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Everything posted by Dance*is*life

  1. Dance*is*life

    Unqualified teachers

    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.
  2. Dance*is*life

    Unqualified teachers

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hi just wondering if anyone can recommend a good place to stay near Central for the summer school. Student will be with a parent. Hotel/b/b/ flatlet whatever. Thanks.
  6. Dance*is*life

    Recommendations for where to stay for Central

    Great! Thanks very much everyone.
  7. Dance*is*life

    Recommendations for where to stay for Central

    I was going to recommend Premier Inn to the mother, but some of them are more expensive than others. I'll mention Old Street then. Is that the nearest Premier Inn to Central do you know? What is the nearest tube station? I visited years ago and simply don't remember. Thanks so much for your help!
  8. Dance*is*life

    Seasons Greetings

    Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2019 full of joy and ballet!
  9. Dance*is*life

    Question about "Sleeping Beauty"

    Well I just wanted to say thank you for posting this variation - it is amazing! What I love about Baryshnikov is how he achieves perfection with seemingly no effort whatsoever! As someone wrote above - he just floats in the air! About the terminology used in non English speaking countries, I think you'll find they stay the same, just the counting and connecting words are in the country's own language. Well done for wanting to get it right - it always annoys me when authors use totally impossible combinations of steps, just to try and make it appear authentic, presumably believing that the reader won't know the difference.
  10. Dance*is*life

    Summer School in Brussels?

    Has anyone heard of a good summer school in Brussels? I promised a student that I would find out for her. Thanks.
  11. Dance*is*life

    Summer School in Brussels?

    Thank you all very much! Most useful!!
  12. Dance*is*life

    Spanish inspired ballet music

    I discovered quite by chance on youtube a spanish piece by Elgar! It's called Sevillana Scene Espagnole. I used it for my pointe dance last recital and it was a huge success!
  13. Dance*is*life

    RAD Intermediate Exam

    The latest RAD syllabi are very different from the old ones and certainly the choreography is far more creative than it used to be. There is one free enchainement and the format has just been changed slightly. The examiner can choose between three focal steps and use whatever she likes from a list of linking steps. There is a choice of two dances, one classical or one neo/modern. Demi-pointe shoes must be worn, but they can be old pointe shoes with the inner sole removed. The actual pointe work is fairly simple. 3 exercises on the barre and two in the centre, plus the reverence......... put simply wearing demi-pointes prepares you for working in pointe shoes on stage.ointework
  14. Dance*is*life

    Which companies generally prefer the tall/short dancers?

    Yup - I can vouch for that! My husband and three sons totally make me feel like Tiny Tim!
  15. Dance*is*life

    Which companies generally prefer the tall/short dancers?

    Definitely an important point! In the 60s when I was looking for work I lost several possibles because of height - my lack of! Although I was 1.62m which isn't too bad. I remember doing a class audition with the Stuttgart Ballet and feeling totally as if I were in the land of giants! Marcia Haydee, their star, was tiny and all the corps were tall in order to emphasize this. Although they liked me, they couldn't accept me, because I wasn't ready to start as anything but corps. Such is life! Of course the bonus was that I often got picked at RBS to be Wayne Sleep's rep and pas de deux partner😊
  16. Dance*is*life

    choices at 16

    Oh yes - I quite agree and that is indeed a problem. I think that children, even today, are educated from the word go, not to question a teacher's decision, so it can be very hard for them to stand up for themselves if the need arises.
  17. Dance*is*life

    choices at 16

    I do think it's an individual thing. Some older teenagers, however competently they can look after themselves, may not be up to living away from home. I went away from home for the first time to join a ballet company, when I was 19. I travelled around Europe auditioning on my own, was clearly capable of looking after myself, but when it came to living in a room all on my own I was hopelessly lonely and homesick. Later on I took a room in a communal building where I could pop into other dancers' rooms and there I was fine. I needed a substitute for my very close family. Of course that was before mobile phones and instant messaging, so we were really on our own!
  18. Dance*is*life

    RAD Advanced Foundation Music

    I love that piece! And the choreography!
  19. Dance*is*life

    Ballet vs academics

    Yes, flamenco is a great extra dance genre for them. Each class has a colour leotard to suit the RAD level and then we order flamenco skirts to match - so they have their costume for performances all ready! Several of our seniors have actually become pro dancers and teachers. They also learn to sing, play castonets etc as part of it. It's fun for them and we prefer to start the Grade 3s on flamenco as an extra, rather than jazz, which we bring in at Grade 5 level or modern, which is taught from Grade 4.
  20. Dance*is*life

    Rad discovering repertoire classes

    We had a teachers' course on DR not long ago. I felt that the classes were not challenging enough for the level, the barre was particularly limited in content. That might be because I believe I read that it was originally planned for adult dancers, but I may be wrong about that. The solos on pointe would on the other hand be very challenging, so I am not sure about it. I also felt that having to show the development exercises in the exam was unneccessary. I would have preferred a more advanced class with a choice of set repertoire variations. It's useful that you can take the exam in sections, so you can fit it in wherever it works in your particular school. I had thought to use level 3 for my last years Intermediates, but decided I'd rather challenge them with Advanced Foundation.
  21. Dance*is*life

    Ballet vs academics

    Just wanted to ask what level she's at ballet wise? The 9 year olds in the school where I teach are usually in RAD Grade 3. There they have 2 x 75 minute ballet classes plus an hours flamenco. They are still very young in 4th grade at school. Your daughter sounds rather talented especially if she's an Associate as well, but she is only 9....... Kids do need some downtime too just to be kids.
  22. Dance*is*life

    I am shamed by my poor dévéloppé

    Yes in a developpĂ© there is definitely not supposed to be a kick in order to raise the leg. The description you are looking for is extension using a controlled unfolding of the leg. And in fact even a sissone with a developpĂ© shouldn't be kicked, but squeezed out at the end ofvthe jump. Grands battement is a sort of kick, but even there the dancer has to control it by brushing through the floor, keeping the turn-out and definitely controlling the lowering of the working leg. A good way of practising in order to build up the strength needed to raise the leg higher, is to shoulder the leg (the stretching movement) and then let go of the leg trying to keep the leg and placing as they were. Also when you put the leg on the barre for stretching try and lift up the leg from the baƕre and hold it. The video above is a perfect example and shows how you are supposed to lift the leg from the retire through attitude in order to help the extension. Don't despair it will come with work and more strength.
  23. Dance*is*life

    10 Reasons Dance is Undeniably a Sport....and so much more

    Lisa - if I could have given you two likes I would have! I refuse to accept that my beautiful ballet is a sport. Sport doesn't satisfy the soul! I wish that there wasn't such an emphasis on athleticism nowadays, but even with that I cannot agree that it's a sport. My husband is good at most sports and can't dance - no feeling for rhythm bless him. And I was hopeless at sport, except for basketball where as a shooter I could do a great temps leve in arabesque to pop the ball into the net!
  24. Dance*is*life

    Pointing toes in ballet

    Ballet movement has to become part of your natural movement memory for you to always remember to do the correct technique. Look how long it takes children to learn. It takes several years until they do things automatically! Even for adults you have to acquire the skills you need. If you've only been dancing ballet for a few weeks you won't remember automatically to point your feet yet, so don't feel badly about it! The most important part of pointing the feet is the flexibility of the ankle, much more than the toes. If I ask someone to point their feet who doesn't dance, the thing that stops them is the stiffness of the ankle. Work on flexing and pointing the feet to loosen the ankle. Then work on going through the feet - through the balls of the feet, pushing out the instep. When dancers jump we push off against the floor going through the feet and landing the opposite way. Non-dancers don't have that flexibility in their feet. I remember gojng to a physio after I broke my ankle. I said to him that I couldn't point properly with that foot and he asked me to show him my point. He was quite impressed with it - didn't see anything wrong! So I pointed my other foot........... enuff said!
  25. Dance*is*life

    Oliver’s story

    I was absolutely shocked by your story, Primrose. I have signed and sincerely hope that your tragedy will lead to a positive outcome for the benefit of others in similar situations. One of the first things doctors ask is if the patient is allergic to any medicine - so why would they ignore this? I am so sorry for your loss - may you have the strength to keep up the fight.