CriticalDance Forum

manners/ dance protocol
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Author:  angela [ Mon Jul 30, 2001 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  manners/ dance protocol

I'm SURE many of you have had an experience like this even ONCE! <BR> One of the 1st times I decided to take a elementry ballet classes,we were doing floor work. Keep in mind I was and still am a TOTAL BEGINNER!<BR> We were doing floor work and as I was watching the others do their work I became unsure of myself and stopped in the middle of the routine. The "instructor'(who was about my age0 SCRA-EAMMMMED saying that what I did was rude!!! I didnt have the guts at the time to address the way she corrected me and NEVEr returned to the class. i had an almost similiar experience when I was much younger-in that case me and my partner mistakenly went ahead of everyone. I know now that this wasnt my fault since I was a novice;and these folks obviously have problems but:<BR>CAN SOMEONE ENLIGHTEN ME ON RULES OF FLOOR WORK

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Jul 30, 2001 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

I will be happy to give you my view of it...others may differ.<P>Floor work generally takes place in three main ways. It can remain in one place - like doing changements, for example. They don't move forward or back - or side to side. So center work sur la place, is no problem. However, floor work can move on the diagonal, or in any other combination of ways; coming forward, going backward, side to side, etc., as the combination progresses.<P>Or in a circle.<P>In a center combination that moves foward, if you get confused and you have another group also in front of you,keep moving forward with your group as best you can until the group in front group is finished. Then run forward to the front wall, and walk along that wall to the side of the room.<P>Never run backward into an oncoming group. Never run to the sides of the room from the center in front of people. Run forward to the front wall, and then to the sides.<P>In a diagonal situation - once again keep moving!!! Never run backwards. Keep moving with your group as best you can until you come to the downstage corner and then walk along the sides of the room to the back.<P>The cardinal rule is NEVER STOP. You are endangering yourself and others. Keep moving in the general direction of the group and then get out of the way - by going up along the sides of the room.<P>As for placing oneself in the center - some teachers like to place the students. I personally don't like that for many reasons. Find a comfortable spot for yourself. If you are new to that class, or a beginner, place yourself toward the back to begin with. See how you fit in. A good teacher will have the class continuously change lines so that everyone gets a chance to stand in front.<P>If you place yourself in the front line - be prepared to be able to maintain that place. By that I mean - you better know what you are doing. Personally, I will have to admit something here. I very much enjoy standing in the front. It makes me work harder - because I have no one to watch. It challenges me. <P>But, as I said, if that is where you place yourself, be sure you belong there. There is also a general unspoken protocol in ballet class to accord someone with seniority in accomplishment a place in the front line. If you have earned it, it's yours. But don't usurp it.<P>And, I would add, except for an immediate threat to safety, there is never a reason for a teacher to scream in class.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited July 30, 2001).]

Author:  angela [ Mon Jul 30, 2001 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

THANK YOU Basheva!!!

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Jul 30, 2001 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

Here is another thread that might be helpful:<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum7/HTML/000488.html><B>Good Manners in Dance Class</B></A>

Author:  trina [ Mon Jul 30, 2001 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

Basheva---I think your post should be printed and handed out to all new dance students! It was GREAT! And very thorough. As you mentioned, I probably wouldn't yell at a student, except for safety purposes, ie., if they were about to "mow down" or be "mowed down" by somebody around them in their group. Sometimes what seems like "yelling" is merely "hey, watch out" and is meant to help you avoid an collision accident.

Author:  Bree [ Tue Jul 31, 2001 5:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

Question - when you are doing combinations down the diagonale, for example: do your students all go at the same time, in a line? I have never experienced this - usually one or two students (at the most, three) go at a time, and usually a more advanced student leads the line.

Author:  Basheva [ Tue Jul 31, 2001 5:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

I think that can depend on the combination, Bree. If it is something like piqué turns, then the dancers might make two lines (one behind the other on the diagonal) each starting on a new phrase of the music.<P>Sometimes, it could be in groups of three, four, and the next group starting on the next phrase. If that is what is happening then if one dancer stopped in the center, she would be blocking the next group coming along.<P>So, I think it can depend on the combination - and how many are in the class. If the class is quite small - the dancers may go one at a time.

Author:  angela [ Tue Jul 31, 2001 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

THANKS Trina and Basheva. As far as the teacher I had it wasnt a "watch out"; she was DEFINITELY in tantrum mode

Author:  Red Shoes [ Tue Jul 31, 2001 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

I just want to add my praise for a very thorough answer from Basheva.<P>About the yelling: I used to yell a bit, but in Italy it's half expected Image and there's yelling and yelling, isn't there?<BR>I also used to make 'em laugh when I could, and when it was appropriate. Teacher's who are always predictable can get a bit boring.<BR>I had a teacher once who knew technique, and made up lovely enchainements, and was a lovely dancer herself, but always spoke in a monotone (she was Canadian actually, but I don't think that had anything to do with it), and although she was technically an excellent teacher, she was really dull.<P>The odd yell livens things up, as long as it isn't malicious.

Author:  Basheva [ Tue Jul 31, 2001 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

I want you all to know how much I appreciate your kind words - I truly do. I value all of you so much, your judgement and insights, that I feel blessed to be among you.

Author:  bebounce [ Wed Aug 01, 2001 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

So what would you do if an excersize came up in center that you didn't know all of the parts to, so you had trouble finishing it out? When I went to my summer program, it was going from cecchetti to russian, and besides stuff they didn't tell us, a lot of stuff had different names, and in the leel class I was in, he didn't really need to show much, just to speak the excersize. So I would watch and try to go last, but especially at the beginnig, sometimes I wasn''t sure what he was talking about. I could ask him, but sometimes I'd still be shaky, and his english wasn't so great-so sometimes I wouldn't understand Image. It pretty soon got A LOT better than when I first started at that level, but sometimes I wouldn't do the excersize, I'd jsut keep marking it as the other people did it-then walk in the safe zone where the people were who had finished (which never upset the teacher-I don't think he was watching). I am afraid, however, that when I start at a higher level this september, that I would end up doing the same thing before I get used to all of the new things I learned. Do y'all ever have the problem with just being too confused about floor excersize across the floor, and you just didn't feel like you could do it without running into people at the part you don't know?

Author:  ahallmark [ Fri Aug 03, 2001 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

I had a "harrowing" moment this spring when I took an adult class at Houston Ballet Academy.<P>Everything was fine for barre and most of center. I didn't get a the end of the barre and I stayed in the back for center. But then we did some combinations from the diagonals, they included some steps I had not done since I was 11. I was a little shaky at getting the entire combination. On my LEFT side (my worst) I found myself at the front of a small group. I tried to encourage the other dancers to take my place, but they just smiled encouragingly (probably glad THEY weren't there!). Well, we ended up going across and, yes, I did mess up. But that was okay. I tried. I didn't stop. But the combination did not look ANYTHING like what the instructor wanted!!!! :-)

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Aug 03, 2001 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

It has been my experience that it can take quite some while to get used to a new teacher and/or a new level. I had that happen to me several times and twice it took me three years until I felt really comfortable.<P>You just have to persevere. But the important thing is not to get in anyone else'e way or cause danger to yourself or others.

Author:  Red Shoes [ Fri Aug 03, 2001 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

As a teacher, I always preferred the students who 'had a bash' at a difficult step or enchainement.<BR>Very irritating the ones who don't try!<BR>So always go for it, keep at the back, or out of the way of the others at least, but get in there and give it your best effort.<P>Teachers will appreciate your attitude, and are more likely to stop and help if they see you making an effort.<BR>

Author:  nancy [ Sat Aug 04, 2001 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: manners/ dance protocol

I agree with Red Shoes. As a teacher I feel helpless when a student doesn't try -- you can't steer a parked car...<P>Ahallmark, I'd have applauded your efforts across the floor. I encourage my students to do exactly what you did. If you can't figure out the combination, or if you blank out, do ANYTHING (preferably related to ballet), smile and keep moving! <P>Besides class "manners" and the safety issue, an important performance skill is learned. If you blank out on stage, and you stop to figure it out, the audience will know for sure that you blew it. If you keep moving and don't telegraph your mistake, you have a much better chance of fooling the audience. Also when your body freezes, often your brain joins it. If you keep moving, you have a better chance of remembering where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing.

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