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Ballet Talk for Dancers

August w(h)ine couch


Redbookish

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Seek sympathy when things don't go so well ...

 

Let's hope this is a short thread :o

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ARGH - class last night was mixed - ended up at the barre with someone who is a pain in the butt - totally through my concentration off - this is the same person who should really be in a different level class, not only for their safety and knowledge but for the rest of us as well. A nice person but clueless in Seattle so to speak. After barre when I was able to move, center was much better, a lovely adagio that I was able to get pretty well. Not sure what to do about this individual, they definitely are well intentioned, but a hazard. Of course since they pay their money and the class is an open class, they have the right to be there, or do they? Curious what others think.......

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Is it an open class dedicated to everyone with no specific level? Or is it an Intermediate class but open in the sense that you can just drop in and not register for the whole series? If it is the first, there is nothing to be done. The instructor should be making combinations that are simpler or else giving alternative combinations for those that are either more advanced, or more beginner.

 

If it is an "intermediate" class but drop in, I think the instructor has a right to tell the person that they would be better suited to a beginner class. (or if advanced in an intermediate class). But I don't think at small studios they will do that to adults because they are concerned about numbers and don't want to turn someone away. Some students would be offended, and sometimes that is the only class the person can attend due to scheduling so they just let him/her stay in there. If in either case if the student is so far below the level that he/she is dangerous/a hazard to others, I think the teacher should be giving him/her a lot of corrections in order to get the student up to speed or else they need to have the gumption to tell them they should take an easier class. Don't hold your breath though!

 

I don't think there is anything you can do as a fellow student though. It is up to the instructor to decide. You have to avoid getting near hear and also make sure you ignore her if you are next to her--although if you are worried she is going to fall on you or kick you in the leg/face it is hard to do that.

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The class is clearly intermediate and titled as such but is an open adult class. There are many other classes available and this person sometimes actually watches the lower level class that occurs after. You are right nothing will be said mostly because of money - not sure why the teacher should give this person more corrections in the intermediate class to the exclusion of others.

Edited by Redbookish
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I didn't have a very good class today :unsure: I couldn't do a double pirouette for the life of me and even my singles were off-centre, balance wasn't great and I just really struggled. On top of it, my pointe shoes died in the 3rd exercise...so ribbon-sewing and breaking-in new shoes for me tonight.

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Sharon B: I probably miswrote. I think that if it were an open class with no level, then the teacher should give the clueless dancer more attention to get them up to speed, because they have a right to be there if a level is not specified. It is up to the teacher to make the class fit everyone or else do not call it an open class (without a level). If it has a level and the person is in there and below the level, the teacher should tell them (in private of course) that they should take a lower level if possible. If the person cannot due to scheduling, then the teacher should suggest private lessons to get them up to speed for the Intermediate open class. If they can't afford the privates, then the teacher should not give them extra corrections at the detriment of the other students' (who belong in that level) learning. That would not be fair to those who have placed themselves in the proper level or who have followed the instructor's advice and gotten into the right level.

 

Just make sure you don't get by that person so that you aren't distracted. I often take a class that is lower for me because I don't feel ready for the more advanced classes. I was in one when I first restarted for about a month and I felt like it was overwhelming and also distracting to the other students for me to be in there. I spoke to my instructor about it and he/she thought I could do that class. But I didn't feel it was right for me so I dropped down. I've made more progress in the lower classes than I think I would have in the faster one. And I'm sure others were glad to see me go!! In the beginner class I take that I'm at the top of the class I still feel it's beneficial for me. I'm surrounded by people making mistakes but it doesn't bother me since it is THEIR class more than mine and also because it forces me to think for myself and ignore them. One of my issues is my memory and until I can remember all the combinations perfectly when we do them, I'm not moving up to that faster class.

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I love taking lower level classes and do so with regularity, generally I place myself somewhere I can work on pointe at the barre, alignment, etc without disrupting others or having them follow me. In fact there are several folks who take lower level classes along with me and there isn't a problem with beginners getting what they need/want and those of us who aren't beginners also getting/doing what we need.

 

The whole ettiquette/level thing intrigues me - (probably should be a separate thread) - thinking that this week I may avoid the classes this person take and go to the lower level class (at least one night), since they don't come weekends the intermediate classes will not be as frustrating as they are during the week.

 

A second whine if you will - we are suppose to be having a transitional class ( transitioning from beginner to intermediate) once a week just over the summer - it started out fabulous, we worked on speed, more difficult combinations across the floor, more difficult jumps, etc. However, for the past two weeks the class has been awful, slowed down to accomodate 1 or 2 persons who should not have been there. I have done pas de basque across the floor so much I want to scream not to mention that there haven't been any jumps or turns either. What would you do......

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^ That's a hard one. I don't know what I would do since I. Hopefully more people will have suggestions. The only thing I can think of is saying to the teacher "Hey, I think I'm getting really good. The combinations seemed really easy." Maybe they would then think they need to make the class harder. But it's a delicate situation because it's up to the teacher and you don't want to make it seem like you know more than they do or that you are trying to tell them what to teach.

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Ugh! So frustrated.... On mondays class I felt I was finally getting into somewhat of a groove.. Tonight, we had a different teacher, and It through me off completely. I know its my in-experience and I know I need to adapt to a different teacher and how they teach but jeeeez! I just had a horrid frustrating draining class, ugh....

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Petit allegros SUCK!

I have to agree - my problem is that in the intro/beginner/transitional classes I take, I can do the petite allegro steps because the combinations are slower and less difficult. Of course this isn't the case in the intermediate classes. When is petite allegro taught? I know it is different for younger dancers, but for adults this can be a problem. I think may of the adults in my classes don't care about learning to do petite allegro properly.

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Yeah in my beginner classes, it's just glissade, assemble, glissade, assemble, pas de chat.

 

Then I go to the int/adv class and suddenly there's a million beats and it's really long and fast. I can do each step individually but stringing them all together really fast.... I just freak out.

 

I wish I can be faster.

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If not doing so already, maybe start out trying to do the more advanced combinations without the beats and just work on speeding up a bit? I know sometimes I get a little overwhelmed if something looks too fast, but just trying to relax and just going for it, paying attention to where my weight/momentum should be so I'm ready to change direction when needed, etc.. those things help me. Sometimes I surprise myself! Other times I just flail about wildly, but I try to just laugh it off. :blink:

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When I took dance at the university (20 years ago) we learned petit allegro jumps and steps (if you consider glissade and pas de bourree part of petit allegro) first facing the barre. I found that it was a very efficient way and I never had any problems with it. I've been taking adult ballet for almost a year now, and mostly beginner classes, but occasionally open classes with professionals. They never do petite allegro in the open classes with pros because it is more a contemporary ballet class. In the beginner classes we do a LOT of jumps since my teacher comes from a Vaganova background. In addition to some jumps before the grand allegro we always end the class with jumps, which is typical of Vaganova. (Before reverence or curtsy). Many more jumps than I have ever had in any other ballet class. We do at least 100 jumps a class period. The teacher has not taught us HOW to do beats or royale and I have asked about when we would officially learn it. (No response yet). In the more advanced beginner classes I've taken beats are expected and I just fake it. In the whole year I have learned not too many new steps or jumps. Only envelope, sissone, royale, temps leve and soubresaute (spelling?). And the teacher didn't really teach them he/she just did them in the combination and I ended up asking later or looking it up. I already knew from before glissade, tombe, assemble, pas de chat, pas de basque, sautes, chasses, pas de bouree from my training years ago. The teacher does spend considerable time teaching and breaking down petit assemble, glissade and pas de bouree in the classes I've been taking recently.

 

With these adult beginner classes I think at small studios it is just hard to deal with what walks into the studio. The money is an issue, you get people with all kinds of background in dance/ballet and some absolute beginners and I think the teachers are sometimes caught between a rock and a hard place to know what to do and where to start without alienating some students (and therefore losing income). I find this less of an issue at one of the NYC studios I attended, which was huge and obviously making money. Each teacher can afford to have a standardized curriculum for their classes and if Susie shows up and can't do it, too bad. Or if Johnnie shows up and is bored, that's his problem, he can go to 8 other classes at a higher level on the same day at the same studio or try another studio 10 blocks away. They don't need to cater to the adult student like they do at the small studios. I'm not saying it to excuse it but just to offer some reasons why it happens.

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