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 Post subject: Dear Dancers of Critical-Dance Forums...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:21 pm
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Location: Under your bed. :D
This is another of those "Is it too late for me??" questions. Because I thought I was being too vague on my last questions.

I'm just going to skip straight ahead and give you my age. It's my sixteenth birthday in 14 days. Every day for the past five or six months I've been doing warm-ups, stretches, and basic exercises like tendus, plies, releves, etc., on my own and I've been very careful so as to avoid injury.

Do you think I can take ballet six days a week or should I take it slower, around five?

Furthering that question, will two or three years of this be enough to get me on pointe?

And last, but not least, is it too late for me to go professional no matter how insanely hard I am willing to work?

I have just been BURSTING with this question. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:01 pm
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Location: Petaluma, California
Hello, raedyn_l...Well, it certainly sounds as though you are very enthusiastic about ballet. I'm located in the US, so I can only speak to what I know of here. As you idolize ABT's Miss Corella, perhaps you are in the US, too! :wink: I think that at your age, 16, five days of classes per week is not too much for you. This is what pre-professional dancers your age are doing and have been doing for a couple years already. I think you are saying that you have had no formal training as yet? If you want to dance, you need to find a good school. I believe that if you study at the above-mentioned pace with good teachers and you have the physical aptitude for ballet and pointe, it is possible to be on pointe in three years. Because we can't see you, it is impossible to be more specific. Although it is possible, it might not be right for you...You must attain a certain level of correct placement, strength, and technique before any reputable teacher will place you on pointe. So, don't be in too much of a rush to get those shoes! It is probably too late for you to think about dancing in a major US company (like ABT), but there are many other opportunities to dance. There are many good smaller companies all over the country. Or, perhaps your dancing might lead you to musical theater, or to contemporary dance. You'll begin to see the possiblities and find your direction once you begin your journey, but it will take hard work and dedication to get to that point. However, if you truly love what you are doing, it doesn't seem like such hard work! That's how it felt for me, anyway. :) Hope this helps, good luck, and happy dancing!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:53 pm
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Location: USA
Wow, raedyn_I...I absolutely love stories like this! I am a a late starter, too! Always nice to know there are others in your situation.
I just turned 15, and since I was 14 I have taken class six days a week, and I got so much stronger and improved greatly over a year, so much so that I'm in advanced and intermediate / advanced ballet now.
Of course, I worked insanely hard, too. For Pointe, I went up after a year, but I had a pilates teacher and private lessons to get me there. Plus, I stretched my feet every night and practiced doing 100 releves to strengthen my ankles.
The career thing is tricky. There really are no guarantees. But at least working insanely hard does pay off. I am no professional, so all I say could be wrong, but since we share the same love for dance, I hope I was of some help.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:58 pm 
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Location: Under your bed. :D
Quote:
For Pointe, I went up after a year...


A year!! *is shocked* This gives me ideas! And since my feet aren't still developing I don't have that problem with pointe shoes, meaning that the only thing I have to work on is my strength.

Quote:
...but I had a pilates teacher and private lessons to get me there. Plus, I stretched my feet every night and practiced doing 100 releves to strengthen my ankles.


Well, I'm not sure about the private lessons or pilates teacher, but I am doing some exercises carefully on my own.

I also have my own system of incorporating little snatches of practise into my everyday life, so that dancing will eventually become as natural as breathing to me, and I won't have to work as hard when I get into a REAL class.

Oh, I don't do arabesques or grande jetes in the hallways, but I do work on my balance in releves (when no one's paying attention) and I always practise pointing my feet. It's almost second nature for me to tendu to the front instead of just walk now... is that wierd? Hee...

And I stretch. Every day. I admit I slip every now and then--in fact, I haven't done ANYTHING today, which makes me guilty--but regardless!

Thank you for restoring my hope, ballerina91. I consider it a slightly late birthday present :D.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Raedyn - it is great that you are so enthusiastic but your most recent post does worry me. You have been given a lot of good advice by very experienced teachers on this board but unfortunately I feel this is not being listened to with as much attention as it should.

Quote:
And since my feet aren't still developing I don't have that problem with pointe shoes, meaning that the only thing I have to work on is my strength.



Doing pointe work is not just about having fully developed feet and strength. It is about developing correct technique on demi pointe and correct posture. All of which can only be done under the supervision of a suitably qualified teacher.

Quote:
Well, I'm not sure about the private lessons or pilates teacher, but I am doing some exercises carefully on my own.

I also have my own system of incorporating little snatches of practise into my everyday life, so that dancing will eventually become as natural as breathing to me, and I won't have to work as hard when I get into a REAL class.


Doing exercises on your own when you have not been attending classes is dangerous and could lead you into bad habits which could take years to correct, thus delaying your progress as a dancer even further.

Practicing at home is no substitute for attending class and believe me no matter how much practice you do, if you feel that it will mean you won't have to work as hard in class then you are in for a BIG SHOCK! Even professional dancers who have trained for years and who one would say are quite capable of practicing on their own have to attend daily company class and WORK HARD or jeopardise their place in their company.

I hope you realise that no-one is trying to discourage you, but really the only way to progress and become good at ballet is to attend regular classes run by a professional teacher. Trying to convince ourselves othewise is simply to delude ourselves.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Let me repeat what Joanne has said, with more emphasis:

Quote:
Doing exercises on your own when you have not been attending classes is dangerous and could lead you into bad habits which could take years to correct, thus delaying your progress as a dancer even further.


I realize that this is not the answer you want to hear, but that changes nothing; no matter how many times you ask the question, the answer will remain the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:21 pm 
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Location: USA
I would like to add raedyn_I that pointe work is very slow moving. It's not like the day you go up, you can suddenly do pirouettes and everything else. It is not so glorious as to risk a possible career. I love pointe work, but just because you're on pointe doesn't mean your dream is now tangible. It's just a small step - both before and after you get them. Progress should be slow - in fact, I still can't do a perfect pirouette. Find a good school, and let your teacher decide. That's what I did. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
t's just a small step


...A petite pas, as it were....

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:21 pm
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Location: Under your bed. :D
Well, I have just started taking class at the local civic ballet.

Unfortunately it was an adult beginner's class, not exactly... em... something appropriate for my age...

So now I've dropped everything (except my yoga), and I'm just waiting to see what happens.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Petaluma, California
This sounds like a good place for you to begin, raedyn_l...Learn your ballet basics well and you will be able to grow your technique from a good, solid foundation. Good luck and enjoy your dancing...


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