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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Back to beginner level


Marjolein

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I had to take a year off dancing because I had severe back problems, but I'm just aching to go back. I emailed a school were I used to take the advanced classes, and the director advised me to go back to the beginners class, not only to take my technique back to where it was, but also to see how my back holds. I know it's the best thing to do, but that really sucks! I haven't taken a beginners class in 10 years! I might go back to a higher level next semester, but still... I'm so scared I'll be bored.

 

I'm taking an intermediate jazz class, and I hope I'll be able to take an intermediate ballet at the same studio where I take jazz. I used to take ony advanced classes, this seems such a huge step back. I think moral support is needed here!

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I can understand your frustration, but don't get too hung up on the names of the classes. Beginning means a lot of things to a lot of people. Go into the class and see how you feel! If you think the exercises are too easy then ask the teacher if you think you'd do well in the next level up. I'm sure you will climb the levels back up slowly.

 

With that said, even advanced dancers can benefit from basic classes. You can always do a plie/tendu/whatever else better, and sometimes slow combinations really allow you to work on the quality of your movement more than advanced classes do! :wub:

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I'd just like to say that it's good sign to see a director that is mindful of the concerns of coming back after an injury with time off and giving advice that we don't necessarily like hearing. Sometimes I think adults are left to our own decisions which isn't necessarily the best thing for us. :rolleyes:

 

Taking it easy is a good way to avoid re-injury of the back or aggravating something else along the way. A year isn't a horribly long time to be off, but it's always good to ease back into things when coming back from a break. I've had time off and various injuries, too much too soon has proved counterproductive for me in the past. :wub:

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I'm an advanced/intermediate student and I take a beginner class several times a month. I find if I really focus on my technique, it can become a very difficult class and a terrific workout. I also find if I don't focus on my technique, it becomes very boring. What I guess I'm saying, in my personal experience, it's all up to you as to what you get out of the class.

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I'm an Intermediate-Advanced student and I take one to two beginner classes a week. I do this to focus on technique, to clean up bad habits and just to become a better dancer overall. If I concentrate on working on what I need to work on and really focus on getting things perfect, I am not bored. Furthermore, the teacher will occasionally give me a harder exercise to do whilst the others do the easier exercise (e.g. sometimes I do things on demi-pointe instead of flat).

 

As dancepig has said and I have also experienced, it's very much up to you as to what you get out of the class. I also think that for coming back after an injury, starting off slowly is probably a good idea.

 

I hope you can enjoy the classes and that all goes well. Welcome back to ballet :thumbsup:

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Same here. I take a beginners' class alongside intermediate to help me improve my form and placement. If you really push for perfect form you can work up a serious sweat.

 

I also knew a professional who took adult beginners' class when coming back from an injury.

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Ditto here. I'm taking beginning classes in both ballet and pointe, even though I've done both for several years. I find I actually am more sore after a beginner's class because I'm working my muscles more thoroughly.

 

You can make the classes harder for yourself, by working smarter. :-)

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Pros frequently drop back when returning from an injury. If you know how to work a class, you'll be sweating by degagés!

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Thanks for all the support. I know if I work hard, a beginner class is exhausting too, but as it's the beginning of the year, I'm a bit scared a lot of time will be spent explaining things, and not dancing.

 

I'm taking the class tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes.

 

I'm going to take a class Sunday mornings too, which is an open level and the teacher always gives excersises that can be adapted to students of all levels. There's a floor barre class before the ballet class, I hope taking that one will help me getting my strength back.

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I hope you enjoy your classes :blink:

 

One of the ways I manage with the extent of the explaining in a beginner class is to subtly practice while the teacher is explaining. I always choose a spot at the barre at the back so as not to distract others and while she is explaining a tendu, for example, I will practice my tendus slowly, focusing on not curling my toes or sickling my foot, maximising my turnout and really working through the floor. I always try to practice what she is explaining so that essentially I am following the class and not being rude.

 

If she is explaining the positions of the arms, I will practice those or basic port de bras as she explains each position, working to make my arms as supported, beautiful and flowing as possible.

If she is explaining the positions of the feet, I will practice my demi-pliés in each position as she mentions it. One can never stop practicing working one's pliés! :shrug:

If nothing else, I can just subtly put my back foot in cou-de-pied and maybe rise to demi-pointe and work my ability to balance for as long as possible!

 

I have not been reprimanded for doing the above, and as I said, I try to relate what I am practicing to what is being explained, as much as possible. Furthermore, I ensure that I stand in a place that doesn't distract others and that when we do the exercise, I do it as it was shown, especially if we turn the other way at the barre and I am in front for the exercise.

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Well, there is a difference between a total beginner course, which should be "introductory" and a "beginning ballet class", which should be for people who've already completed the introductory. Maybe if this class is too slow for you, you could take some real beginner classes elsewhere?

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I'm recovering from my injuries and will be taking both beginner and my regular advanced basic for a while.

A lot of us go to the beginner class from time to time as things are slower to focus on what we don't have time to do in the higher classes and honestly it can be harder at times by doing things much slower and holding for longer periods of time.

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Silly me, class doesn't start till next week! Though I was very disappointed, I noticed my only pair of black tight has a hole and a run, and my knit shorts have a large hole and I was a bit embarassed having to go like that. So instead of going to the studio, I went to get new tights and shorts and I can go to class properly dressed next week.

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From my own experience, I am seriously sore after a beginner class. I fit one in when I can and the benefits have always been fantastic, because the tempo is a bit slower you can really work on turnout and extension and you get the opportunity to really feel things.

 

Pondfly - how are you doing with the recovery programme?

 

Marjolien - go and enjoy it, there is nothing as exilirating IMHO than a great ballet class.

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