually isn't as much pointe as it appears. Technique classes are all done in flat shoes. You can also opt not to do pointe for the variation and/or pas de deux. In fact, it's not recommended to try these things on pointe unless you're in 3B or 4, and even then it's optional (several level 4's opted out of pointe for the variation last year). Our rep piece last year (level 3B-4) was also done on flat shoes.

 

As for the pointe classes, they are structured based on level and it's perfectly fine to try them on flat shoes, take another class instead, or sit and observe if you're not a pointer!

 

Editted to add: this was based on ADC in Richmond - I haven't been to another adult intensive.

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I'll just add one point(e). It makes a BIG difference to your partner whether you are on pointe or not! That is, your balance and position is very different. So it's best (in my humble opinion) not to change your mind at the last minute whether or not to dance on pointe for the pas de deux performance.

 

That said, the performance looks great on pointe or not; there is usually a mix on stage and it's not a big deal from the audience perspective. Make the decision fro yourself and for what you want to learn, everybody will be supportive and helpful.

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  • 3 weeks later...

olddude, do you remember in Richmond ADC if your men's class were strictly men only or did they welcome ladies as well?

 

In a summer school in London some ladies actually went to do the men's class and got to do things like tour en l'air and pirouettes en dehors a la seconde which we don't get to do in class normally!

 

Fish

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I had a teacher who would teach us those men's jumps -- great fun. And I remember a class where I used to go across the floor in allegro with the men deliberately, to teach me to step out and jump big. We'd have brisé races.

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olddude, do you remember in Richmond ADC if your men's class were strictly men only or did they welcome ladies as well?

 

The last time I attended ADC, they allowed women into the men's classes until they not only outnumbered the men, but took up all the time, and asked all the questions.

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They also allow men into the pointe classes. And, yes, I know of at least one who ALWAYS takes pointe with us when he's at the camp. :-)

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The last time I attended ADC, they allowed women into the men's classes until they not only outnumbered the men, but took up all the time, and asked all the questions.

I haven't had that happen, but there have been one or two, especially on the last day (Saturday) when things seem more relaxed. It's a tough question. After a career as an engineer, I really enjoy the company of women for a change. But us guys are also well aware that there are differences between classical men's and women's ballet technique which we are never going to learn in a regular class. If there's a difference, we're going to learn the women's way of doing it.

 

At the Richmond camp there are four men's technique classes, three of 45 minutes and one of 30 minutes. (It's the same for pointe.) The alternate days have the Men's Variation class/rehearsal, and women generally don't take that class!

 

The women taking the men's class are usually (in my limited experience!) much better, more experienced dancers. Since a men's class is so much harder to find than a pointe class, these few classes every year are the only men's technique classes I've ever had in 6-7 years of (now) daily classes; in fact almost the only male teachers I've ever had.

 

On the other hand, last year one of the men's classes focused on partnering, and some of the Level 4 dancers generously gave up their pointe class to help us learn some basics of support and balance. It was a wonderful experience; in the pas de deux classes us guys are outnumbered by the hired extra men (pros and advanced students) who are of course very experienced and knowledgeable. I am immeasurably grateful to them!

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I have taken the men's class almost every year in Richmond, because I no longer take pointe. I think that it is important for any female who is allowed to take the men's class to remember that is the the MEN'S class. I look on it as being a guest in the class and try to stay in the background as much as possible and not monopolize the teacher's time with questions. I would rather fade into the wood work than have the men feel like I messed up their opportunity for a good class. I feel the same about an advanced dancer taking a beginner level class. You wouldn't expect to stand in front and get advanced level corrections!

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We had one of the ladies in the men's class, and she even performed the men's variation at the theater. A couple years ago one of the more advanced women joined the men's class. She was very good in the A La Seconde Turns.

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Call me old-fashioned but I think men ought to be allowed to have their own classes away from estrogen. Conversely, I think it's good for us to have our pointework away from all the testosterone!

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I agree on the gendered alone time, but like getting male-oriented jumps and turns in mixed classes sometimes.

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