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Kate_N

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Everything posted by Kate_N

  1. Indeed. I think that parents really need to do due diligence about this, and not rely on someone else/the state/public money/regulation. That's part of the issue, it seems to me - that there is excellent state-funded education, for which the state pays to have inspected, regulated, monitored. However, in my experience of various facets of the UK education system, there are people, groups etc who deliberately do not want to be part of a national system of standardised education and regulation. And not always for nefarious purposes, but perhaps philosophical, or religious etc etc etc
  2. and By their very nature independent fee-paying schools rely on fees being paid. For this, families feel they purchase something not available to everyone, for whatever reason families feel that they need to do so (and you can see from the current A Level debacle how purchasing an academic education very much adds to pupils' social & educational advantages). It seems to me that families need to understand both the advantages & disadvantages of purchasing an education. Independent schools are just that - independent. This has huge advantages to pupils
  3. Indeed, once alerted to the situation, an ethical university would have to act quickly. At my place, alleged** breaches of the law on relationships with minors and unprofessional behaviour would break our 'Appropriate relationships" policy, and - even without any legal issues - would lead to a serious disciplinary charge of the persons concerned. However, it might be worth contacting the validating university as they may be in the process of transferring validation to another body. There certainly should be alternative arrangements made for all the students affected. Start at the
  4. All my opinion, of course 🙂 (for whatever that's worth).
  5. But this is a real thing! It's the way this forum survives. A legal action would sweep it away completely. Perhaps look at it this way: if parents and dancers come here and read about what knowledgeable posters - the Moderators, the identifiable teachers who post here - say about the desirable best practices of ballet training, then perhaps they'll realise that maybe they're not in such a good situation. And can start to ask questions, under the cloak of anonymity, to help educate themselves about how things should be. I think that's a VERY useful role for this site to play.
  6. In some situations & particularly on the internet, I tend to assume that English is not the first language of a poster, or that they're not hugely literate or used to expressing themselves in writing ...
  7. No, you're not the only one - which is partly why I answered in a straightforward common-sense way. If someone gets their kicks from posting hoping to elicit responses to feed their fetish, then a straightforward professional answer can sometimes short circuit that.
  8. Very wise advice - effective stretching actually makes many many tiny tears in the muscles. The idea is that as those tears heal, the muscles heals lengthened. This is why extreme stretching to increase flexibility shouldn't be done between barre & centre, but at the end of the day's dancing. I've also read sports physiotherapists advise that it's flexibility that is key, but mobility. That is, functional flexibility. It's all very well doing the splits on the floor, but can you get the leg high in a step or combination, when the choreography requires it? That's the difference
  9. @Anna C - that's really interesting. I remember Ms Julie Felix (extraordinary master teacher) saying something like that in a summer vacation class once to a large group of intermediate to advanced dancers, of mixed ages - from 13 year olds, through to Elmhurst students on vacation, through to us adult ballet dancers of ages up to around 60. There were a couple of talented, thin long-legged 15/16 year olds with potential as dancers, but struggling with clean turns. Ms Felix was really sweet to both them and us (middle-aged women with hips) saying that in terms of the physics of turning, it wa
  10. I assume this is what dance belts are for. The wonderful teacher, Sander Blommaert shows such stretches on his Instagram feed.
  11. I've seen Ms Rojo working in class (years before she was AD of ENB) and while she may not have elevation, boy, can she turn!
  12. MODERATOR'S NOTE: This thread has been split off from an earlier thread here: and some quotes may be from that original thread (click on the arrow at the top right of any quote to go back to the original post). If you spot any post which is obviously in the "wrong" thread, please point it out. Thank you. @Pups_mumI think this is such an important point. We need a balance, and a society which doesn't pathologise normal ordinary feelings of stress, anxiety etc and particularly the normal ordinary confusions of puberty! I had a young stu
  13. That's really interesting @drdance - no apology needed! When I started doing box jumps, I was trying to land on top of the box in the same upright position that I had on the ground - that was scarier & louder & much harder (my trainer judges my effort on the noise of my landing). So I have almost jumped that height. I've also jumped the next plyo box height up - probably 65cm, but not for a while (lockdown of course), so we're starting back slowly ... And yes to this in my gym training: the aim is to jump up (landing without sound) step down and immediately jump
  14. I was thinking about this thread in the gym yesterday. I work out with a personal trainer (have learned to lift quite heavy weights - it’s a revelation!) and he was getting me to do box jumps onto a plyo box. I’d guess it was about 50 cm. The aim is to jump up to the top from standing and to try to land on top of the box as silently as possible. So that means i have to really lift up my knees and control my landing. I land in a fairly deep squat to do this, so it’s not pretty! But my trainer was saying that box jumps are one of best core exercises around, as well as good for glutes.
  15. I just wanted to add how much I m learning from this discussion - I'm particularly interested in Ms Northmore's experience of remaking her body & her day to day experience of teaching, in relation to the scientific knowledge of other posters. I'm interested in this partly because I notice quite a difference in teaching approaches between the UK and the USA - I've taken class with some amazing teachers in the US who have a very scientific and body mechanics approach to ballet - it's a different mindset to many teachers in the UK. Both have their virtues and - as a permanent ball
  16. Oh, I don't disagree @Nico Kolokythas I was just thinking about @drdance's comment about dancers not actually jumping very high, but giving the illusion of height. But it's clear to most relatively ballet-knowledgeable spectators that for example, the men who can really jump have obvious thigh & glute muscle development. It's tougher for women, who are supposed to have bodies with longer elegant lines (not that male dancers aren't expected to have that as well!) And dancers tend to know that the long-legged tall dancers (of both sexes) find fast jumping more of a c
  17. Isn't part of the 'optical illusion' to do with upper body, arm & head carriage? If your chest and head are up, and arms stretched, you'll look higher, longer, leaner, than a sportsperson. This is why we tend to think of ballet as - ultimately - art rather than sport.
  18. In Zoom, you can 'Pin' a particular window - I find it really useful when I'm trying to pick up the combination, but I really like switching to Gallery view once I know the choreography, so I have a sense of dancing with others!
  19. I am doing classes with Christina Mittelmaier on Zoom, and the class is accompanied by Chris Hobson - he is superb! And the 2 of them together are a funny & endearing double act. I learn so much in Ms Mittelmaier's class, and love the way Chris Hobson improvises and changes pace & tempo in response to the combination Christina sets. Their classes are the highlight of my ballet week, and one of the wonderful silver linings of the situation we are all in.
  20. As I understand it, not necessarily to both questions. Muscle bulk is as much to do with innate physiology and hormones - from puberty, male bodies' production of testosterone affect skeletal development (heavier bones than female bodies), lung development (bigger lungs) and the ability to develop muscle - it's why men and women don't compete together in most athletics (and why there was such an outcry in the 1980s at the East German 'doping' of women athletes with male hormones!) You can deliberately train for bulk, but that requires fairly specialist techniques. If you look at the way that
  21. Brilliant advice! I'm finding this to be a fascinating discussion - thank you to all you experts with your different perspectives and expertise.
  22. 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 comb
  23. 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).
  24. 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 ba
  25. 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
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