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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Our perfect adult ballet programme?


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Over in the Teachers' forum, Pas de Quoi is asking about starting a new adult ballet programme.


We can't post there as it's for ballet teachers, but I thought we could give tips and ideas from the perspective of adult students of ballet. And dream a little?


Here's Pas de Quoi's thread:




My ideal programme:

* 90 minute classes

* opportunity to learn repertoire

* some sort of teacher guidance about grading, so you don't get beginners in advanced classes to trip over, and maybe a very basic "Introduction to Ballet" class (I'd do that as well, they're usually really so much harder than more advanced classes)

* supplemented by ballet-related Pilates

* a warm rather than cold studio (I like to dance hot - my old body needs the oiling of warmth!)

* a teacher who gives hands on corrections to all

* and maybe some specialist workshops every now & again, such as a Sunday afternoon devoted to allegro, or turns, or something like that


I know I'm not asking for much the impossible :):happy:

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I agree with a lot of Redbookish's points, especially the 90-minute class.


I would add:

  • Barre not longer than 45 minutes.
  • Accompanist
  • Setting expectations about etiquette -- how to handle late arrivals, instruction on spacing and taking turns, etc.
  • A range of levels... I don't mind when people are in classes that are a above their level, but I do mind when those students lack understanding of proper etiquette and then get in the way when they can't pick up the exercises or travel 6" instead of 6' during an exercise, or ask a tonne of questions about things they would know if they were actually in an appropriate-level class. That said, I would want the teacher(s) to tell students to stop attending a class if there's a risk to themselves or others -- e.g., lack of preparedness/ability for pointe or about-to-run-someone-over.
  • Investment in the students' successes and development
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Oh yessss, Gav, I was thinking about lack of knowledge of things like class manners etc when I was writing about appropriate gradings. But I've also just come back from a few days working in London, and doing class in crowded studios where there are people who just don't get the idea of being in lines, and then standing in the gaps - I kept shifting a bit so the person behind could see the mirror & I could see past the person in front and each time the other people moved as well!


I have quite a few of the desired attributes in my regular class, particularly a very committed & engaged teacher. But only 2 pretty basic classes a week <sob> + two contemporary classes. And all only 60 minutes. The classes I do in London help, but they also remind me how much I'm losing by not doing that sort of standard every week as a regular thing.

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Character for Adults! Not something offered in the States and should be.

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Oh yes gav I so agree with you, I just have enough of the question about stuff you should know if you really belong to the class that leads (at least in mamy class) to have a barre exercise shown like 4 times before doing it and sometimes even more between side because people do not either remember or inderstand it. And the teacher cannot ask them to go to a lower level class because they have been taking the beginner class for 5yearq or more or they have 5 children in the school and are afraid to loose all of them... So I will add a teachee that is not afraid to change people level (up or down) if necessary.

I will add ar least 3 class a week g'fir the advanced class that are in a hour at which adult can really come (not like 30min before most working hourd ends) and a pointe class for thise that are able (like a bit a the end of a class or an 4th class only devoted to it)

Here (europe) I have problem finding class and pointe class for adult but I can find character class for adult at an hour it's possible to come,

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Character for Adults! Not something offered in the States and should be.


Find an RAD teacher!!! I offered to teach Character to my adults and they looked at me like I was crazy.... (I thought it would have been fun...!)

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Remember that many adults work a M-F 8-5 job and offer classes outside those times too. Late enough to during the week to allow commute and changing time, and weekend classes are great.

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Character for Adults! Not something offered in the States and should be.


Find an RAD teacher!!! I offered to teach Character to my adults and they looked at me like I was crazy.... (I thought it would have been fun...!)


We have some great Vaganova teachers in my school, and Character is offered to the teens. The adults have begged for character and pointe classes but since this a pre-pro school there isn't enough studio space in the evenings. :blush:


Anyway the question was about a Perfect Adult Program and I've always though Character should be offered. The few times I had instruction in workshops I have enjoyed how much it complemented classical training (and how much fun it is).

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Yes I would like to do Character too as I have never done it.


Have to disagree about the studio being so warm though - I can't stand dancing in a "greenhouse"! if I don't have goosebumps when I first walk in I know I am going to be way too hot once we get to allegro.


Agree with most of the other points but have to add the opportunity to take exams for those who want to (not compulsory).

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