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Ballet Talk for Dancers
xschizy

Pacing Yourself For Two Classes Back to Back?

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xschizy

Hello,

 

My question regards stamina as a dancer. I have been training ballet for years, and the more my technique improves, the more I notice how much more effort and energy I need to execute steps and movement because there is a higher expectation.

On Sundays, I have two classes: one that is 1.5hrs regular class and then a 2hr pointe class right afterwards.

 

The thing is, I get carried away in the first class and totally kill myself at the barre and at center... and then I have absolutely no energy for the second class that starts right after the first class ends. I find myself drooping and sloth-like in the second class, no matter how much I try to focus. Because I don't want to be disrespectful to my teacher with my work habits, I sometimes don't take the second class.

 

This might sound like a silly question, but I am curious and would like to know your opinion - is 3.5hours of intense dancing without a break okay? For me, I personally find it better when I have an hour break in between before I take a second class. If it's totally normal to dance 3.5 hrs straight, can you tell me how you pace yourself? :) Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

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Victoria Leigh

Technique class followed by pointe class is normal, xschizy, however, usually the pointe class is an hour or maybe an hour and a half. However, dancing 3 or more hours straight is quite normal, with a short break when you change to point shoes or to a different form of dance. If you were dancing with a company you would take class and then rehearse for two or 3 hours, break, then another 3 hours. One technique class should not wipe you out to the point of not feeling up to continuing. Is this something new, or have you been able to do this before without problem? You might need to get checked by a physician to see if there is a reason why your energy level and stamina are so low. Do you have a full schedule of classes and rehearsals during the week, too? Are you still in school or working at a job that might wear you out, or maybe dancing too much? Do you have a day off every week?

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xschizy

Thank you for your reply, Ms. Victoria!

 

Actually, yes, this is something new. Before I used to be able to dance five hours without any problems but now I have a full schedule of dance classes throughout the week, work three part time jobs, and don't get a full day off...so I guess that might be the problem. I guess more vitamins and Emergen-C's for me then? :) haha

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Victoria Leigh

Yes, sounds like you are just doing too much. Where can you cut back a bit? Do you have a full day off from classes?

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xschizy

Yes, usually Saturdays and Mondays, but only because I work the whole day. I usually go to the gym after work to compensate for the time I'm not in dance class.

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