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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ground hog day beginning ballet


Siobhan

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Now I don't mean to sound like a total crab here but I am in several beginning adult ballet classes and getting a bit annoyed about something that just keeps happening. Lately it seems like a new person joins about every other class. Someone who never in their life has done ballet. I applaud and support peeps starting and I understand you don't always get the ballet bug at the beginning of a term BUT....In my last class we had a complete new person and the teacher spent almost the WHOLE class with her. We did maybe 1/3 of the usual barre and 1/2 of the centre because she needed to be taught everything! There is a value in going over basics but that was sort of ridiculous. Felt like I completely wasted the time and money for that class as we stood around for much of it. Just wondered if anyone else had ever had that problem. I am kind of hoping to move into the next level soon, at least that way when a new person joins we don't have to go over the really basic stuff.

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I'll amen to your post - although not in quite the same way - I also take intro/beginner classes to supplement the other classes I take (for various reasons - work on alignment, technique, pointe, etc). What is amusing and I'm being a bit sarcastic, is that these classes never get beyond a certain point because there is always someone new coming ( of course new student are welcome/needed/encouraged) but the levels at my studio go from intro to beginner, to intermediate ( where it is assumed you know most things) there generally isn't a class were students are taught faster/more difficult stuff ( e.g. foutttes, russian jump, etc). Occasionally there is a transitional class/workshop but this isn't consistent. I've dealt with the problem by taking private lessons where I have specific things I work on. It does get frustrating to never learn something more complicated than pas de basque doesn't it.

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I agree with some of this...mostly because my studio offers 4 levels of adult open classes..basic, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The class descriptions are pretty straightforward and state that if you are new to ballet or haven't taken it in a long time, it is best to start in a basic class to see how you can keep up. We always get a brand new dancer in the beginner level classes and it is somewhat distracting when the instructor spends all the time teaching them the difference between second and first position. What is most annoying is that the instructor spends the time to teach them and these people still generally stop coming after a few classes. It is a difficult position for all because it is an open class that anyone can drop in. It makes it hard for the class to be progressive over the semester.

 

Since most open classes are self-placement, people need to be honest with themselves about their abilities. If you aren't sure, go one level down from where you think you might be and if you can do it, then move up.

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