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Everything posted by Kate_N

  1. As far as I know (I work in HE) they are different things. A BA (Hons) is a degree. A Diploma is usually not the equivalent of a degree - at my place it's seen as equivalent to around 2 years of a degree course. If the position sought is as a dancer, the level of qualification really will not matter - it'll be about the quality of the dancer as a dancer. All the degrees or diplomas really will not matter. And no, a future employer in another field would rarely see a Diploma as equivalent to an Honours degree.
  2. Oh I feel your pain! I've been told probably every class I've taken. And ribs down. Hannah's most recent to me was "stop wriggling your hips." But isn't it lovely when she gives you a sideways nod as she walks past you in class? It makes me feel that all my hard work is paying off, to get that note of approval from her! And yes, her classes might be "old school" but anyone who learns in them is learning clean precise technique, safely. I never feel that the atmosphere is oppressive, as you say her sense of humour is always there. And I'm there to work and learn, not gossip ...
  3. Hi Ruth - not that I’m nagging or anything 😏 (yeah, right) but I’d be really interested in your experience of Ms Frost’s and Mr Kierce’s classes. I recommend Hannah Frost’s classes a lot (and really like them myself) - but I’m not a beginner, so I’m interested in other people’s views.
  4. oooh, looking forward to reading about your experiences, RuthE! @BeaverElliot when you see this thread it might help us advise you if you give something of your dance background and current level of study. Then there are the practicalities of where you'll be staying in London, as this might affect which studios are good for you. London is a rather large city!
  5. There are many options in London for adult learners. It would help to know what level you're currently dancing at, as pas de deux training is generally for more advanced dancers in good control of their technique. So I won't comment on likely training opportunities for that, except to say that, as far as I know, there aren't any drop in, or open classes for pas de deux in central London studios. The first thing I thought of is the dedicated class for men and boys at Danceworks on Saturday afternoons, but it's pretty advanced. (Women who like jumping do it too - I love learning the usual male jumps) http://danceworks.net/classes/schedule/saturday/ For a beginner male dancer, there isn't really any need for a separate men's class - the repertoire is shared, and the steps are the same (for example, I've learned tours en lair in syllabus work). But if you want a men only class, you could try the enrolment course at City Lit: City Lit Men's Ballet If you're going to be in London as more than just a tourist, you might want to look at a termly enrolment class rather than drop in classes - see Ruth E's thread about London classes for beginner or begin-again adult ballet students. I'd also recommend Alexander Simpkins, who teaches at the City Lit classes. I see Mr Simpkins sometimes in Nina Thilas-Mohs' classes - he's a beautiful dancer to watch and very generous in class. Another excellent teacher for beginners - and for those of us who need to keep our technique sharp! is Hannah Frost, who teaches at DAnceworks, and Central School. She is tough, funny, and excellent - gives really good corrections, so you really get the placement she's asking for. Her classes are crowded but she gives very good individual attention, and will adapt some things in her Improvers class for the male students. There are always a few men dancing in her Beginners class. I love her classes for their precision & the demands on stamina and control. Nina Thilas-Mohs' classes at both Danceworks (Sunday afternoons) and Fridays ( Central School of Ballet Central Nights) regularly have (professional level) men taking class, and Nina will adapt centre combinations for men - her classes are slow and simple at the barre, and fast and fun in the centre, so plenty of opportunities to jump out and turn a lot. But they're not for the beginner, really. David Kierce might be a possibility - he teaches at Central School adult programme at Beginner & Improver levels - I just did his Improvers class (which was actually still fairly much a Beginners standard) - he's very funny, an exacting teacher with excellent technique teaching, but oh my! 40 people in a class - far too crowded. No chance to really jump out or move across the centre.
  6. I was there this afternoon - a friend & her daughter had a spare seat in a box, which was a new experience for me. We gave them a standing ovation & I can't understand why the whole house wasn't on its feet. O'Sullivan & Sambé were extraordinary together. YOu forgot they were dancing - they were acting and just being the characters. The dancers playing Mercutio & Benvolio were also wonderful - having the three boys in the play (they were all young teenagers in the play!) played by three relatively young dancers was inspired casting. As my friend's daughter said: "this will be one of those performances that in a few years' time we can say "We were there when ..." Brava! and Bravo!
  7. I remember seeing a piece of straight theatre (an Ostrovsky play) once on one of my visits to Moscow, just after the dissolution of the USSR - about 1993/4 I think. The leading lady (wearing a sash with Soviet medals) entered, and before starting her dialogue., walked diagonally downstage and took a bow, then walked back upstage (without turning her back on us), and started the scene. Wonderful!
  8. Ha ha ha! This is reminiscent of the highly partisan "claques" of audience members in the height of the Romantic ballet in Paris in the 19th Century - scuffles and fights between auduence members over the relative merits of their favoured dancers were not unknown 😉
  9. BRB then uses "Artist" to indicate an hierarchy: First Artist Principal Artist and so on. The entry level "Artist" is to the corps de ballet, but I really like the practice of calling even corps members "Artists". Because they are!
  10. I've attended a few ballet events (ENB, BRB) which have included watching a rehearsal or a class. I've also been lucky enough to attend company class in the company of a family member, and also in the teaching workshops of a family friend. These experiences have been quite special & I know that they are a rare privilege. So I agree with you absolutely about this, Rosewater, absolutely! I find it rather concerning that parents are so rude & ignorant as to allow children to behave in the disruptive ways you describe I work partly in the theatre and spend a lot of time in rehearsals, either supervising, running them, or watching others' rehearsals. They are places of serious work, but even more, they are places where we're trying things out, experimenting, and more often than not, failing, and needing to go to the next solution or experiment (and the next, and the next ...). Failure is necessary but difficult. You need to create a safe physical and mental space in which to fail and then develop through failure to success. There needs to be a bit of "Fight Club" rules about this sort of observation: what happens in class, stays in class. So people who watch class need to be aware of the privilege, and behave correctly. My only experience as a dancer being watched by strangers in class made me even more adamant about respectful behaviour as an observer of class or rehearsal. At DanceXchange in Birmingham sometimes in the summer there would be a sequence of classes organised by an outside hirer with some well-known teachers. Young dancers from 12 upwards were permitted to attend, but so were their parents. These parents would sit in across the back of the room, chat to each other, or talk to their children in between exercises. It was rude & disruptive. I was trained to understand class etiquette: the moving dancer doing the combination always has right of way. But these parents didn't understand that and we sometimes had to dance around them in across the floor combinations from the corner. It really put me off those classes & I did mention it to the organiser.
  11. This is the website: https://bookwhen.com/bbt I think you can book through this site.
  12. Thanks for the correction, Viv, and the up-to-date information. Your explanation makes perfect sense - the foundation skills being more strongly embedded as students work through the vocational grades. As I say, I did bits of syllabus work before the RAD stretched out their curriculum. What I learned as Intermediate is now Advanced Foundation, I think ... so I thought that stretching out was a bit of "dumbing down" - not in a bad way, but just a way of accommodating lots of different kinds of dancers. And yes, my teacher jumped us from Grade 3 or 4 (I think) straight to Elementary with some Intermediate thrown in!
  13. One of my ballet teachers had danced with her in the Sadler's Wells days, and taught us The Burrow - he adapted the Seymour role for me. I was unaware of her at that point, but then read up on her work, and had a huge case of imposter syndrome. She then actually taught and mentored the pro dancer in my family, with advice that I still remember in class. So an all round artist - at a time when "ballerinas" weren't supposed to have agency or creativity, but just dance beautifully. She's a model for the new kinds of dancers (particularly women artists) training now. And blows apart the passive beautiful starving ballerina stereotype. (thank goodness)
  14. Very wise & sensible. I think the real bonus of being adults learning ballet is we can choose the ways that we like to learn, and how we best learn. We're not children, whose progress must be checked and ascertained all the time! We can decide for ourselves.
  15. Kate_N

    Room 101

    Oh Fiz, my condolences. However ill someone has been, and however expected the passing, death is always a shock. Be kind to yourself, and rest up that knee!
  16. Valentina, I think I’d go back to the various comments on this thread (and others) that point out that a specific named syllabus is not really the issue. As others have pointed out, most of the major ballet schools with International reputations, don’t adhere to the named examination syllabi. All these named syllabi are simply ways of offering a graded framework for teachers, and a set of recognised standards and qualifications. But frankly, those qualifications mean little in the performing world. So so I don’t think that there’s a single answer to your question about which syllabus best encourages “passion.” They all do, and they all don’t - because it’s technique we’re learning mostly. It’s up to the individual dancer to find her or his expression. Personally, I actually don’t care about named syllabi and their relative merits and demerits. Ballet is ballet and it can be well or badly taught. I think people should be looking for the best possible teaching. That’s the main thing.
  17. Have a look at Olivia Cowley's Ballet Style Instagram & website. She has a few posts on how she modifies her tights so that her toes are bare, so she can feel the floor through her shoes.
  18. Of course. Ballet is ballet. Exams mean very little in the broader scheme of things, except to show that you have studied a particular version of the fundamental ballet repertoire to a certain level. Exams don't necessarily mean a person dances well, or that they've been taught well. Or that the dancer dances badly ... etc etc @BeaverElliot, I found it hard to read your post responding to mine - but you seem overly focused on external qualifications & validation. I think the advantage, fun, fascination, (obsession??) and joy of being an adult ballet student is that we dance for the enjoyment of dancing and learning about this amazing art form. We don't need such validations or qualifications, because we're dancing because we want to. Graded exams give bragging rights perhaps, but honestly - in all my years of adult dancing, I've seen adult dancers with achieved exams who can't point their feet or hold their turn out ... The anxiety about the level of any particular class is real, of course - I feel it myself! And you can ask on messageboards like this - I do all the time! Most studios try to give an idea of the expectations and style of a class in their descriptions. And one can always have a quiet word with a teacher beforehand, to say that you're either stepping up to a more advanced level and will try to follow along and not get in anyone's way, or that you're taking a beginners' class because you need just to focus on basics - I've done both these things, and as long as I follow standard class behaviour & etiquette, it's been fine. So my overall advice to @Polik would be to use the amazing resources of this messageboard - do a search of the threads discussing adult ballet. There's a very loooong thread with useful information, but because it's so long, and includes blog-like posts, it's hard to find the information that might be useful. I'd advise that you play around with the Search function - it's pretty good for this kind of software. I've bumped up a really helpful thread which I hope you'll find useful. And an off-topic tip about how to use this messageboard to @BeaverElliot: it's very easy on this messageboard to quote selectively from other people's posts. You don't have to quote the entirety of someone else's post - just use your mouse or trackpad to select the bit of someone else's post on which you want to comment, and the software will automatically copy it into your message. It's as if it's magic! (I don't enjoy being shouted at in all caps).
  19. You can have my 12 hour days 6 days a week as well, if you like 😃
  20. Thanks for this, May. I went to your Aspire website & found lots of useful information - so thank you for an excellent & informative website. The EBAS system sounds really something I'd like to experience. I currently do a weekly PBT class and find that helps with my stiff upper back, and tunes up my core placement. And EBAS sounds like it works even more deeply and carefully. But <sob> the dates for this year are precisely the week I've been invited to teach at a week long workshop in my field in California (it's a tough job but someone has to do it). So I'll be looking at classes for adults in Santa Cruz instead ...
  21. May, this sounds great! I will have to look at dates and work/travel commitments ... Is there further information about the EBAS system? I'm always interested in learning new ways of approaching movement, particularly with my ageing body.
  22. What a great story, amum/Cathy! I think it's really useful to read these stories of people who may not "make it" - to the RBS, or Tring, or ENBS, or wherever. But they train to a high level, and have a wonderful, enriching, creative hobby for the rest of their lives. It's a good story for younger dancers who have their hearts set on a high-level dance career, but don't quite get there. They have a lifelong, beautiful skill. My extra-curricular "hobby" together with my PhD got me my first job, and I use my "hobby" and my dance studies in my job everyday. I'm never going to be a professional in those areas, but they contribute to my work as a teacher and researcher.
  23. Bumping this for Polik. Lots of information here, although maybe we need to update it?
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