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Pas de Deux


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At about what age does a dancer begin taking pas de deux classes? Of course it depends on technique, but I guess I'm just curious to know at what age the dancers here began. I only started any study of pas de deux at 18, but that's because I started late (14).


The SI of thinking of going to requires pas de deux classes as part of their weekly schedule. I don't have much experience with that and so I'm a little nervous/scared.

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I would say that in a professional program, most girls start pas de deux at the point where they emerge from beginning pointe, so age is not a good benchmark for this type of program. I will say, however, that from observation, the modal age (the age at which most examples occur) for partnering starters in such programs is fourteen.


In local and neighborhood schools, the results can be very different, partly because one variable will be the number of boys who are taking class! I remember one very good small boy who carted a ladder into a classroom as a gag, and had photos taken of himself partnering a rather tall girl! (BTW, he later went to SAB and joined NYCB after he grew quite a bit!) Another tallness-challenged boy was in luck - he had a very good partner just his height to work with (She later became a doctor, but he went on to the Joffrey!).

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That's pretty funny Mjr. Johnson. It's nice to know the starting age does vary somewhat.


Typically, what do SI expect out of dancers, in terms of partnering, as older teens (I'm 19)? The broshures don't seem to say anything about it.

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What do programs with pas de deux classes expect?


1) Hold yourself up, don't expect your partner to do it for you.


2) When it comes time for a lift, a jump would be nice.


3) Don't suppose that your partner knows anything more about this business than you do. Be pleasantly surprised if he does.


4) Don't wiggle while being partnered.


5) Don't eat garlic and onions before class.

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I hadn't thought of #3. Of course the guy I'm partnered with would know about as much about it as I do. :cool:


I'll take special note of #5 :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest boydancer05

Don't be scared to talk to your partner. I had a partner this past summer who had never partnered before and since I have partnering expierience, I was able to help her and she ended up being a pretty good partner.

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Guest hesterlover1

I"m definitely not an expert on pas, but I have had some experience wiht it, and one thing that I've found is that if you have reached a level of technique at which you're ready for partnering, it's not very difficult to learn and adjust to when you are given the chance to try it. As long as you are UP and not expecting your partner to keep you on balance (although of course, that's partly what he's there for!), you shoudln't have any trouble adjusting to it. It might seema little scary to be dancing with someone else, but just remember, like Major Mel said, that your partner probably feels the same way as you do and probably have the same amount of experience! I guess I would say just try not to be afraid, because guys have told me it's hard to partner a girl if she's scared and won't GO for things, like actually jump for lifts and stuff. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. For me it wasn't a big adjustment to dance with a guy, and I think partnering is REALLY fun!! I especially love lifts... I have been lucky enough to always have really good partners, though. The past two summers at the Joffrey Midwest Workshop I got to take pas classes--this past year I also got to do some pas in the final performance there. Also, just yesterday, I did the Snow Queen pas in our Nutcracker, and although I only got to rehearse with my partner a couple times before the show because he's up at college, it went really well and I had a LOT of fun. :) I hope you get the chance to do partnering sometime because I think it is one of the most fun parts of ballet and it's helped me to learn a lot that helps me with all of my dancing, especially having a center!!

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