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Everything posted by Kate_N

  1. Wonderful that you've found a good class. And it does sound good! Technical & pacey - a great combination.
  2. To a well-trained and thoughtful dancer, a beginners class with an experienced and expert teacher can be tough and challenging because the slow pace and emphasis on fundamentals allows for no skimping on clean precise and correct technique.
  3. I think maybe some of the less "glamourous" brands do larger sizes for adults: when I was between a large 14 and a small 16, I found that Plume leotards (available from DanceDirect) were good, whereas Capezio was always small, even in the L size. But I suppose it's supply and demand. Most women buying leotards etc for ballet are not larger than the average female body (which is a size 14 across the UK I think?), I suppose.
  4. Dansox, the research network for dance run from Oxford University, is hosting what looks like fascinating event on 5th March We are welcoming Alastair Macaulay, former Chief Dance Critic of the New York Times, back to St Hilda’s College to deliver a special guest lecture on George Balanchine, the great twentieth-century choreographer. Thursday 5 March, 5.30pm, Jacqueline du Pre Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford. The lecture is free and open to all and will be followed by a drinks reception. Please book places at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dansox-guest-lecture-by-alastair-macaulay-on-georges-balanchine-tickets-89044930785
  5. I feel your pain. My home town of Lancaster was pretty much held to ransom by the quality (or not) of the West Coast line and Virgin Trains. Bring back British Rail, I say!
  6. Wonderful stuff - I wish I had time to learn all that. And, as you say - Handel!!! Although, an exacting taskmaster in terms of rhythm and timing.
  7. Don't forget to focus on your ankles - think about getting the stretch through your ankles to point your foot. We often focus on the instruction: "point your toes." When you go to point your toes, make sure you start from the ankle, not just your foot arch and toes.
  8. If you had good teaching and a positive experience at BAD, would they be amenable to you joining one of the classes for older teens? There might be a mismatch of levels, as older teens are likely to be more advanced, but you could work at the back and start to pick things up. It might be worth asking them. After all, ballet developed from Baroque dance, so you have the historical foundation for ballet 😀
  9. I've suggested much the same thing on several occasions, @RuthE I'm grateful to the Moderators for splitting off the other discussions & non-blog-like posts by the rest of us so that incoming new adult dancers can find the more varied posts & posters in this forum. There's loads of good discussion & advice in that tread as well - but those posts can tend to get lost unfortunately.
  10. Hannah herself says her Friday Central class is more basic than her Danceworks Beginners classes. I've only done her Danceworks classes, so your first-hand knowledge is really useful! Either way, she's an excellent teacher for adult beginners
  11. To me, it looks like a lack of strength & flexibility in the ankle, as much as in the feet. You can see this in the picture of feet in parallel.
  12. Your feet look good in those shoes, but "perfect ballet feet" are feet AND ankles which have the strength in arch & ankles to fully straighten when on pointe - that's how you get over the box, particularly in second position. I can see that you have the high arched "banana feet" but they are no use to you if you don't have the foot strength and ankle strength & mobility to use them. I'd say from your photos that you might look at developing strength & flexibility in your ankles - ask your teacher about theraband exercises, and other ankle strengthening & flexibility work. Simple rises in parallel at the barre are good. Also just rolling up and down through your feet in pointe shoes in parallel at the barre. It's about developing the strength to mould those shanks to your instep.
  13. Alexander, if you're already travelling in to London to do Baroque dancing etc, could you add on a ballet class or two? Most good ballet classes are 90 minutes long (although Pineapple studios do 60 minute classes - they're not really long enough in my view). Classes in London I'd recommend for a beginner would be Hannah Frost's Beginner classes at Danceworks, and her Friday night class (7-8:30pm) at Central School of Ballet (google Central Nights). These are drop in classes and attract dancers at various levels of experience & competence. Hannah is an excellent teacher for someone who is just beginning - she takes the barre slowly, explains in detail, and gives really good coaching and visual tips or cues. The centre is quite simple, and you really get to break down complex steps such as pirouettes. She has an eagle eye & gives hands-on corrections - which for me, is the best way to learn about correct placement. I'm a pretty experienced dancer (not necessarily always competent though!) and I take her class at Danceworks when I'm in London, as it's a great tune up & boot camp for my bad habits. Apparently, her Friday class at Central is a real "Absolute Beginner" class - these are hard to find as drop in classes. https://danceworks.com/london/classes/timetable/ https://www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk/aeccourseoutline.php PS and thanks @Jan McNulty for moving these posts out of the other interminable thread!
  14. @Alexander could I suggest that you post a new separate thread on this, and add some tags, such as 'adult ballet' and maybe 'basingstoke' so that your request is seen by more people? It's rather buried in this very long thread, which tends to be more of a blog from one of Balletco's adult ballet students. Your request won't be seen by many posters who may have information, but don't read this thread because of its focus.
  15. Yes. I think the thing I enjoy about repertoire classes & workshops is that you learn a lot about technique as well as learning the choreography. It's what we do class for - to put the technique into practice. I've been lucky in my home studio in that my teacher - an ex-professional and really well-trained as a dancer and dance pedagogue - knows much of the great classical repertoire, and gives us bits in class as part of our centre work. We spent most of 2019, for example, in doing centre practice derived from Giselle. This wasn't repertoire as such, but integrated into the barre and centre practice of regular class.
  16. At my place, we offer quite a lot! We have "Employability" sessions within the Department about every 3 weeks or so (so about 8-10 over the year). They are VERY poorly attended. Sometimes embarrassingly so when we have external experts. We spend quite a bit of money overall - now coming from the tuition fee. And still our students say they get no advice or help <sigh>
  17. Have you used the UCAS website to search? It may help.
  18. I'm sure @Anna C can speak for herself, but reading her post, and your response, I don't think anyone is saying you are "stealing." That is strong language to use. But it's important to point out that in the professional ballet world (as I've experienced it, anyway) there is a concern about unqualified people teaching/coaching in a very specialised field, which generally takes a lifetime of training and performing to be recognised as a qualified teacher. That's why the RAD requires those who teach its material to be qualified in a way that they recognise (and indeed, have some control over). In my life as a perpetual ballet student (I was totting it up - it's been about 40 years!), I have been very fortunate to be taught by master teachers, who teach adult beginners and working professionals. And I don't think adult dancers, of whatever age, should be offered anything less. And those who have this combination of training, experience, and ability as pedagogues should be respected - I am so lucky that I've had several extraordinary master teachers, including my current regular teacher. We should respect these people.
  19. Realistically, what support or help would you want from a ballet-focused Upper School? Is it on a par with help for UCAS applications for example, where there are a range of practices? Would it be useful to start listing here the concrete things that any school could do to assist graduates in finding work. As Rowan says upthread >>I’m not sure that anyone should be optimistic about chances of getting a job in ballet. In fact, realistically, it’s downright idiotic to aim for it.<< With that realistic view in mind, what could US do to maximise the chances for their graduates?
  20. Don't most schools advertise this? I know my university department does, as it looks good and is reassuring to current applicants. Maybe ask the schools when you'r there for the auditions? I've seen posts here in BalletCo listing where RBS graduates are going, for example.
  21. I also hope you'll stay a wee bit longer @Picturesinthefirelight - your experience, and that of your family, is really interesting to read about. I hope you can find a way to negotiate between the necessary confidentiality, and sharing your (and your DD's) hard-won experience.
  22. Oh thank you for this @Pas de Quatre I saw Bruce's Dracula and loved it - I don't usually ike "story" or narrative ballets, but his melding of story and choreography was extraordinary.
  23. If your DD is thinking about wanting to have a crack at professional training in dance at degree level, she should do whatever auditions are still available. I agree about trying to banish the "What if ...?" lingering question. And as an academic, I actually think that the brain will wait, but the body doesn't. And I (or my colleagues!) don't want to be teaching undergrads who don't really want to be there. It's hard work, when students behave as though what they're doing is second-best. It's hard work for them as well! And some advice re Birmingham English - it's an in-demand course, and the general rule of thumb in such courses is that if a student doesn't make the offer, but they are admitted anyway (and there could be many reasons for that - they impressed at interview, it's a "contextual" offer, etc etc - not an inevitable "standards lowering" decision) Admissions Tutors can be reluctant to allow a deferral. This is simply because we can usually be pretty sure that in the next year's round, we will have suitably qualified applicants to admit. So if they agreed to your DD's deferral for a year, then they are pretty sure they want her on the course. SO I'd email the Admissions Tutor - or rather have your daughter email - and ask about a further year's deferral. They may say 'No' and so your DD will know where she stands. But I think the main thing is that she should try to see whether she can cut it in the competition by auditioning for some conservatoire/professional dance degrees. That seems the best way she'll quell the "What if ..." doubts. And if they're before September, she has nothing to lose - as long as she's prepared for not getting offers after auditions. But then she'll know where she stands.
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