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Kate_N

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Everything posted by Kate_N

  1. I think @Viv speaks a lot of sense. What do you want to achieve by doing the exam? Sometimes, we get caught up in "doing an exam" for its own sake, rather than remembering that the exam comes after the training. That is, we train to learn to get better and better in our technique. We don't train to pass an exam. So, if you know you need a particular qualification to get to the next stage of your training, then it might be worth doing. But does it make your actual dancing better? Will the course you want to do accept you on an audition? or paper qualifications? or a combination of the two? Edited to add: oh dear, that sounds like an inquisition! 😉 I'm not suggesting you answer those questions here, but use them for your own private reflections & decision-making.
  2. Yes, that sounds like a good idea - I think you could do a search here about it, and I'm sure @DrDance will have an overview. A lot of dancers push back into their knees and I gather (but please, ask an expert) that that can overdevelop the quads in relation to other muscle groups in the body (such as glutes and lower abs).
  3. Full disclosure - neither am I! but everything I read about physical training - dance & general fitness - always says - women shouldn't be scared of cross-training & weightlifting - it won't make us have bulky muscles! And I have to say that doing weighted squats (or lunges) has trimmed my thighs revealing the muscles (under the fat!). It's about the technique & details of the training. I love what @drdance says upthread about thinking about what you're training for, and then think about how you do that. It's like the fear people have of doing ballet - "Oh I can't do ballet, I can't do the splits" - well, no-one needs to be able to do the splits really - they are a by-product of the strength & flexibility that fully trained professional dancers acquire.
  4. The other thing about the quadriceps muscles is that on a slim body, they can look bigger than other parts of the body. They are - the quads are the strongest muscle group in our bodies. But sometimes less than optimal training for body type can affect the proportions of a person's body. Putting too much weight back in the heels, for example or pushing back into the knees , particularly if the person has hyperextended knees. I was told that this is unlikely - particularly for women/girls. Physiologically, we don't have the level of testosterone which leads to the strongly muscular physique and bulk of men/boys (in puberty) - it's unlikely that 90 minutes of that sort of activity each week is bulking muscles on a 15 year old girl - women just don't have the biology to create bulky muscles without a lot of specific work. I've found, for example, that what makes my quads strong, but also leaner, is weighted back squats (and to a lesser extent deadlifts) - done correctly, weightlifting can be excellent strength training for dancers (see Rupert Wilshire's Instagram feed, for example). And I lift quite heavy for my age & sex.
  5. Well said @Pups_mum The problem is that we have no steady, secure, and science-based guidance from the government. It seems to me that their policy actually hasn't changed much from 'herd immunity' - it's swayed by public opinion & the influence of commercial & business interests. I compare this with the experience of my family n Germany (one of whom works in the theatre) who've had clear and science-based guidance, and are back at work. And there's been absolute clarity about wearing masks as a way to protect everyone. And Germans do these things properly, not half-heartedly (eg wearing masks but not actually covering nose & mouth).
  6. I'm totally with you, @DeveloppeD If I said what I really think is going on, I suspect my post would be deleted for being too 'political' but I think we need to think back to public statements about "herd immunity" made in February-March, and reflect ... And as for risk: there are peer-reviewed papers emerging that suggest risks for people over 50 are very bad.** So a number of us are right to be very careful & cautious. **If you do Twitter, Mike Otsuka (from the LSE) is worth following for links to this research.
  7. From the link @Peony gives. It seems to refer to after-school & extra-curricular activities are permitted in school/educational settings - so schools, for example. The "Dance studios" in the list cited above maybe for the stand alone studio eg Danceworks or Pineapple.
  8. That's not happening now. I think it behoves us all to travel as little as possible, unless it's necessary to earn our livings. Scotland will still be there next year! A lot of people have died (something like two & a half times the normal number of deaths each week, according to a scientist on the Today programme this morning) - personally, I don't think anyone should put pressure on our systems unless it's absolutely necessary for health or earning a living.
  9. Indeed - as we see in the work of many contemporary choreographers, where they use both male & female athleticism, grace, and flexibility.
  10. I had a female ballet teacher who loved allegro - she was tiny, but could jump! She taught us all the male jumps. But we could never jump as high as our male peers, even (drat it!) those with less ballet training than us. This is because there are fundamental physiological differences between male and female bodies starting from puberty when the male body’s much higher production of testosterone enables the bone, muscle, and lung/ heart development which form the stronger musculature and bigger capacity of heart and lungs in male bodies. this doesn’t mean that female bodies at elite levels don’t have high capacities, strength etc. But there are fundamental physiological differences which enable some of the spectacular differences in the romantic & classical ballet repertoire. More contemporary work - especially post-WWII - makes use of the extraordinary capacities of both male and female bodies in elite dance.
  11. Thanks for this, Alison. I understood that face masks protect others from the wearer, rather than the wearer herself. Of course, if we all wore Face masks, then we’d all protect each other. My family in Germany wear them out in public - the German practice is for everyone to wear something in any public enclosed space (eg shops). We get so little secure or coherent guidance here - just look at the problems over school provision.
  12. And as I understand it, from teacher friends, they are very busy also managing the children of key workers, checking in on the welfare of those children at home, and preparing and feeding back on work from children at home. I can quite see how they can’t add in live lessons as well. To compare the demands on teachers in our schools with private dance teachers is verging on unfair. I think schools and teachers are managing under extraordinary conditions, and dealing also with sometimes contradictory, and certainly unpredictable government advice, as well as hugely restricted budgets.
  13. I think there are a number of explanations in this thread about the difference between providing full-time online education for classes of 30+ pupils, for 6 hours per day 5 days a week. Some of those children will e unmotivated, will not have a quiet place for participation, nor even their own computer. And many many more reasons. At my university we were given a day's notice of the university closing - around 16-17th of March. A week later the whole country was in lockdown. Next week I'm being allowed, for the first time, to go back to my office for 30 minutes to pick up anything else I might need. Although I'm not permitted to take my big fast two monitor computer set up. I've not been given headset, or upgraded laptop, or office chair ... So there are real and multiple issues. Compared with dance teachers teaching maybe 15 at most in a class of children who want to be there, for maybe 2 -4 hours, three or 4 times a week.
  14. Tell me about it! I'm considering teaching outside in September/October. I can't be sure about my safety if I teach indoors - I'm a shade over 60 & asthmatic - I'm at risk in a way my 20 year old students are not. But teaching online is really frustrating & difficult.
  15. Viv, yes, your post makes sense - but I think the oversplit is a consequence (a by-product) of the training rather than a goal in itself. I suppose that was the point I was trying to make. What an interesting discussion!
  16. Oh that's really useful & points out the artistry in all of this @Dance*is*life I should think that trying to learn to show the difference in feel & look of those two different kinds of grand jetes is more important than split or oversplit.
  17. Experts such as @Pas de Quatre can confirm, but in some national systems, isn't there a difference in name to distinguish between the grande jeté that starts with a grand battement, and a grand jeté that starts with a developpé? I seem to recall that the Vaganova system and the French system both distinguish between these by name ...
  18. As @Jan McNulty says, it is possible. But why would you want to do it? There is an extraordinary repertoire of male dancers' steps - huge virtuoso jumps, amazing turns - men tend to do a lot more pirouettes from second, for example, and tours en lair - lots of stuff to learn to do well, rather than pointe work done badly. And it can damage your feet - for women & men - if you'e not taught correctly, and in the right kind of shoes.
  19. Hello @olver3501 As others have said, splits are not really necessary for ballet - they should come through your training, not as a training aim or goal. You say you 'train at home' - have you ever been to a ballet class? Ballet isn't something you can really train at by yourself, unless you've had many years of expert teaching. And even then, professional dancers do class 6 days a week, in company with their peers, and class led by ballet masters/mistresses who keep a sharp eye out for dancers' technique. All dancers have things they need to keep working on throughout their lives. It's hard in pandemic conditions, but as soon as things restart, you need to get to a good class, and develop your technique by a watchful teacher guiding you. Don't worry about the splits. Flexibility in ballet is important for how you are able to use it, not as an end in itself.
  20. Kate_N

    Next September?

    Indeed. If I said what I think about UK government competence re COVID-19, I'd be booted off this message board! My university's legal people are already considering what we'll need to do to keep people safe, despite UK government advice.
  21. Kate_N

    Next September?

    Yes, yes, this. I am coping by taking it a day at a time, a decision at a time. There are things I would like to sort out & decisions I would like to make, but I can't make some decisions because they are reliant on other people/institutions making decisions. In a departmental meeting, we started to discuss how we would teach in person, and our Departmental health & safety guru basically said: "We have to be guided by the government guidance." (There are things I could say about that, but I'd be banned for life from Ballet.Co!)
  22. Kate_N

    Next September?

    This is for LARGE lecture groups. None of us (I hope) would want 100/200/300 students packed into a lecture theatre, generally with poor air circulation (very rarely do universities have air-conditioned rooms - mine is pretty big & well off, and I think we have only one large lecture theatre with proper air circulation via air-conditioning). Small group teaching is still being discussed. At my place we are looking at ways of being able to do this. We REALLY want to teach in person, believe me. It's likely going to be mixed-modes, so that where we can teach with appropriate social distancing we will really try to do that online. We all need to recognise that there are likely to be quite a few staff who are in vulnerable categories; there will be some students also. This blog is really interesting & informative about calculating the risks. You can see how sitting in a lecture theatre for 50 minutes with several (maybe asymptomatic) carriers might be quite a high risk activity. Put that together with the fact that undergrads are still learning how to be adults about making choices and wearing the consequences ... https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them
  23. Kate_N

    Next September?

    Well, we're still teaching! Just not in person. I am desperate to get back to in-person teaching - it's where the excitement happens (and online teaching is exhausting and frustrating) . But yes, health must be prioritised. We're trying to go step by step. I should say, though, that we are working on the assumption that students will be coming back to the campus in September.
  24. Kate_N

    Next September?

    Oh, and one of the things we're talking about re students & their accommodation is that we'll keep those groups of students working together as much as possible, as they'll form households for C-19 /social distancing purposes. That they'll all go into a kind of self-isolation at first, then after 2 weeks with no symptoms, will work together with social distancing. Although at a reasonably large university such as mine, not all students ive with others doing the same subjects, so the study/work group idea is only one of the many we're thinking about. I think ALL of us are going to have to think differently about our interactions with others: no more "soldiering on" if you have symptoms of any kind of cough/cold virus, for example.
  25. Kate_N

    Next September?

    I work in a university, and we are currently working on ways to have students back in September. In my department this poses specific problems around social distancing in the studio, which we're starting to think through. We are reliant on government advice (ha!) and policy (double ha!), particularly around testing. I'm thinking about how I run my physical sessions (dance for actors sort of stuff) without too much aerobic activity, and no touch. It can be done, but it will be different. We are also, however, having to think about mixed modes of teaching: both in person (which we ALL really want to be able to do) and online, both synchronously (ie everyone on line live at the same time) and asynchronous (pre-recorded lectures or "slow seminars" - a bit like a MB!, or blogs etc etc). Personally, I have quite a few concerns about getting into an enclosed space with a bunch of 18-22 year olds, when research on social attitudes re C-19 suggests that is the group least concerned about the virus (I stress this is broad research, not a dig at any individual young person). I would ideally like to be sure that anyone I interact with face to face is virus free, but until we have a coherent policy about Test, Track, Trace, this means I have to make an individual calculated risk about my own health. And I am on the edge of high risk categories in terms of age & underlying conditions. It's a gamble - we're all having to make these personal decisions, I know. But every year "Fresher's Flu" has me in bed for about a week, and bronchitic for up to 2 weeks after that ... So staff at higher ed institutions of all sorts have this to face as well as managing the whole influx of students from all over the country, bringing all those different germs! We are also talking about pay cuts to keep our jobs, inevitable redundancies, cancellation of research time (my publisher will love that one), ban on international travel, and teaching 4 terms across the year. My university refunded students rents for summer term, and the weeks of the Spring term affected by lockdown. We wonder how many higher education institutions will actually survive, particularly given the expected loss of considerable proportion of overseas students, whose fees subsidise those of our home students. It feelss like a slow-motion dystopian sci-fi film some days ...
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