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 Post subject: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 5:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 139
Location: USA
Hello all! I have decided to begin ballet again Image I want to know, what can I do to prepare for my first ballet class?, what things should I expect?, and What questions should I ask when looking for a new studio?<P>Thanks!<BR>Jan<P>------------------<BR>Teaching Today Touches Tomorrow!

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 6:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hello Miss Jan - <P>If you don't have a word of mouth reference for a good teacher you will need to shop around. Even starting with your phone book. The problem is to find a teacher who enjoys teaching adults. Some teachers find this a waste of time - and some love it. I loved it. So, call up and talk to the teacher, go and observe the classes. See what the atmosphere is. It should be serious, but not stifling. If there humor? patience? good instruction? It might take you several tries. So be prepared for that and don't get discouraged.<P><BR>Then when you find the teacher ask if she has a preference for what type of ballet clothes to get. If the teacher has no preference, a simple basic leotard, dark color is usually preferred, with sleeves for warmth. Classic pink tights, I prefer non-support, as I find them much too constraining.<P>Then you need a pair of ballet slippers. I prefer pink - it's easier for the teacher to see the feet. Buy your slippers to fit just right, not too tight. Many stores fit them too tightly, in my opinion. They say that the leather will stretch - well if that happens you can always wear a pair of socks. Buy the shoes to fit just like a glove. Shoes that are too tight put the foot in danger of tendonitis. <P> Then you have to sew the elastics on the slippers. Again snug, but not tight. If you don't know how to do this - you take the heel cloth flap and fold it down over the slipper, this makes a triangle. In the folds of the triangle that is where the elastics are attached. You have to angle them forward - because that is how your foot goes. Sew them on VERY strongly - like your life depended upon it - and please LOL - with matching pink thread. <P>Next come up with a way to secure your hair away from your face. No jewelry for class - like earrings, necklaces and such. If it is cold you might ask the teacher if you can wear a sweater or leg warmers. Some teachers have rules about those things. <P>As to what else to do physically - I wouldn't suggest anything. You will learn what you need to do in ballet class. <P>And the final thing is be prepared to learn, work, enjoy and - and - come back and tell us what happened - and ask more questions.....lots of luck!!<P>I hope this helped ..........


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 6:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Pa, USA
Hi Jan Image nice to see another one of us around! Basheva did a wonderful job on the preparation instructions for your first class--I just wanted to add some questions that should be asked as well.<P>What are the tution policies for adults and sickness/family obligations?<P>Is there a holiday break spcifically for the adult classes? (We don't do that, but I notice each November thru January attendance for adults is often sporadic with holidays and family life.)<P>What is the policy on recital/performance involvement for adults?<P>When can you make up classes missed? With teen classes? Beginning classes? Children's classes?<P>Things to note when observing the class:<BR>Is the class a "talking" class? (often happens with adults)--they go off on little tangents about how they stretched/ran/swam/played golf and their hamstring/shoulder/calf really feels that plie/jump/port de bras.........it can be very distracting and annoying and you often lose valuable class time.<P>Is the teacher doing every exercise with the students or demonstating once and expecting them to remember? Does s/he jump in and verbally talk them through the exercise if needed?<P>Are the students having fun? Are they actually dancing their work or marking it? <BR>Does the teacher explain what steps mean and visually show how to do it as well as explain the concept behind the movement?<P>Things for you to consider at home:<BR>Do you want to perform?<P>Do you want to dance more than recreationally?<P>Can you accept/live with whatever policies the studio may have on tuition payments/attendance/dress codes/etc.?<P>Other things you might want to ask or consider are this:<P>The instructor's previous training both as a dancer and a teacher.<P>The knowledge of first aid/emergency protocol.<P>The studio's affiliation with major organizations in the dance world.<P>The technique of ballet you will be learning--and is it complimentary to your previous training or will this be a whole new way to approach ballet?<P>HTH,<BR>Jan


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
what excellent notes! Image<P>i was just struck by this, from basheva: --- "a simple basic leotard, ..... with sleeves for warmth. " --- for the simple reason that leotards with sleeves are very rarely worn in australia, and indeed, in my experience of ballet classes anywhere - what an odd difference of experience, which i take to be cultural - after all, it DOES get cold in USA, but so it does in europe....., and both have central heating......<P>an oddity! Image in my experience the sleeveless leotard is by far the most common, at all ages, with a few people wearing very short sleeves, and long-sleeves being almost unseen.<P>but it's also my experience that teachers are happy with whatever leotard you wear in an ADULT class, as long as it fits! the adults in my class at present are wearing bike shorts with a T-shirt, swimsuit with bike shorts, whatever else they have, that is close-fitting and doesn't make them sweat too much.....(actually only 1 lady has a leotard - and hers IS long-sleeved) - but they are real beginners......none have ballet shoes (expensive!), all are wearing socks!

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
While it is true that much of the US has central heating - here in San Diego most of us do not. And it can be quite chilly in the mornings. I have a full wardrobe of tank top, short sleeve and long sleeve leotards. I also use the old tights with the crotch and feet cut out as an undergarment for extra warmth.<P>Some adults also like the longer sleeves because they don't feel comfortable showing their arms - they feel the muscles are beginning to droop - whether true or not - they are more comfortable with sleeves.<P>People here (adults) almost all come in leotards - I really can't remember there being an adult class that I have taken or taught where other than leotards were worn. <P>So - perhaps it is a cultural thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 82
Location: Virginia
we always always always wear leotards. they used to be strict about them being sleeveless and black, and they still are for the little girls. but in my teen and advanced classes, we wear whatever... i usually use light blue or green spaghetti strap ones with horrible torn up pink tights over black tights . classy, no? Image lol. <BR>-zoebear


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Zoe - you are a class act - no matter what you wear!!


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Zoe you are too funny! I remember one of my ballet teachers asking me once if I was religious because of my "holy" tights.


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 82
Location: Virginia
lol you guys.<BR>oh yes, so classy.<BR>so holy.<BR>so religious. <BR> Image<BR>-zoe


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Canberra, Australia
Hmmm - Grace? Over here in Canberra we wear long sleeves for winter (or no sleeves with a little wrap top). This cultural variation seems to exist within Australia as well then. The teens here do this too (can't remember about the littlies - we're still sweltering in the midst of the summer from hell here). <P>As for adults, lots of people don't wear leotards at all - fitted jazz pants are popular, with tee shirts or fitted tops. Some people (including me), wear leotards and tights (long sleeves in winter and sleeveless in summer). As for the tights - well, the last thing I want is to show the world my thighs BUT I want my teacher to really be able to see what I'm doing there and the proper dress helps. Dressing traditionally also helps me focus and finally, it helps me to come to terms with my body.<P>Cheers, Danni


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing for First Ballet Class
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Really good points Danni - I can really respond to what you said about the way you dress helps you to focus. I feel that way very much.<P>When I go to ballet class - I shut away the rest of the world. I arrive for class early and give myself time to get "into it" and dressing for ballet class is part of that. Actually now that I think about it - as I am putting on my leotard and tights at home, I am already preparing myself mentally for class. I am already beginning to separate myself from the rest of my day.


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