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Kate_N

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  1. Just a heads up to any adult ballet dancers based in the West Country - my local studio, DanSci Dance, is holding an adult repertoire day based on Giselle on 21st July, 10:00 - 15:00. It will start with a Progressing Ballet Technique session, then a ballet class, then work on Giselle repertoire. I'll be working in the USA, so can't do it, which is a pity as I love the choreography of Giselle. We've been doing Giselle-influenced adage and port de bras in class recently, and it's lovely to dance. It's also nice repertoire for adult dancers because you don't need high extensions or multiple pirouettes to make it look good - the choreography requires you to have a beautiful clear pure line and really gets you thinking about the use of arms, back, and head. I'm not sure how much specific detail to give here (I'm just a student at the studio - no financial interest!) but the studio website should come up if you google, or search on Facebook. Hope this is OK to post, Mods.
  2. I'd add to May's advice to search this forum. If you're over 16, then all the classes at Danceworks, in Central London (just near Selfridges on Oxford Street) will be available to you. They run excellent, professionally taught, 90 minute classes at all levels from basic Beginners, to Professional.
  3. @taxi4ballet I'm sorry my post has incensed you. I thought I'd made it clear I was commenting on the posts on this thread that had moved to discussing more general parental concerns about young people 18 and over, from discussing young people under 18. Obviously, I wasn't clear enough on that. My post was written from my experience of teaching young people aged 18 years and over - in this country legally adults. I can't and wasn't commenting on situations such as that of your DD which sounds very very difficult. No wonder you're angry. I was speaking from long experience as an educator - 30 years in various university systems internationally. It is a different perspective from that of a parent, but hope it's useful to give you an insider's view of what from the outside can seem like large and closed institutions. I also have an overview of teaching generations of young people. All points of view are valid - take what you need and leave the rest. But information is always useful, I think. To those with their children over 18 at universities: in my experience (of the UK, USA, and Australia) there is a lot of support, both informally from academic staff, and from university support services, but students have to ask for it. We are not your children's parents - you are - but we are all interested in nurturing young people and helping them to thrive as learners, and as people. But we all have different roles in this, and all contributions should be respected. But as parents you should not demand that educators break the law - which several posts upthread were close to doing - and I've had direct personal experience of parents contacting me and requiring me to break the law. One, a solicitor, just laughed when I pointed out that they were asking me to break the law. That sort of person - thank goodness - is a tiny minority. Please let's not forget - most young people thrive. And most families are a central part of this, of course! And in the rare cases when they don't, it's rarely a simple matter of one person's/one institutional negligence or fault. It's complex. Also I'd say that we shouldn't forget that a certain amount of difficulty - and even adversity - is actually necessary for learning and growing up! If I were to think back to my own experiences - I did my A Levels at 16, worked away from home for a year as a stable lad, went to university at only just 18, moved from a rural family home (nearest neighbour about half a mile away) to a large city. It was tough, and scary. But exciting - and both the difficulty and the excitingness were seen as normal and a necessary part of my growing up & maturing. I was lucky - like aspiring professional dancers, I was extremely driven in my goal of what I wanted to do, and that made the difficult scary stuff bearable, because I knew this was what I had to do, to get to where I wanted to go. I'm sure we all have similar experiences ...
  4. Let me offer a different perspective: I have 30 years experience of dealing with undergrads - so I'm speaking about legal adults here. I appreciate it's different for those under 18. But at 18, people are deemed legally adult, and some of the things posters are demanding here are illegal, and put university staff in compromising situations. These demands are unreasonable in current legal circumstances. Sadly, what I see each year, is that sadly, for a small minority of troubled students, the home life is - sadly - not "nurturing home life." Sometimes, from what I gather from troubled students, it's the home life, and/or the behaviour of a parent which is actually the problem. Ad even if this is not objectively true, it is the student's perception. And surely it is a parent's job to gradually & age-appropriately train their children for independence? I teach the student - my relationship is with the student, not the parent (and actually, at universities, it's still mostly the taxpayer who is paying the tuition fee, not the parent). It would be a breach of my trust relationship with a student to inform their parents without the student's permission - in some cases I've dealt with, I cannot imagine what havoc I could have caused, had I contacted parents. How do I know the circumstances of a student's family relationships, unless they tell me? They may have a different story about family life than their parents, but my working relationship is with the student. I am legally not permitted to contact parents unless I have the written permission of the legally adult undergrad. The situation of a recent student suicide was that the young person was quite seriously unwell before university. There were adjustments, but these were not enough for the illness - however, sometimes it is just not possible to make adjustments and teach the full course. . As educators, we have a responsibility to teach and assess appropriately. I've had many experiences of working with a student who basically is not well enough to be at university, but they have become attached to the idea that being at university is the one thing that they are successful at, and the one thing that keeps them from having to admit the extent of their illness. Of course, this is a disastrous way of thinking, and academic staff spend a lot of time (and our own emotional/mental well-being) trying to assist and guide these young people. But you can't get a degree for being ill, as harsh as that sounds (and I know it's very tough in some instances). There are mechanisms for intercalation/leave of absence. In my experience, students who take these up end up doing very well. We once had a student write our staff team a card to say thank you for forcing her to choose between dropping out completely or taking a year's leave of absence. She chose the latter, worked and rested for a year, and sailed through the rest of her degree. Most academic staff take their professional responsibility for the care & nurturing of undergrads very seriously. But universities cannot supply the deficiencies of the NHS, dysfunctional families, or chronic illness or disability. We can make "reasonable accommodation" but we have a responsibility to hold students to the highest of standards (in what is one of the world's BEST education system, which attracts learners from all over the world). I think these issues are diminished if they're reduced simply to "I'm paying for this." That attitude - frankly - is becoming part of the problem in some instances. In dance training, where it feels that time is of the essence, of course these things feel more urgent and thus more difficult. But in the end, we all need physical and mental well-being.
  5. And of course, there are the original summer dance intensives for adult dancers, run by Sun King, in the USA. I know at least one of the posters here has attended. We collect information about summer intensives for adults, plus a useful guide to survival! over on Ballet Talk for Dancers, if anyone wants to combine vacation & ballet.
  6. Harwel, I've always found your posts informative & interesting. Best wishes & congratulations to your DS. And tell him from this (ageing) adult ballet student, that he doesn't have to stop dancing. There is a huge adult ballet community in the UK, and everyone's welcome! (We all need the really well-trained pre-professionals in class to show us how it should be done, and to inspire us!)
  7. Please don't try to create hyperextension - you can't anyway, as it's a genetic thing: the individual make-up of your body. IT may be that you need to think about lengthening your whole line - creating the dynamic pull from crown of the head to tip of the toe in arabesque etc. BUt that is about slow careful training. I'm still learning to pull up my knees, rather than lock them back, and I'm not really hyperextended. And I don't like it when people call hyperextension "swayback" because locking back into the knees (the "sway") is very bad for ballet technique: it puts the weight back in the heels. It can distort the alignment of the pelvis, and put effort into the quads, thus leading to heavy quads and not that flat fronted look - from stretched and lengthened hip flexors. Just inadvisable all round.
  8. As an adult, I have discovered the power of squats - properly done, with good form and alignment. I get a bit evangelical about the effects of squats! Quite hard though for a child without expert supervision, because the technique is the opposite of ballet technique (weight in heels, hinging at the hips - basically "sticking out your bottom"). However, more and more professional dancers cross-train with the basic weightlifting moves. I love watching the videos on Instagram of dancers training with experts such as BalletStrengthPro, but the dancers are mid-teens, training in a serious pre-professional programme. I wouldn't have thought such training is necessary for pre-teens, @drdance ? but I'm not an expert, just a reasonably enquiring adult dance student 😊
  9. Yes, I'd second @Cara in NZ's suggestion of calf raises. They were introduced to the Australian Ballet by David McAllister some years ago and they replace stretching between barre & centre (latest medical advice is that dancers shouldn't stretch between barre and centre), and now the Royal Ballet does them as well. Mr McAllister has noted that since they introduced calf rises, the incidence of ankle & foot injury decreased noticeably. I was taught them by a physiotherapist to help with a mild case of Achilles tendinitis - it's really important to have your alignment very clear: no turnout - legs straight over toes. And no gripping with the toes (my physio was insistent on that) - it's good to do them in socks or bare feet so you can also spread your toes out.
  10. Wow! Lucky them - he really is a master teacher. And he's been Ms Rojo's coach for some time.
  11. Me too. I don't live in his constituency but have a home in the larger area (although have to live waaaaay south for work). I've always been impressed by Mr Stewart. I assume his lack of delight in ballet is lack of knowledge and what seems to be his characteristic modesty. Given his former life as a diplomat & traveller through Afghanistan, I wonder how Mr Stewart would respond to Akram Khan's work? Or other "muscular" choreography - Russell Maliphant or Wayne McGregor?
  12. Congratulations, @Red shoes Well done, and thanks for letting us know!
  13. This is such an interesting thread. As @Colman says, many of us have a more or less disordered relationship with food. But I think it's really important to see this in part as a result of the intense pressure there is on all of us as we're buying food - advertising, product placement in shops, the attractiveness of packaging and so on. Again, food as something other than simply nutrition & fuel!
  14. Thanks for that - I don't know much about the GI technicalities, so will look for the book you recommend as it sounds very useful. I know, as a middle-aged comfort eater with a sweet tooth, I have personally found that switching to more protein in my diet really helps fend off the hunger feeling (which is possibly a sugar craving!). I have come to adore Greek yoghurt which is tasty, leaves me feeling satiated (I think this is the dietician term) and keeps the protein levels up! And like @Peanut68I was very slim (I think "skinny" is a better description!) and never had to think about what I ate till I was around 35 or so - oh how that carelessness has come back to bite me!
  15. Can I just emphasise - in case it wasn't clear from my post above - that I was not suggesting that @Wimdancer's DD start tracking calories or be encouraged to do so! Gosh no. But that Wimdancer herself might keep a quiet eye on the "hidden" non-nutritional aspects of her DD's food so that if changes need to be made - a big if - she has some knowledge of how this could be done safely. I suppose I just think we're all fairly under-educated about the hidden calories on processed food - particularly sugar variants such as corn syrup, fructose etc. My point was that @Wimdancer could continue to educate herself about this in case she needs to advise her DD in the future - I'm sure she knows the right things to do. But isn't the time from 13 to 16 a prime time for a growth spurt? And it's also around menarche for girls who need to have a certain percentage of body fat to menstruate, so girl's/women's bodies will try to put on body fat in order for this to happen, almost against our conscious will! It's very hard for a girl/woman to maintain the low percentages of body fat which boys/men are able to maintain, and really difficult in your teens.
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