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About Dance*is*life

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  • Birthday August 15

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    My family, ballet, theatre and musical theatre, music, books,films etc etc.

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  1. To be honest even before the RAD allowed split soles some of my students wore them and no examiner ever commented on that to me! I am sure they are not allowed to mark down on something like that - if on the other hand your daughter doesn't stretch her feet to the maximum that she is capable of, well that's a different story! I really can't see the harm for your daughter to use them if her feet look better in satin split soles. Basically though it comes down to what her teacher prefers!
  2. Thank you so much. I will pass it all on to the teacher. There are really a lot of options!
  3. A young teacher here is interested in studying for an MA in Choreography in the UK - preferably London area. Just wondered if anyone here has any suggestions or has experience in this? I know the University of Surrey has several dance degrees and I also wondered about The Place. She'd be very grateful for any advice!
  4. Gosh yes - I wouldn't let a student send in photos without my approval. There are so many things to check on! Especially in that leg in the air out to the side (à la seconde en l'air) . Is her supporting leg turned out, pulled up, foot not rolling, body centered, arms well held etc etc? Even the easier ones are tough and when they choose you just by looking with a practised professional eye at your photos they'd better be good! She really needs a teacher to check the photos before sending them. Thank goodness for digital cameras on phones! I used to spend a fortune developing photos and throwing most of them!
  5. June Dancer, perhaps you can do three weeks - I just asked about two really out of curiosity, but anyway most of the younger students only do one. My student has also applied for week two, which as you say now seems to be the week which will fill up the quickest. If they invite her for the third week, I am not sure she will accept, because I can't come and watch during the third week and as it is if she does get in it will be quite an adventure for her! She's only 13 and the fact that I'll be there to support her is important.
  6. I asked on FB and Iain said that those applying for two weeks could apply for either weeks one and two or weeks two and three. It's wonderful that they've opened up more places!
  7. Sorry just wanted to get something straight - are you saying that she does 4 ballet classes a week plus other classes in different genres? At the beginning you mentioned 4 classes and in your last post 12 hours, so I'm a bit confused! If she's 15 and wants to develop as a dancer, she should at least have passed her Intermediate and be working on the Advanced levels. It doesn't sound as if she's getting what she needs at her current school. If you can find a school that can offer more intensive training within a reasonable driving distance, I think you should seriously think about transferring her.
  8. I wanted to add that YBSS are adding a third week. Anyone doing two weeks can choose either weeks one and two or weeks two and three - I asked! The problem is that that means that week two is going to be full and I have a student who has applied for just that week 🙁. I really hope that she will be accepted - it's a wonderful course and the standard is very high. The evening masterclasses are fantastic! I have watched for the last couple of years and hope to visit again this coming summer.
  9. Well Invisable Circus I agree with you - the RAD may have been talking about unqualified teachers, because well that's what they advocate, but I come from a dancer background and never attended a teachers course. I did get qualified right at the beginning when the RAD decreed that you had to be, I even took their teaching exams to do it properly, but I personally believe that experience and your own knowledge gathered from years of training is what's important. There are some wonderful teachers out there, who may, like you, be considered 'unqualified' but whilst theoretical knowledge taught on a teaching course is obviously good to have, I would suggest that that alone does not make you a qualified teacher - it's the years of hard work and experience that follow. Of course one of the main problems in all this is that the majority of parents don't really understand whether the teacher is good, bad or indifferent. All you lovely parents on here excepted of course ! But I once nearly lost a good friend because when she asked me along to her daughter's recital, I'm afraid I told her in no uncertain terms that it was dreadful - not a single child knew any actual dance steps even the older ones! This was a highly intelligent woman, who simply had no knowledge of what her child should be learning. And indeed why should she? So whilst it may help to check out a teacher's credentials, it is and will remain a problem.
  10. I think some of the remarks are referring to older children joining a school without basic technique. I think the article is a bit misleading, but it is very true that correct teaching from the word go is vital, no matter what age the child. I started at 3 and 4 months with a brilliant teacher of "babies" , Nancy Robinson in Streatham and that wonderful start set me off on a lifetime of dance. In my year alone most continued on to professional careers. My Great Niece started going to ballet around the corner from her home. She was there four years without advancing significantly - the student teachers working with the class just shouted corrections and orders the whole lesson. The qualified teacher in charge didn't seem to check on them. Such a waste. There's nothing wrong with having teenage assistants, but they shouldn't be running the classes in my opinion.
  11. I wanted to add to my post above and for some reason can't edit it. My response was to what Peanut said that training in sports is similar to professional training and a career in dance. The demands on our bodies are sometimes just too great. Gymnasts sadly pay an even higher price in damage to their bodies. I suppose that's the price of excellence. I know someone who was actually crippled from being a super efficient stenographer. It is very sad when it happens to someone like Andy Murray who achieved so much and has given so much to his chosen sport. He is still young and hopefully he will eventually find another outlet for his talents - perhaps in coaching - teaching is very rewarding.
  12. When I got married I turned to teaching. I always said that when I gave up dancing I would become a teacher, but in the end I have carried on dancing all my life, without, I am grateful to be able to say, any major problems. I often think the fact that I only had a short performing career, but kept up taking classes, put less strain on my body. I often read about dancers almost crippled from overuse of their joints- it's very sad. With all the modern methodology getting purportedly better results, I still feel that our old fashioned training was somehow gentler on the body.
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