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Ballet Talk for Dancers

recitals


antbobby

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Hi everyone,

 

My beginning ballet studio where I take my basic courses is having a recital on Saturday this week, where we will be doing 2 dances, one of which is en pointe. It is very short, but I'm so pleased at last to have made it to a pointe performance, be it only about 2 minutes in length!

 

I'll be performing with other adult pointe beginners, and a few teens. Now, if I just don't get sick or sprain something...

 

 

NO, my husband can't come. I'd be too self conscious. :eek:

 

Anyone else have Christmas recitals or dance events?

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Guest mathiskewl

Good to hear someone else is doing a recital as well. Merde!

 

I have my recital on Sunday, but I'll only be tap dancing. I'm in 3 numbers. It should be fun. I wish I was doing some ballet, but I do most of my ballet with another studio.

 

I also keep thinking that I'll slip this week and sprain an ankle or something. The fact that it's icy out this week doesn't help!

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Hey!

 

Good luck, and no slipping. My last one I sprained my ankle 3 days before it - tap recital!

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Glad to see that others are doing the recital thing. I started a new class in September and they give recitals. In a moment of complete insanity, I agreed to be in it. (I have never been in one before). Then at class last night I heard some of the details. The recital is on Memorial Day weekend so there is plent of time to get a real panic going, and it is viewed by enough people to rival the Superbowl. Oh good!!!

 

Seriously, I was thinking a dozen or so moms and dads watching their teenagers, plus my little fan club (husband and 3 kids).

I found out that they use the theater/stage facilities of the city high school, and the seats usually sell out. The auditorium holds over 900 seats. AAARRRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! Help Help Help.

 

So I guess my first priority is to get a CAT scan and find out what sort of serious brain problem I have that made me think this would be fun, and second to find out what kind of experiences other adults have had doing recitals. This is a ballet technique class with late teens and a twenty something, and myself (42) The piece I will be doing is a pointe piece with 3 other of the older students. It is not completely choreographed yet, but the teacher likes very classical pointe pieces.

 

How about all of you? Anyone else start doing recitals late in life? Is it worth all the panic and fear? What kinds of things did you learn that helped your dancing?

 

Quaking in fear,

Elise

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Don't worry Elise,

 

The recital is part of the learning - performance is what it is about, n'est pas? Enjoy your stage moments, there are plenty of adults who would kill to get them who I've become acquainted with.

 

Enjoy your panic!

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I'm not sure if my age qualifies me as starting "late in life" (I'm still in my 20s) but I was in my first ballet performance ever last summer. (I have some performing experience from other contexts, though.)

 

At leat for me, preparing well is the best cure for nervousness.

 

Do everything in your power to remember exactly all of the choreography you have been given in the rehearsals. If the music is weird, ask if you can get a copy to listen to at home and count until you no longer need to. (If you are counting in your head during the performance there is a good chance your face and dancing will look lifeless/mechanical)

 

If your teacher is anything like mine, you needn't worry much about the choreography of the piece unless you are technically inferior compared to the rest of the class. I bet you aren't - they would not have specifically asked you to be in the preformance if you were. :) Your teacher will have a fairly good idea about what you can and cannot do, and what you look good doing. Trust her.

 

If you're like me, you're afterwards going to hate how turned in you were during the performance. Don't. From talking to other people I have understood that losing a part of your turnout when stepping on stage is a natural phenomenon. The only cure is more class work.

 

Good luck,

Päivi

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Guest mathiskewl

Thank you buglady for making me laugh! I assure you that we all had those thoughts that you wrote. But I'm a sucker and just can't say "no" when my teacher asks me to do stuff like this.

 

Psavola gave good advice. Your teacher would not put in any choreography that you shouldn't be able to do by the time of the recital. It would not only make you look bad, but her as well. Do ask if you can get a copy of the music before hand to listen to at home. When I did a competition (again, tap) with the girls from my class earlier this year, I knew I'd be nervous because I hadn't done any type of performing in 15 years and because of the huge age difference (most girls are 12-13). I swear this is the reason I was able to do so well.

 

Oh, and the whispers of "how old is she?" Let them go. Most people are quite impressed that we can perform so well at "our age";) . Besides, who else will inspire their children to keep dancing as adults? Or, for that matter, to work so hard right now?

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Guest beckster

I was in my school's show earlier this year and it was great fun. I was in a ballet piece with people from late twenties down to age 13. I was dreading it with a passion but it was brilliant. The worst thing was the shiny pink leotard I had to wear and the stage makeup - I got home afterwards and my housemates said I looked like a drag act. The best thing is that you get to spend more time with the people from dance than you do usually, and you get to know them better. Everyone supports everyone else which is really nice. And the buzz when it's finished and you know you did ok, is wonderful. I didn't let any of my friends see the show, but now I wish I had!

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I just participated in my studio's annual production of "Dorothy's Adventure in Oz." I was Auntie Em (by default--I'm the oldest gal in the company), an Emerald City citizen, and a castle guard. The first two roles had more miming/acting than dancing, but the castle guard dance was a little bit challenging. I hope to be a "flying monkey" next year--but need more flexibility (as I'm writing this, I am thinking to myself, "am I really 34 and getting excited about flying monkeys?") Anyway, the whole experience was great fun, although getting to all of the rehearsals when holding down a full-time professional job was difficult. My husband took a few pictures while he worked with sets/props backstage--I'll try to post a few later on when I have more time.

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Oh yes Luna, please do post your photos, especially after that beautiful photo of you in 'The Studio " section of ballet alert.:D

 

And Beckster,I know you have a photo of your recital. I showed it to my ballet teacher here and she was most impressed, so don't hide :)

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Guest beckster

Well, I do have a photo of my group in our lovely pink leotards but it's not of just me, and I don't think it's right to post pictures of people without them knowing about it! Xena, in a week or two I might have a photo of just me which I can post ...

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Well I don't have any ballet performances coming up, but I've got a student workshop performance for a modern piece next week. I'm excited - these performances are always terrifying but great fun too and I learn so much from them.

 

Elise - I have a friend who started ballet about a year and half ago. Last spring she enrolled in a class that had a recital performance. She almost dropped out because she didn't want to perform, but I told her that if she dropped I would never let her here the end of it. :) She stuck with it and had a blast. So have fun!!

 

Antbobby - congratulations on doing a pointe performance! :cool:

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I have the opposite problem. I am 48 years old and my teacher continually wants me to perform. I live in a very small area and my current employer's wife was a professional ballet dancer with a big company (albeit 20 years ago), and I just cannot stand the thought of performing with them in the audience, so I am always declining. Plus, I was a musician when I was younger, through high school and college, and didn't mind performing when in an orchestra pit, no one could see us, but didn't like performing on stage. When I mentioned this to my hubby a few months ago (we were trying to determine the total reasoning for my performance aversion), it does appear as though I don't like people looking at me. So I've determined I'm just a closet dancer and would rather not perform, but it's getting more and more difficult to get this through to my teacher. Especially now that I'm taking four classes per week, and I got my employer to pay for it! It was part of my increase package at my last review, I opted for no increase in wage, just a contract from my boss to pay for my classes and since his wife was a professional dancer, he understands the importance of continuing with this aspect of my life. Lucky for me. But now I have to find a way to communicate to my teacher how much I really do not want to be in any performance. Any ideas? I've tried the words NO Thank You! But she doesn't seem to get that message. :) :confused:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Boots,

 

A belated thank you, I was in Europe for Christmas and just got back. I made it through 2 pieces and saw the video the next day to boot! What fun. Now I really need to get back to work, can't wait.

 

Dance Pig,

 

Sorry you don't like to perform, just have a heart to heart with your teach and let them know the class is what you enjoy and you really don't want any performance, but it must be hard for your teacher to watch you grow. You have to consider that as well. All the best!

 

:D

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  • 4 months later...

I just got back from my first dreaded recital and I am happy to report that I didn't break anything, fall over, bolt at the last minute, or throw up. Believe me, all of the above crossed my mind!!!

 

I did a 3 minute pointe piece that had a lot of difficult steps (for me) in it. Then I had just enough time to change to technique shoes for the ballet peice. I was scared to death of the pointe dance, I have had nightmares for a month. But it went really well!

Before I went on I just told myself to keep my head and eyes up, keep a strong center, use my plie (my knees just lock up stiff when I'm nervous) and try to look as though I were at ease and enjoying myself. I don't think the Kirov will come knocking any time soon, but I didn't disgrace myself either! I am just so thrilled that I had the guts to do a pointe peice in front of over 900 people----I feel as though I can do anything now! Nothing can be scary compared to this!

 

The best part was afterward when I had changed and was heading out the door, a woman who was a teacher in Boston came up to me to talk about the recital. She wanted to know how many years I had taken pointe to get "such beautiful feet with such perfect arches"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, it is mostly just the luck of genetics, but I took it as a compliment anyway. I was then further flattered when her husband assumed I had not quite turned 30! (I think the poor man is nearsighted)

 

So all in all, it was a good experience and a real ego boost for a 43 year old, peri-menopausal mom of 3!!:):D :D

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