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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Late timing in the corp


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Dd tends to follow other dancers during a dance resulting in a slightly late timing. She doesn't have this issue nearly as much in class, only in rehearsals and performances. It's not because the steps are too hard. Do you have any advice on how she can break the habit?

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Corps work is very difficult, actually, and especially for very young dancers. It takes time and a lot of rehearsals, but I would just wonder if perhaps she is so focused on the steps and being in line that she is not really listening to the music?

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That might be the case. Teachers have consistently commented on how she excels in musicality in class. I could envision her turning her musicality off during a rehearsal. She loves to perform and excels in solo opportunities, but is like a different person entirely in a group dance. Do you have any suggestions on what could help her?

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The teacher could try to remind her to listen, and that the music will tell her what to do and when to do it. The difficulty factor there is having everyone else also listening and working with the music! But, that is what rehearsals are for, and if the group has good coaching, hopefully they will learn to stay in line and move together by the time of performance. :) Do remember though, that this also depends a lot on age and level of the students, how many classes they have, how good they are about attendance, and good training and rehearsing.

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Do corps dancers usually watch each other out of the corners of their eyes?


If yes, maybe if she could even see a fraction of the arms of the dancers to the right and left of her that could help.

I'm always amazed when I'm watching dancers bow at the end how they seem to move as a group even when they don't know how many ovations they will get. I'm guessing it's because they are watching each other.


I've noticed my daughter has had this problem of being slightly late here and there, and she is very musical. I think the lateness comes from listening too much to the music, like she's milking the music until the last note, if that makes any sense.

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I've noticed this problem sometimes crops up for dancers who aren't 100% confident in the choreography. It's not that the steps are too hard, it's not even that they don't know the choreography, it's just that they're lacking confidence which has them watching the other dancers first so they don't "make a mistake". They're then a beat behind.

Edited by CO_Mom
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