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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Jazz and Ballet Conflicting


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So although I really do love dancing ballet, I also really like to do the other styles of dance like Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, and even (sometimes) hiphop and tap. This year, for my level, my studio offers 2 classes, in addition to two blended classes with the level above and one with the level below. I take three of those classes (one my level, the blended below, and the easier one of the blended above). I would definitely take the other one my level, and maybe the harder blended up (not sure about that one because a lot of really good people take that class) but I have a jazz class during it. This year, I take three of each style. There is also a more advanced jazz I would allow me to take the harder class that i could take but it would be too advanced for me. I'm kind of disappointed because I really wanted to take the harder ballet and the jazz isn't a challenge for me but my teacher told me that in order to take my hard classes I need to take that class as well so I can live with that. The issue is, its such an easy jazz class because I did a lot of jazz after I was evaluated over the summer and a lot of the people in the class are just young-don't have the mental coordination to get combinations quickly and reverse them, or have trouble with some basic steps like chaines and piques. Is there anything I can do (I know this isn't a ballet board) to get into the harder jazz? The lower level teacher (who teaches the easy class) is a very easy teacher who barely ever corrects individually and (not to critique teachers) has sort of sloppy technique like a turned in pique. The other teacher challenges everybody and the class is above my level. My other two classes are good, but I hate having the one wrong class that starts to ruin my day and sometimes (if its really bad) my whole week!


My bigger issue is with my lyrical/contemporary level situation. There are two classes that I could possibly take-one that I took last year (so on the easier side for me) and one that is a lot more of a challenge for me. The first one happens to conflict with school, but my teacher lets me leave my Spanish class early so I am normally just a little bit late. I started the year taking the more advanced class, but my teacher asked my friend and I, as well as another girl to move down levels. I tried the level below and found that I wasn't really getting a challenge (partially because the steps, although technique that I should be working on, but also the girls in the class are very technically weak and have issues just standing still without falling over :P). Its been two weeks since I tried the class and I'm still waiting for the teacher to say something (I did it again today). How long should I wait before bringing it up? I don't want to be rude by bringing it up when they haven't come to a final decision (the two teachers were talking today) but I also don't want to stay in the class if my teacher doesn't want me in the class. The teachers are the same as in my jazz issue (the lower teacher also teaches the lower class).

Just to explain the difference between the teachers, one of them "chooses" line leaders for across the floor to make sure we all get a turn to lead (which is sweet but completely unneccessary), goes over simple combinations like straight chaines across the floor multiple times, reverses them on the other side (no matter how simple), does not give complicated combinations ever, and has not offered any individual corrections in all the time I've been in her class. She also never points her toes (I actually have to ask if our toes should be pointed or flexed in combinations because I've never seen her do either with her feet) and turns in her piques (then gets mad at us for turning them in). The other teacher has cleaner technique (in my opinion, at least), gives more challenging combinations (both the steps and the sequence of he steps), and corrects people individually a lot. As you can tell, I like one of them more than the other :). I'm worried that without the more challenging teacher at all, I won't be getting any challenge in lyrical/contemporary and that my jazz classes overall will be too easy (I have one good jazz thats a little easy and one perfect class that is honestly everything I want in a jazz but it might be too easy.)


Any advice? And sorry for the ramble and the not totally ballet questions.

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That was indeed a bit rambling. However, my thought is that you need to recognize that your teachers know better than you do, and just because you can "do" something does not mean that you do it so well that you should be in a more advanced class. Lower level classes can be very valuable for really improving your technique. All that blending of levels makes things very complicated, but, you also may need to make some decisions about what you really want and where you want to go with your dance study. IF it is ballet, you are not getting enough, and the mixed up levels are not a good thing. That means that if you want ballet primarily, you need a new school. If not, then carry on what you are doing and trust that you have chosen a good school, with good teachers, and go to all your classes to learn and improve and not worry about things being "too easy".

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Thank you! That definitely made me feel better about what I'm doing-I think I wrote that kind of in a rush from a few hours of dance, but I can definitely see that I should stay in the lower classes. I love ballet, but I don't think that I only want to take ballet, so (for now at least) I'll stay with my studio.

Thank you so much! I will try to feel a lot better in my classes. :)

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