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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. I saw a Youtube video where someone was trying to teach how to become a better dancer by having higher extensions. She showed two photos of before and after and I suppose we were supposed to say Wow at the after photo. However, I definitely preferred the before photo! The student held her leg high, beautifully turned out and with perfect hip placement. On the other hand in the second photo, the "after" one , her leg was by her ear, but her hips and torso were displaced and I didn't see anything aesthetically pleasing about the line. So no thank you!
  2. No need for apologies at all! You actually gave me a laugh thinking of the contrast in size and population density between the two countries! Mind you I can think some things we have in common - beach lovers, sea and wind surfers etc!!!
  3. Elmhurst have cancelled their summer school now, but perhaps you knew that?
  4. The RAD also differentiate between the two, although for the life of me I can't think of the actual terms! However, there is also a difference in RAD between regular grand jetés, those which start with a grands battement but still show an arc, and their jeté élancé (darting jeté) which also starts with a straight legged extension, but is straighter in shape.
  5. No I don't live in Australia!!!! Quite the opposite! I live in tiny Israel which is 373 times smaller than Australia - their population density is 3 people per sq.km and ours is about 400 per sq.km! The UK has a population density of about 280. So yes you're quite right - it's impossible to compare figures in Australia with the situation in the UK. I think the problem in the UK was that flights continued from the problem countries for a long time and lockdown started later too. I have a lot of family and friends in the UK, so naturally I am very concerned for them. After two months plus lockdown, our figures in Israel were pretty low with only a few new cases, so they decided to gradually open schools and kindergartens and are slowly getting back to what is now the new normal everywhere. Unfortunately, it only takes a single student or teacher to test positive to see dozens being placed in quarantine, so it is still a bit scary. I'm really happy to have started teaching again, but I keep well away from all the students and really just hope for the best.
  6. I do hope you can start before September - that is a long gap! We only stopped for just over two calendar months. I was very frustrated trying to teach on zoom. The majority of our students live in apartments and the floors are tile on cement, so no space and impossible to jump at all! We do have aĺl sorts of regulations, but we're coping. What I do think is that children are resilient and once they start again, I'm sure their enthusiasm will return. Their sudden disinterest is probably a protective measure to keep them from agonising too much about missing dance.........
  7. Just as an encouragement, I would have to tell you that all the students in one of my grades refused to participate in anything on line! Whilst the other classes were working at projects and attending zoom classes, this level virtually went on strike! However, we started back last week in our studios and amazingly they are fine! No idea if they were practising in their own way, but whatever they were doing they look okay and pretty much as they were two months ago! So don't panic!
  8. Oversplits are dangerous and should be avoided! Strength to hold the legs in extensions is more important than hyper flexibility. A beautiful line and correct placement are more important than over the top extensions! Totally agree that ballet is a performing art not artistic gymnastics!
  9. I'm just wondering if you were to explain to the school about her preferring to stay with them for the time being rather than go to vocational school, but because of that she is really keen to have extra lessons - perhaps they would be more accommodating? Grade 4 /IF sounds a good level for her age, although 75 minutes would be better than 60. Private lessons are expensive and not always appropriate - if you go elsewhere they may bring you into conflict with her school....... Whatever you decide to do most important is that your daughter is happy and continues to enjoy her dancing!
  10. The defining factor is ultimately not just talent and sufficient high level training, but the "look" - if you look like a classical dancer with the right proportions and physique you're much more likely to be selected for upper school. I would say that the fact that she got to the finals at 11 is probably a good indication of her having the "look" and is a good omen for the future! How long are her ballet lessons? It's not just the number of lessons, but also the length that makes a difference training wise. If you asked - do you think that your daughter would be allowed to join some extra ballet lessons - perhaps on a different level -? What level is she doing now? That's also a crucial factor. Eleven is very young to board away from home -not every child is ready for that step - I know I wasn't !!!
  11. How wonderful for your daughters! Definitely worth every penny! Osipova came to Israel to dance Giselle with the Israel Ballet Company and in a lovely gesture gave a class for students. There must have been anout 40 or 50 students in all, but the company studio is really enormous! I was privileged to be able to watch and she was amazing!!!!! Her corrections were brilliant, lovely exercises and she herself was so sweet and unpretentious- we all became instant groupies! You can see her at the moment in Anastasia on the Royal Opera House youtube site. So beautiful!
  12. We had students here in Israel who were going on scholarship to the RAD SS but were told it's been cancelled. Now that may just apply to foreign students because of travel restrictions, but it probably doesn't if the ballet schools in the UK are not opening.
  13. As you can see now from the CD cover you missed out loads of exercises! Barre Pliés , Battement Tendus, Battement Glissés and Jetés, Rond de jambe à terre, Fondus, Frappés, Petits battements, Ronds de jambe en l'air, Adage, Grands Battements and Grands Battement en clóche. Centre Ports de bras, Centre practise and pirouettes en dehors, Pirouettes en dedans, Adage, Allegro 1, Allegro 2, (Free enchainement), Allegro 3. Variation 1 or 2 Pointe Rises, Relevé passé derrière, Relevé passé devant, Posé and coupé fouetté raccourci Temps lié, Relevé and échappé relevé, Reverence I hope that's everything! Of course you also have the extra music for boys on the disc plus music for the free enchainements.
  14. Great idea! It is difficult finding gifts for male students. I once gave a boy student a little green frog on a key chain and added the greeting thzt one day I was sure he would turn into a Prince! He did too 😅
  15. There's a petition on Facebook which I signed. Probably won't help, but I did want to try. My very first teaching job was at Contis as ballet mistress at the end of the 60s! I was in a panto with a troupe from Contis. They didn't give the poor kids enough rehearsal time so as Good Fairy/Principal Dancer, I decided I would work with them, because they looked up to me. I worked with them between shows to tidy the lines and correct their technique and after a week the ADs came to watch and were so impressed that they offered me a full time position. I loved it there and the students were very talented. Ballet had always taken a secondary place to musical theatre etc, but I found that they soon grew enthusiastic about their ballet classes, so much so that they cried when I left! It was an incredible work experience and I've had a soft spot for the school ever since. Some years ago I saw them perform at Move It and was very impressed. After more than a hundred years it is very sad that the school might close. Hope it can be saved.
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