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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Jaana Heino

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Something so annoying happened today at class that I just want to vent, and I don't care if she reads this board too (moderators, delete this if you find it too inappropriate).


Before the beginner 1 class for adults I take on Fridays, there's a kids' beg1 class. A Mom goes to our class who has a Kid in the previous one. They seem to have an arrangement that the Mom and Kid arrive to the salle together, the Mom spends the Kid's class reading in the dressing room, and then Someone Else picks the kid up and the Mom has her class.


Today Someone Else had something to do, and so that the Mom could take the class the Kid was invited to join our class too (same teacher teaches them both, so she could assess if the Kid could do it).


Now, I don't mind the Kid at all. This was a temporary arrangement, and the Kid (aged 8) was very well behaved and took the class seriously. The teacher treated her in a way I liked, too: as just one of the dancers in the class, giving corrections where appropriate like to anyone else and advicing her when to to change the combination to something more suitable (for instance, she didn't do tendus from fifth, as they haven't done that at the kids' class yet, but from the first). If the Kid wouldn't have been so tiny, I could have totally forgotten she was 20 years younger than me. :)


What annoys me is the Mom. AARGH! As I said, the Kid was very well-behaved: when the teacher spoke she stood still and listened, or marked the combinations, and promptly took her place in center, didn't get upset when she couldn't do something etc. She also was technically pretty good for beginner ballet 1 - certainly better than the Mom. :P


The same cannot be said about the Mom. She kept on whispering to the Kid, all the time, even when it was obvious that the Kid was listening to the teacher. She didn't concentrate on her combinations, but kept on looking at the Kid - even craning her neck to see when the Kid was behind her at the barre! She even started to give corrections and instructions to the child - and in things she didn't know how to do herself!


After the class I heard the teacher emphasize her that this was strictly an exception, and boy was I glad...


Sorry for the rant; I just had to vent. :mad:


On a more positive front: with the beginner ballet 2 class we have started to practice pirouettes, finally! :D (In the beginning of the year the teacher said we will start as soon as we are ready.)

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Hi Jaana


Yes I can see how annoying it must have been for you. I guess its lucky that it was an exception. Parents can be soooooo embarrassing sometimes hey? I bet that kid thought so at some point. Still you have to smirk a bit about it.

Perhaps she was trying too hard to make her child feel comfortable in the class. You know she was probably a bit worried if her little 'baby' could handle it or not and the natural thing is to keep reassuring (talking) and checking up on her, even if you thought it was unnecessary, the mum probably thought it was.


Great news on the pirouettes..I bet you can't wait?

So what preparatory exercises is your teacher teaching you at the moment to get ready for pirouettes?



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yes, I must admit the Mom probably meant well. Anyway, she had no reason to be anxious, the Kid was great. A lot of reason to be proud. (Some one I know suggested that the Mom could go to the kids' class from this on, and the Kid could come to ours. ;))


We have done passé balances forever and half turns at barre for, um, some months now. Also chainés (eek, where do the accents go?) for spotting - the class is so much better in this than it was a year ago that it's a delight to watch. At the barre now we have some relevés to retiré from battement tendu jeté, etc, to get the balance right quickly enough (I'm ever so bad with that).


But today at the beginner 2 class we actually already did our first attempts at pirouettes - we had a combination from the corner that had balance, pirouette, balance, pirouette, etc. Very slowly. I think I got about 2 or 3 tolerable ones into the 20 or so I got to do... beginner's luck, probably. :)


And oh yes, I'm so excited - as you probably can tell...:P

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