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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I had a very interesting discussion with a lady today who is an excellent teacher - she is the one I now take class from and we discussed the three ways of teaching 1st position to beginners. (adults)<P>l. As Grace described sitting on the floor and letting the feet find their natural first.<P>2. As I described (the way I teach it) by standing with feet facing front but with a space between and then moving the heels forward to first. <P>3. And as I described I have seen others do it - standing with the feet facing front but touching and then moving the toes back to first. <P>We decided that each method had merit and drawbacks:<P> In number one - what happens on the floor then has to be transferred to a standing position. But it has the merit of the student really seeing where their natural first is.<P>In number two it can be awkward knowing how much space should be between the feet before bringing the heels forward. But it has the advantage of opening up the hips and bringing the weight forward.<P>In number three - she thought that though the weight is initially back - that can immediately be corrected, but it had the advantage of simplicity. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2001 11:36 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
We had a further discussion today - and her name now that I have her permission to use it is, Debbi Torgeson. Another reason she thinks it is necessary to in some manner actively teach first position, rather than just let it happen, is that the student must be taught to "match" turnout one side to another. <P>I agree completely,though I prefer to teach it as described in #2, and she perfers to teach it as described in #3.


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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 4:58 pm 
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Location: Australia
basheva, i don't really see #3 as being 'easier' to do than #2, and since it has the inherent weight-placement problem, i am very strongly with you, that your approach is far better.

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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, Grace - in #2 the beginner has to figure out the distance between the front facing feet before bringing the heels forward. Whilst, in #3, one simply puts the heels together (or as close as possible considering a hyperextended knee). <P>But, in my opinion, Grace, you and I are in complete agreement that #2, has far more advantages.


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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 7:41 am 
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yes, i understood that, basheva, but it's really not such a big problem....this seems like making far too much of nothing much....that's why i agree with your choice, since there really is no good reason to do it in #3 way - which requires the far more sophisticated adjustment of the weight. perhaps you're just trying to be polite to your teacher, in case she's reading....

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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 3:53 pm 
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Well, Grace - I know for a fact that Debbi does read this board and this thread in particular, but I have no need to be less than completely honest with her. We know one another and trust one another completely.<P>We discussed this thread last Wednesday and Friday when I saw her. And she told me she had read it then. So, there is no "in case she is reading it"........at all. <P>My "politeness" toward her viewpoint comes from an honest appreciation of her views.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 21, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 9:48 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Another teacher was telling me how she does it for her beginning students - both children and adults:<P>She has them assume their best NATURAL first position at the barre. Almost always one foot is more turned out than another, as we all are aware. She points out to them that since both feet (and therefore hips) must be equally turned out, one can't go beyond the turnout of the "least" side. <P> To emphasize this she draws a line of chalk on the floor at each student's place at the barre. The toes are placed on the line, and they can then very visibly see where their heels are in relation to that line. The idea is to keep everything, on both sides, evenly turned out.<P>What do you all think of that?


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 Post subject: Re: Assuming First Position.............
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
ah! lines on the floor! what a useful idea! Image<P>i came across this one quite by accident, because the lino on my home studio floor has squares on it - you know those fake tile patterns - it's ordinary domestic lino, not Tarkett.<P>and what a blessing it's been! there are SO many times when i am able to usefully USE those lines in teaching dance! i thoroughly recommend that your studio for teaching children has a grid pattern on the floor! seriously.......it's marvellous.<P>for example, in developing this idea about how much turnout to use, when the child makes tendu a la seconde, i can show them that the toe of the extended leg needs to end up on the same line as the toe of the standing leg. same when it pauses in second during rond de jambe, etc.....very very useful.<P>and basheva, sorry IF i placed you in any uncomfortable position re your teacher friend. debbie, of course i have no wish to offend you - it just seemed to me that this was making a big fuss over nothing, re the 'difficulty' of one approach over the other. if it had been YOUR post about your preferred way of teaching, probably this little problem wouldn't have arisen. you and i could have conversed directly about it. (i have noticed in the past, that it sometimes becomes difficult at boards, when we speak for other people, even with the best of intentions.) sorry to both of you. i am still on basheva's 'side' re the better way to teach this, however! Image elsewhere i have seen it suggested that you get the student to stand in parallel at the barre, then lift one leg and place it down, turned out - then the same with the other. i have never used this method.....

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