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 Post subject: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2000 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 8
I just posted a topic in Ballet regarding teaching adults. Perhaps it should be in here...I don't know...but either way, any replies are greatly appreciated! Grace, I'll let you switch the forum if necessary Image Just keeping you guys "on your toes", so to speak!<P>Grace writes: i agree kitty! and YES: we're "on our toes"! Imagehere is kity's original post: <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I will be teaching an adult beginning/intermediate ballet class over the summer, and I was wondering what some of your opinions are on the subject. <BR>Such as, how far can an adult body be pushed? I personally think that many of the limitations in adult dancing are psychological (and, of course, there is the time limit...adults with jobs aren't able to<BR> train daily for 8 years). <BR>But I would like some suggestions on how to make it fun, yet<BR>enlightening, and how to bring adults' dancing to a different level.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited June 13, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2000 8:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Hi---yes I've taught adults quite extensively. My advice is,above all, keep a sense of humor. You'll be able to tell after the first class how much they want to be "pushed". What you might want to do is have them fill out an index card on the first day of class stating: <BR>1-injuries<BR>2 amount of experience/training<BR>3-reasons for taking the class<BR>4-whatever else might be helpful in assessing their motivation, and abilities<P>Adults often are the most fun classes for me, because they really WANT to be there (sometimes kids are pushed by parents, imagine that!) Good luck and have fun!!


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2000 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
kitty - i very much look forwrad to participating in this thread when i have a bit more time in a few days - please be patient? Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2000 6:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
i agree with trina's approach that if YOU listen up first, and learn FROM THEM what THEY want, you are more likely to be able to give it to them! Image<P>also, i wouldn't underestimate how sore a person can get! Image - especially anyone over about, say 30 Image - although it's ridiculous to suggest that anyone of ANY age may be more immune to severe worn-outed-ness and muscular soreness...<P>i guess what i mean is just because YOU may be fit and flexible, don't thnk THEY will be, or even that they WANT to be...<P>some people just want to flow with the music...some want to lose weight...some want to get trim/taut/terrific...some want fitness, some want a social outlet...as you may be figuring out by now, it will be impossible to give everyone what they want... Image<P>so you have to work out how to steer a middle course, that will keep the largest number of people happy... Image<P>adults particularly appreciate good music also, so try to have something they'll enjoy.<P>in general, keep it simple, and emphasize flow, musicality,... rather than technical points...probably! little stagey enchainements are usually appreciated, where they can pretend to be ballerinas for a moment...<P>don't give individual corrections, especially if YOU are younger than them(!) - aim to give general class reminders, positively phrased, so no-one feels put down or embarrassed in fromnt of their peers. adults can be particularly sensitive to this sort of situation, so you have to handle it even more carefully than with kids.<P>one nice thing is that adults often enjoy the contextual/background/theory type stuff, so i've found that they really like being given a handout to take home, whether french ballet terms, warm-up hints, whatever...dance magazines, and text-books from your dance course should be a good source of this sort of thing. actaully, so is the INTERNET!<P>maybe another thing to say would be to be prepared to change your approach, if you find that what you THOUGHT would be wanted (and what you PREPARED FOR) is NOT really what they need...good luck! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2000 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Canberra, Australia
Hi Everyone - I'm actually an adult ballet student and the advice here is great. I'd love it if my teachers gave handouts on the stuff Grace suggested and the best thing we do is laugh a lot. <BR>I agree that it's important to listen to what your students want and one thing you might find adults responding well to is challenges to psychological barriers and an approach which helps to enhance body awareness. This is an approach one of my teachers is really good with and it's been enormously beneficial. So many people are totally out of tune with their own bodies (including me) and ballet really helps. <BR>This certainly won't apply to all classes, but keep in mind that a lot of adult students (like me and several of my fellow students) are there because they are finally fulfilling a dream that they've harboured for an awfully long time and that attention to technical detail and taking them seriously as students, as long as they have no illusions about becoming full fledged ballerinas, is really important. I guess you'll just have to go with your feedback but I wouldn't be surprised if you have some VERY keen and serious students. There's something about ballet - including adult beginners - that attracts fairly intense people! Let us know how it goes?


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2000 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
Danni - WELCOME! Image<P>and re this <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> There's something about ballet - including adult beginners - that attracts fairly intense people! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>- you are ABSOLUTELY right - what an insightful observation!

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2000 7:33 pm 
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Okay, so I just taught my first two adult classes this week. And let me tell you, it was really fun! The only thing is, I'm having trouble making combinations easier...it seems like all of the really *fun* steps are more difficult or dangerous, and I really don't want any wrenched knees or snapped tendons. And I don't know how to make fondues or ronds des jambes en l'air or devellopes "easy" and still correct and functional. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2000 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
oh yes! THAT happens! i mean apparently 'simple' things being too hard - i didn't mean the injuries, which hopefully DON'T happen, at this level/type of class.<P>stay away from rond de jambes en l'air!<P>kitty dancer, all i can say is really do VERY simple combinations to start with - about grade 3 level of any children's syllabus.<P>but add a nice flowing (and dare i say it: 'pretentiously theatrical'!) ports de bras in the centre - they'll love it. <P>as the class goes on, week to week, you can add ports de bras to your barre exercises, and to your centre ones. <P>if the class is really basic, i suggest setting your class - and doing the SAME class for at least a month, but adding elements each week to make it more complex, as they become confident of what they did the week before...<P>e.g. <BR>1. basic tendus/no arm movements(arm bras bas)<P>2nd week: add arm in second<P>3rd week: add plie at the end of some of the tendus<P>4th week: add a rise and balance in 1st/3rd/5th at the end of the exercise, OR add an arm movement within the exercise<P>you get the idea....and then you don't have to set a new class each time, either!<P>in the centre, avoid proper allegro until they have acquired some technique. instead, teach waltzes, polkas (they're HARD!), chasses, pas de bourree, soutenu turns, no pirouettes but preparation for pirouettes - gradually you can build these towards a waltzy/dancey combination of, for example: waltz twice, chasse, pas de bourree, pirouette, step soutenu turn, across the room/en diagonale - or similar.....THEN you can try setting them off from alternate sides, to see if you can teach a bit of stagecraft - i promise you they'll all end up laughing! (after the collisions...)have fun! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Adult Ballet Class (WAS oops...maybe...)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2000 6:20 am 
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how's it going, kittydancer? looking forward to your second report...... Image

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