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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Should I start partnering?


Ballet Bunnie

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So my teacher suggested me and a few other students to starting partnering. (This teacher knows me well, and she has helped me a lot in my technique and pointe class. And I love her class.) She told us that she had never done any partnering before she entered the company, and felt she wasn't prepared at all when she first get into the company, so she advocates to start partnering early.

This partnering class is an hour per week following my technique class. I asked her about how the class would be like, and she said that there would be some turns and some lifts. Most of the girls are at my level, but there might be two company apprentices but she said that she still need to make some calls to get some guys for us.

 

And when my teacher told me that I should be on pointe for the partnering class, I most had a heart attack... :wacko: She said that I have the strength, and this will give me more practice on pointe to improve my technique. And she said that the class won't start off with something too crazy. But I don't know if I am really ready. So, on one hand, I really want to learn; but on the other hand, I have this fear over something completely new. :blink:

 

I guess now I am both worried and excited :D , because I have absolutely no experience in partnering, and most of my ballet classes were girls only...

 

Any advice on how should I make my choice? And how and when do dancers usually start partnering?

 

And I have a potentially "semi-silly" question: I am very easy to be tickled in my entire upper body. Does partnering work tickle?

 

Thanks!

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  • Administrators

Ballet Bunnie, I know you have not been on pointe for very long. How much training are you getting now, classes and hours in technique and pointe, and what level would you consider yourself? Partnering can start for advanced level students in the mid teens, or even earlier for some, but I believe you are a late starter, is that correct? My concern with partnering would be your own pointe strength, and if the male dancers are also not experienced, it could be quite difficult. But, you are in college, so I guess you need to trust your teacher's choices. :shrug:

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Yeah, I was kind of in shock when she mentioned partnering in pointe... This is only my 3rd year back to ballet after a 6 years break, and I have been back on pointe for almost one year. I love that teacher, because she gives a lot of corrections and pushes me to challenge my limit. But occasionally, I feel that I am being pushed too hard. Sometimes, she gets mad at me when I am not "brave enough", especially when it comes to pointe. She thinks that I have too much fear and hesitation, and in her own words, "just be brave, there is nothing going to happen, the worst case is falling off from pointe. But I don't think it is going to happen. You are certainly not going to break your ankle. You are just scaring yourself." We've been having conversations like this for a couple of times already...

She said that she consider me in higer intermediate right now. The things we are currently working on are: attitude turns en dendan and en dehor, arabasque turns en dedan, and double en dedan turns and upper body expression in jumps. Things we are doing lately on pointe are emboite turns (my biggest fear right now), and some pirouettes, and she put emphasis on the crispness of the steps.

 

I have technique every school days. Right now, Mondys and Wedsdays, I have 20 minutes at the end of the class on pointe M and W and and another 1 hour pointe class once a week.

 

I don't know what the other girls in my class are thinking right now, but hopefully, they will have the same concern as I do...

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  • Administrators

Well, you are an old enough to know what you can and should be doing, and what things might not yet work so well. Just be careful, and be sure that your partner knows what HE is doing! :)

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Thank you so much, Ms. Leigh!

I guess that's the con for being in a college program... I talked to the teacher and she said that I don't have to take it for credit. But she said that partnering would be good for my "personal growth". :wink:

We were going to start it today, but we've got a snow day, and all my classes got canceled~

But I just want to thank you for being my extra opinions besides my teacher. Thank you again, Ms. Leigh! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I hope it's ok if I answer this post, if not, my apologies.

But I just took my first partnering class today and I was very nervous about it as well, but all in all I loved it. I had to push myself to take the class, as fear was quite an obstacle for me concerning partnering.

It wasn't bad at all though. We worked on two things, mainly.

Pirouettes with a partner, and the fish catch. My biggest problem was understanding the concept that my partner was going to catch me, and that I was not just dancing by myself anymore.

We also did promenade.

 

We had to do an exercise where the guy leaned back, forward, and side, and the girls stood in front of him in susu, and we had to lean with him in whatever direction he went.

 

It's really nothing to be afraid of, and I'm glad that I just bit the bullet and went to the class despite my anxiety about it. I hope I have helped give you a clearer picture of what partnering class looks like.

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  • Administrators

Ginnia, I left your post because I know that technically you do fit into the age category. However, I think it is probably best, since your profile shows Teacher and Adult Student, that you refrain from posting on the YD forum. Thank you!

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