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 Post subject: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Toronto, Canada
Hi, My name is Lawrence. I am a 28 year old male living in Toronto Canada. I am looking to start ballet lessons for the first time. Can anyone recommend a ballet school and/or teacher in and/or around the Toronto area that caters to adult ballet classes? Any advise on what to expect in class would also be appreciated.<P>Thanks<P>Lawrence


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
welcome, lawrence! Image<P>great to see a new name who is game to start a new topic straight away!<P>unfortunately (well, actually it's fortnate for ME!), i am in australia, so can't advise....but let's hope someone else can - we do have quite a few canadian members...<P>glad you found us, and hope you enjoy being here...<P>re your last question, have you done ANY dance before? (or maybe gymnastics?) that would help to answer....so we know what you know already! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Good to see you Lawrence !! I am glad to came to the site that I gave you - and I hope that some of our Canadian friends will be able to help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
hi again lawrence, i have come across some relevant information, from what seems like a reliable source:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Kevin Pugh teaches ballet in Toronto.<P>He holds his classes at the Walter Carson Centre (where the National Ballet Company is located). The National Ballet School also have open classes. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>hope that helps - at least it's a start.<BR>I have also heard a place called Randolph's recommended for jazz, hip-hop, and tap...<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 19, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 1:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Australia
Hi Lawerence, <BR>There isnt really going to be anything expected of you in your first class, all i can suggest is maybe stand at the back and try to copy the people in front. LOL. Thats what i did when i first started. Once you get used to doing some of the things, then maybe you can start to work on things. e.g. stance and technique.<BR>Hope i have been of some help.

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 2:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
absolutely smart advice, elizabeth. <P>also, along the same lines: when the class starts, you go to the barre (around the side of the room). it is a bit of a ritual that people have their favourite places, so it's good to just use your eyes and ears, so as not to tread on too many people's toes - however, whatever you do, DON'T go to one end. <P>you may think "i'll just be polite and stay out of everyone's way here, and go to the back".....but as soon as the class turns around, after doing the first exercise on one side, they will do it on the other side and **YOU** will be IN FRONT! definitely something to be avoided when you are new (even as an established dancer in a new class...) so look for two people who appear to know what they are doing, and see if you can squeeze in between them! if you get a raised eyebrow or two, just say "i'm new. can i follow you?" that should do it! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 7:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Grace and Elizabeth are giving you excellent advice, Lawrence. You can also ask the teacher where he/she would like you to stand - that way you can avoid stepping on anyone's precious toes. Ballet dancers tend to be very territorial. <P>Don't be afaid to ask for help - most dancers will willingly help - they will take it as a compliment - I know I would and did.<P>You could and really should go and watch a class the first time. See how everyone dresses and behaves. See if you like the teacher and the atmosphere of the class. <P>Always, always - be on time for class - even early. <P>When you buy slippers buy them to fit your feet like a glove - nothing hanging over the edge of your toes - but not squeezing your feet either. You can ask the teacher to suggest a style - there are several companies that make ballet slippers. You will also need to sew elastics across the instep of your slippers. These need to be sewn very securely. If you go to watch a class for the first time - you can ask another dancer to look at one of the slippers. Men usually wear black slippers. <P>Lots of luck to you Lawrence - tell us what happens -


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Australia
I dont want to disagree with Basheva as she has more knowledge than i do, but about watching the class, i would think it would be best to do it, because then a teacher can actually put you into an appropriate class, if she thinks the one you did wasnt appropriate for you. Also, you can get a real 'feel' for the class when you do it. Whenever i do something, i always jump right in with both feet.

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Whenever i do something, i always jump right in with both feet. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>you ARE brave! Image<P>i can see it either way, depending on your personality, and on what you know beforehand.<P>i think basheva's advice is the safe way to go - to preserve one's dignity a bit!- especially for an adult.<P>children's or teens classes are inclined to be a bit mmore supportive than the 'open' classes which adults often go to. these classes sometimes just run full-speed like a professional class, with hardly any actual teaching or corrections going on - that is extremely difficult for a beginner to just walk into, but is sometimes the only option for an adult...<P>lawrence, let us know of any specific queries you have......

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Toronto, Canada
I would like to thank everyone for your replies and suggestions. This definitely is an active forum.<P>I was discussing with Basheva before joining the forum, about the idea of taking private -one on one - ballet lessons, as an introduction to ballet, before joining an adult ballet class. The purpose would be to learn about the structure of the class, ballet etiquette, what to expect, ie: warm up, stretching, barre work, what to wear etc... and of course to see if I would like <BR>it. <BR>Without knowing the terminology, correct positioning of the body, ( for example - not remembering the difference between 3rd and 5th positions ) I feel I would be a distraction in class and perhaps take away attention from other students.<P>I also suffer from the "stigma" of a male wanting to study ballet. I already play baseball, hockey, football, aerobics etc..and feel a little embarrassed as to my interest in ballet. <P>My mind races between...I can't wait to start studying ballet..to "what am I doing??"<P>I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions.<P>Thanks again<P>Lawrence<P>P.S. Basheva - I sent an e-mail to the National Ballet School here in Toronto inquiring about "Private Lessons" as well their adult ballet classes. I will keep you posted on their response.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
go for it, lawrence - time is a fleeting! Image<P>and when you do, be patient......with yourself.....<P>i think the idea of just even ONE private lesson is perfect - i hope basheva agreed..?<P>just one, would give you confidence in the alien environment of a 'proper' class....but you WILL find, as basheva said, that people will help you, if you let them know you need help....at least, SOME people will, and the others aren't worth bothering about.... Image

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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I do agree, Grace - if a private lesson will make Lawrence feel more comfortable. But I wouldn't recommend private lessons as a substitute, as a general rule, for class lessons. As one proceeds along in one's studies, one can profit from private lessons - but not private lessons alone.<P>I feel this way (having taught both) that a dancer needs to dance with others. It makes the student more aware of the space around him/her. The student can also learn from the corrections given to others - and from seeing how others do things correctly. <P>GO FOR IT LAWRENCE!!! You have no reason to hesitate and every reason to try it.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2000 8:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 274
Location: Ontario, Canada
I haven't read all the other responses yet, but I had to post my reply!<P>You should check out Dance Teq. It runs out of the National Ballet of Canada studios on Queen's Quay. There is a website---best to search for NBOC, then there is a link to Dance Teq. I don't live in TO myself so I don't know if it's listed in the phone book.<P>Dance Teq is run by Kevin Pugh, former principal dancer at NBOC and very very nice guy. There are classes for many levels, from the adult pre-beginner to professionals wanting extra classes. If you call Kevin and talk to him (I will try and find the number for you, I'm sure I have it somewhere) he will give you great advice.<P>I watched a few classes in the summer - my daughter took them. There were a number of adults (some older, some younger) who were clearly beginners. Some, in the more advanced classes, really knew what they were doing. <P>Sometimes the company dancers do take class there...I'm not sure if they would do a "pre-beginner" type class though at this point in the season. Some of them did in August when the company was just starting back. <P>At any rate, the teachers were WONDERFUL and very encouraging to all participants. It's a great atmosphere...check it out!<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2000 8:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 274
Location: Ontario, Canada
I just see that Grace beat me to it!<P>Ah well, just shows you how well informed she is!<P>I will go look for the phone #, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction To Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2000 8:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 274
Location: Ontario, Canada
Here's the info:<P>e-mail: danceteq@sympatico.ca<P>phone: 416-361-9498<P>web: <A HREF="http://www3.sympatico.ca/danceteq/contact.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www3.sympatico.ca/danceteq/contact.htm</A> <P>Let us know how it turns out!<BR>


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