Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Should I take this beginner workshop or continue beginner classes?

Recommended Posts

I just started ballet about a month ago for the first time-- I am lucky to be able to take 3-5 classes most weeks at various studios (I take the most beginner level). A couple of these classes are very small (6-10 students) and have excellent instruction. However, an absolute beginner workshop has just been announced at one of my schools-- it starts in a couple of weeks and is 4 classes a week for 4 weeks. This class is with an instructor who I do not regularly take class with as even his basic beginner is too hard for me (apparently absolute beginner is supposed to be a real beginner class). I love the idea of taking this workshop and having the consistency of one class that progresses. But the workshop will have about 35 students, and even though there are assistants that help out, I am a little wary of getting lost in a larger class (in center work in particular, as I have great difficulty remembering steps). The classes are also later at night-- so I would get home at around 10:30-11 several nights, which is doable, but just not ideal, so I want to make sure it will be worth the time. I need to make a decision soon, does anyone have any thoughts?

Link to comment

It's impossible to make your decision for you, and you seem quite ambivalent. But 4 classes a week in a coherent programme -- not just drop in classes -- could have the potential to really develop some muscle memories. Although this of course, takes far longer than 4 weeks.


I wouldn't worry too much about a large class - that's more normal than not, actually, and there's a skill in learning to dance with a big group. I know I like lots of space, but this makes me lazy about thinking about my position in relation to others in the space. In a more crowded class, I have to work hard at not falling out of a pirouette on top of someone else, or moving in jumps and so on.

Link to comment

I am having the same experience and I have to say I love having a full class to dance in! I take an adult open class twice a week and normally there are between 8 and 12 of us in class. They have started a once a week course for teachers (who don't normally take class) on a tuesday (classical,modern and methodology). They join our regular open class on tuesday, but they change the teacher every few weeks. This means there are now something like 25 in the class. It's great! There is energy and vitality and each teacher brings something new. There are less personal corrections, but the current teacher gives very good general corrections and I get a lot more out of the classes.


I think that the four week course you ask about sounds a wonderful opportunity for you to push ahead. If this is really basic beginner and you find the teacher's classes difficult anyway, it should give you a really good grounding and certainly sounds worth the effort you will have to make. I would go for it......

Link to comment

KikiM, in my experience, having a progressive or syllabus-based class that is designed to build up certain material over the course or term can be very very helpful for the reasons the other posters have mentioned: muscle memory, starting from the basic prep for a movement and adding incrementally onto that to gain mastery, and the same group of students who are committed (usually financially!) to showing up every week. Open classes and a patchwork of classes at different studios is par for the course for adult dancers, and those classes definitely have their advantages as well, but they also tend to shift with the makeup of the students and are not as progressive in that the instructor cannot assume that everyone in on the same page with the things that have been covered in the past 3-5 classes. I try to take one syllabus-based or progressive class a week in addition to my other classes and I find it gives me a "home base" to put all the things I'm working on into a structured context.


The 4 weeks of 4 classes a week sounds like a good opportunity to get a good foundation of basic ballet and then all the other adult class stuff may make more sense with the right framework to hang it all on :) Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Link to comment

Thanks for the feedback, especially on class size. Since I posted they actually cut a week off the workshop, so now it's 3 instead of 4 weeks. That, plus the positive comments here was enough to covince me to book! I'll definitely update on how it goes. I'm excited to try it out, and maybe make some new ballet friends, which is hard to do in the drop ins.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...