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 Post subject: Newbie question
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Hi!

I am 27, live near Seattle and I just attended my first class of ballet. Because of my schedule, the only class that I can attend (at the school that I chose) is an intermediate/advanced class where everyone seems to have atleast a few years experience. Not surprisingly, I was frustrated with the class and really felt out of place. While the stretching and physical aspects of the class were alright, following what the instructor and others were doing was a challenge. Surprisingly enough, I managed to stick through the class.
Now the questions I am pondering over are these

1) Should I somehow adjust my schedule enough to be able to attend a more basic class? The only issue with this is that I will not be able to make it to class on a regular basis if I go a different day.

2) Should I stick to the advanced class and hope that I will be able to pick up the techniques with time and help - or is this merely fantasy?

Also, are there other resources (books/videos?) that will help me atleast know what's happening in class even if I am not able to necessarily follow along?

Any information would be appreciated. Ballet seems worth making some sacrifices, I just need to know which ones to make.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie question
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 25
Location: UK
Hiya Newbie,

I'm no expert but starting anything new is always going to be hard and frustrating at times but if you're doing something you love then your love will pull you through but, it sounds to me as if you need the basics of ballet.

I not long started my first ballet classes (at 15) and am glad I started at a beginners level because now I can learn the vocab, ask questions and make sure I'm doing it properly. I don't feel pressured and know that the other people in my class are at the same level as me.

You'll always have dancers that are better than you but dancing isn't really about other people, it's about you and your ability and you won't pick things up straight away; it takes time. Talk to your teacher, do some searches on the internet for some other classes and just get in their.

Anyway, hope I helped a little
Never Give Up x

_________________
*If I can't dance in heaven, let me live here forever *


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie question
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 5
Hey Newbie,

I have been there and I know that you're really keen to do ballet, but like you said, it's an advanced class. There would be nothing wrong with doing two or three basic classes then going back, just so you do have some basic knowledge of what everyone else is doing and you'll know if you are doing right or not. Also talk to your teacher and see if doing a basic class would be of any help. If you enjoy ballet, despite the frustration, and you truely want to do it, then you will find a way that will let you do it. Dancing is a way of expressing yourself, and believe me, people know if you're frustrated when you dance lol. Let us know what you decided and good luck!!


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie question
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Now it seems pretty clear that I really need to get my basics right. So I am going to go to the beginner classes and after getting comfortable, I can perhaps re-attempt the advanced class.

Thanks all for replying. Yeah, dance is a passion that never lets go of you. So keep dancing!

-NewB


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
The basics are absolutely essential. I teach an 8-week newbie class. Sadly, I often see students in much more advanced classes who have been dancing for a lot longer who do NOT have the basics that I teach in 8 weeks. I recently saw a student who had been studying for 2 years, and yet didn't understand some of the most basic things I teach in the first two weeks.

Why?

Because these students just "went with the flow" in a class that was too advanced for them, and no one ever stopped to teach them the basics. You can do class 1000 times over and not improve if you don't know your objective in executing the movements.

My recommendation is that you find a quality beginner class and stick to it every week. My students who come every week, they improve and graduate to the next level. Those with sporadic attendance do not. And just coming for two or three classes doesn't do them much good either. Some students, even coming consistently, need to repeat the beginners course for another 8 weeks. But all who stick with it graduate after two terms, in my experience.

If you can stick to an absolute beginners class consistently for 8-16 weeks and you get a good foundation, you'll have more flexible class options available to you after that. All sorts of open classes will then be possibilities for you, even some classes that are too advanced.

If you are unable to find a studio and time to study ballet from the beginning, then maybe this is not the time for you to begin studying ballet. There are many interesting, challenging artistic and athletic activities out there. And unfortunately, quality intro ballet courses are not available everywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Citibob's advice reads very well to me. From what I have heard from the teachers at Laban, another aspect of not having a grounding in the basics is increased risk of injury.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1258
Location: Scotland/France
I agree with both Citibob and Stuart. I wouldn't rule out entirely dancing in an intermediate class, but if it's not supplemented by good, consistant work of the basics of ballet for a little while, then there is little chance of swimming not sinking in those intermediate classes (you can go forever and ever in a state of 'following' a class without ever really dancing with the correct tools). :(


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