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Kate_N

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  1. Kate_N

    Basics

    The received wisdom about ballet training at a young age is that it is far better for a child to be in a group class. There are all sorts of advantages: learning from others learning how to learn with others hearing teacher's corrections for others and applying them learning spatial awareness in a group learning consideration for others learning how to dance with other people (a dance career is rarely just solos!) I'm sure others more experienced than I am with 9 year olds can add to this list. At 9, and just starting the formal study of ballet, your daughter would need a year of basic grounding with children aged between 7 and 9. Serious ballet learning starts at around 7 or 8, and at that age, it's simple but foundational. Not tricks, turns or high extensions, but learning to locate and use the rotator muscles to keep the turn out working (turn out is an action not a position). Learning how to activate the back and abdominal muscles to develop the pulled up, extended deportment and carriage of the arms (port de bras) required for ballet. Learning how to mobilise and work the ankles, feet and toes. Learning the names and actions of the basic building blocks of ballet (plié, tendu, fondu, jeté and so on). Private lessons are usually for children a little older, who need some specific coaching (after injury say, or for a piece of repertoire for a ballet competition). A couple of private ballet lessons for a child who's trained in other dance forms won't do this, and ballet isn't a quick fix. A group class once a week will start to help in the way you want it to, but ballet is ballet, not a remedial form to create "arches" or leg extensions. Those come after several years of careful, focused, slow work..
  2. Kate_N

    Basics

    What do her current teachers advise? If there's a problem with her current studio or teachers, you may need to look at your daughter's dance education as a whole, rather than trying to "fix" specific problems?
  3. They could be right, or they may not be. The only way to find out is to start auditioning. What about cruise ship work, for example? Or auditioning for other colleges? You need to find out what "the market" thinks of you as a dancer now. And yes, if you need a bit more training, it's sensible to seek that out: could you combine working a part-time job with doing open classes, with a studio where -once you become a regular - you'll get care & attention just as you might at college? I've seen this happen - if you go regularly enough (ie 5-6 days a week) to the same teachers, they will start to get to know you and coach you. But given that your current college has not offered you a place to progress, I think you need to get a couple more opinions on the open market. Then - you may get work, and one job leads to another, and there's a career! Or, they may give you similar feedback to your current college. Then you know it's time for Plan B, or C, or D (good to have several parachutes!) Edited to add: Apologies - I see you're already looking at cruise/entertainment auditions. My sense would be that that's a good way to go - a combination of auditioning & attending open/drop in classes, + part-time work. I really think you have to test yourself in the market - go for it! Toi toi toi & merde !
  4. Thanks for the update. Whatever you decide about attending Danceworks or not, that sounds like a really positive experience. I'd love to know which teacher/class she did? Now you know what standard pre/professional preparation teaching should be like, you don't necessarily have to attend Danceworks - there may be some similar options closer to you. Danceworks Academy (the structured school & syllabus for children/teens) runs a summer school which she could attend in addition to a regular studio closer to you. Best wishes & good luck going forwards!
  5. So Cecchetti is more advanced at the vocational grades than RAD - is that your experience? ie Cecchetti Grade 5 = RAD Inter foundation (which was Elementary in my day ... but I'm oooold). As I say, I did the Cecchetti syllabus work some time ago - before the RAD spread out their syllabus (which was a sort of 'dumbing down' to accommodate serious recreational dancers I think?) Sorry Mods, this is all off-topic I know ...
  6. As far as I know, the Cecchetti syllabus has pretty much the same levels as RAD, but I don't think they do the higher grades as an alternative to the more vocational exams. So they do Elementary, Intermediate, and 2 levels of Advanced - at least this was so when I did Cecchetti syllabus classes. Overall, fairly equivalent to RAD gradings - or indeed any syllabus which progresses methodically through ballet technique (which is all the RAD and other such organisations do). UK information here: https://www.cecchetti.co.uk/
  7. Danceworks has two streams: 1. the open drop-in classes mostly for adult dancers, but children can take them with the teacher's permission: schedule here: http://danceworks.net/classes/schedule/tuesday/ These are drop-in classes, which don't necessarily follow a syllabus - they have excellent teachers. Then there's the Danceworks Ballet Academy which is a graded regular termly school for young children/teens. They also run a summer school. This might be what Danceworks is referring to here:
  8. I’m afraid I’d be pretty darn angry if I had a broken wrist which seems to have been caused by an elderly driver driving carelessly (pulling out of a private road onto a public road without giving way which is what seems to have happened) when all the press attention has been on the elderly driver simply because of who he is. And the culture of deference to people simply because of an accident of birth. A broken wrist is - in my experience anyway - not a negligee injury. It’s at least 6 weeks of temporary disability and often pain, as well as loss of income. I broke my wrist through engaging in winter sports, and it led to a year of pain and operations. My own responsibility however. But if it had been caused by someone’s careless driving and error of judgement - as seems to be the case - I’d be quite angry I think. But it then I’m a republican - I tend to think the Windsor’s are mostly unnecessary and I dislike the deference generally paid to them, even when they’re clearly badly behaved.
  9. I follow BalletStrengthPro on Instagram - fascinating stuff, and they really know what they're doing with ballet students, it seems.
  10. I often stay at Rosebery Hall in the vacation when I'm doing work in London archives. The rooms are standard single rooms & some doubles, with kitchens for doing your own food, + breakfast in the price. And about a 15 or 20 minute easy walk to Central. You're about 3 minutes from Sadler's Wells. It's a quiet bit of central London, with some interesting areas to walk through. Also stay a lot in the Royal Scot Travelodge at Kings Cross - again, an easy walk to Central, and I always feel safe walking back after evening classes there (at around 9pm). The Vietnamese restaurant across the road is excellent!
  11. Here's the BBC website: The Greatest Dancer And I was also somewhat startled by the "Cheryl in the Royal Ballet" comment: I looked her up on Wikipedia, and she attended a RBS summer school at age 9. Not a mean feat, according to the difficulties discussed in "Doing Dance" of being accepted. But still ...
  12. After the audience looked stony faced at the male dancer doing that lovely technically highly accomplished solo (can't remember the ballet argh - it was the one Nureyev brought to the West from Russia wasn't it), and then voted for the appalling frestyle "dancer" (not a word I'd use to describe him), I came straight here to see what you all were saying! Don't think I'll bother with this programme. But what is WRONG with the audience in not recognising the skill of the classical dancer & voting through that young girl who did a series of disconnected acrobatics? I wouldn't call it dancing ...
  13. I've been off-line for the last 2 weeks, so I hope I'm not repeating old news, but this came up on y Facebook feed today: https://australianballet.com.au/behind-ballet/strength-beats-stretch I've long been aware of the excellent dance science of AusDance, and the ways in which the Australian Ballet has implemented the results of research eg the use of heel raises in parallel between the barre & the centre, and NOT stretching at that point. Here's a further interesting application of body science research to ballet training. Happy New Year and lots of dancing for 2019!
  14. That looks like a reasonable amount for solid training with a chance at vocational school - it's what the professional ballet dancer in my family was doing from 12 to 15 when they went away to full time training. The main thing is to keep the nutrition up - lots of protein (I remember a lot of small meals of steak or chicken|). I didn't study ballet so intensively, but did class 2 nights a week and on Saturdays. Plus Girl Guides once a week, and my horses needed an hour a day, 6 days a week, minimum. With the horses, we had Pony Club most Sundays, and a riding lesson each week. So we were all out of the house at pursuits 6 days a week. The main family meal was always a sit down breakfast!
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