CriticalDance Forum

Is a more intensive dance program for me?
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Author:  Skaltervox [ Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Is a more intensive dance program for me?

I have just started ballet at the age of 25. I absolutely adore ballet, and get such satisfaction knowing that I have started to persue this dream of mine, to dance.

I am about to finnish my intro ballet program at the Ballet Divertimento in Montreal, and I will be starting my debutante program in the new year. I adore my instructor,( she is a total gem), and the school is wonderfull, but unfortunately they only offer a 2 day per week program for beginners. I show much promise, and am among the top students in my very large class. I would really like to do ballet "full time" so that I might progress faster, and grow.

My question is;

Is 2 classes a week enough for me to seriously grow as a dancer, or is a intensive program more advantageous for me at this point? I really want to stay at this school, like I said I really feel good about my teacher, so going to a different school is probably not an option. Do I need to dance full time at this point in my study? And if so, how do I attend a full time program? Please let me know what you all think. Thanks so much for all of your kind support! :D

Author:  strangegirl [ Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

First off, it is great that you love what you are doing-- some people never find something they are so passionate about! So, stick with it...

When I read your post, the question that I came away with was, "What are you hoping to come away with by intensifying your studies?"

Sure, taking more than two classes a week will be of benefit, and you will probably progress more quickly. However, I don't really see the benefit in studying full time (I would consider this to be at least 5 days per week- just in my thinking) at this point. Truth be told, a career in ballet is certainly out of the question at this point, as you are probably aware. I guess maybe I am just jaded, but I know that by the time I turned 30 (I am almost 33 now), I started to really see the limitations in my body. While you may be able to get quite a bit better, you will soon be battling the limitations of your own body, too, and ballet is among the most cruel forms of dance in terms of how these limitations play out.

I am of the opinion that if you love it then you should take as many classes as you feel good about. I also think there would be great value in your exposing yourself to more than one instructor. I know you love your teacher, but if you really want to grow as a dancer, it is important to expose yourself to different teachers, as each one has a different style and can offer different things. What about trying other types of dance, as well? Maybe throw in some modern classes?

I hope this didn't come across as harsh or discouraging. It's just that in terms of building an art form "into" one's body, ballet must be just about the most difficult. Starting so late means that some things, such as turn out and extension, will probably never come as easily or develop as fully as someone who started at a much younger age. This is not to say that you can't progress and grow to love dance more and more, as I hope that you do. Ballet is just so difficult and so hard on the body, especially as you age...

Author:  Skaltervox [ Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks strangegirl!

I should clarify by telling you that I do not infact have any illusions of becoming a world famous proffesional ballerina. I also understand that Ballet is a very unnatural dance form, and that my body at my age will limit me. What I wish to do is to go as far as I possibly can... to be the best that I can be.

I am thinking strongly about your suggestion to work with some other teachers as well. Although I adore my instructor to pieces, I see what you mean by other teachers perhaps bringing something new to your dance. I see 3 different Yoga instructors, and each has their special "offerings". There is another teacher at my level at my ballet school, so I think I might attend a few of her classes sometime soon, and see what her class is like...

I also do traditional Middle Eastern dance (with a company in Montreal), Hip Hop, and Latin dancing. I have not had the opportunity to try my foot at modern yet, but it is definatly in the plans.... (I would first like to make a formal request for more hours in the day :wink: ) I have never had any sort of dance instruction in my life, until this year, when I started to go all out...( I never had the opportunity as a child). I am taking a year off of work and school to just "center" myself, and to do all the things I am passionate about, to live a rewarding life for a while...rather that slaving away...

Of all the dance forms I have tried, it is Ballet that I am most passionate about (and always have been). I definatly plan to go as far as I can with it, for the passion of dancing, but also because it is a solid foundation for any other dance form, and it also shares parallels with Yoga ( which I practice avidly)

Thanks kindly for your response and suggestions... :)

Author:  strangegirl [ Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi, and thanks for your understanding and kind response, as I feel that my first post was a little negative. Sorry, and you have such a great spirit!

I can see that you have a true passion for dance, and it is so great to read your posts, because that really comes through.

I wish you all the best!!! :D

Author:  Skaltervox [ Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

I don't feel that your first response was negative in the least. :D I think that you are just honest and level headed, and I appreciate that. Cheers :D

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