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Posts posted by Kate_N

  1. 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. 

    • Like 3

  2. 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. 


    • Like 7

  3. 14 hours ago, Lusodancer said:

    thus will likely encompass far more strigent requirements than your department guru might be suggesting, given the track record to date of UK government advice


    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.

    • Like 6

  4. 10 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

    It really is like something out of a disaster movie. I keep hoping I am going to wake up and find its all a bad dream.


    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!)

    • Like 7

  5. 10 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

    It seems a bit extreme to be effectively ruling out face to face lectures for a year already.


    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 ...




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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

    • Like 2

  8. 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 ...




    • Like 3

  9. Yes, RuthE, you're right. I'm doing paid-for classes with Nina Thilas-Mohs via Zoom. But I've done her classes regularly (although not as frequently as I could wish) over the last few years, so I know her teaching style, and she knows what I need to work on.


    I think starting right now, with unfamiliar teachers, might be hard. And not necessarily productive.

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  10. On 01/04/2020 at 01:13, Cloud said:

    I just wanted to know if it's possible for adults to train for pointe, and what are the oppourtunities for adult ballerinas.


    As you've seen there are lots of options via streamed barres at the moment.


    BUT -- My advice would be that you don't start now, in following along classes where there is expert teaching, but no correction, because the teacher can't see you. Although you did ballet asa child, it's a whole different physical proposition as a 19/20 year old, almost adult. You need expert eyes on you, and expert correction so you don't fall into bad habits now at the start of beginning again. 


    What I'd recommend is that you do lots of conditioning - get fit & strong via online fitness and Pilates classes, or yoga etc, or go outside running (use the Couch to 5k app to get started). 


    That way, when we're out the other side (whatever sort of world we step back into) you're ready to go to live physical classes.


    Pointe work might come, but it might not. You need to be doing around 3 classes a week for strength, and have control over your turn out. I've seen some terrible adult pointe work - people who really shouldn't be on pointe for both physical safety and aesthetic reasons! There's enough to learn for at least 3 or 4 years in terms of learning the repertoire of steps and combinations, getting solid double pirouettes, and a good sense of control in the centre. 


    To find classes, there are several threads - try searching the tag "adult ballet"


    In England, it's easier if you live within commuting distance from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle or Leeds; in Scotland, Edinburgh or Glasgow. It's harder outside the big cities, but the knowledge of Balletco members is astounding!


    Good luck, and let's hope we can all be physically together in our studios soon.

    • Like 4

  11. Just to add that I've signed up for Nina Thilas Mohs Floor Barre class tonight at 6pm and her ballet barre + short centre on Friday. These are charged for, but only £5 each and done via Zoom, so there'll be corrections - at a distance, but still, some feedback. You can find the details via Nina's Facebook page: Floor Barre London. Highly recommended


    I've been enjoying Sander Bloemmart's lovely clean precise technical barre - really well pitched for a range of standards of dancers. He's a really good teacher - thinks through the way the bare connects each exercise, and does a tiny bit of challenging centre work in terms of balance and alignment. Sometimes the simple stuff is the hardest. But it's weird doing class without specific corrections!

    • Like 2

  12. Has everyone received this email from the Royal Opera House?


    They're streaming some of their back catalogue of productions via Facebook & YouTube. Looks terrific.  #fromourhousetoyourhouse




    NB: I hope this isn't replicating what others have already posted; I did check to see ...

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