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Danceworks class levels


Primaballerina1
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As the classes are primarily adults I would call and ask. It is not unusual for full time vocational 18plus to do an elementary level class as well as the intermediate/ advanced ones. They may have classes aimed at younger students but I would advise to ring them

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The website tells you which classes allow under 16s in them but I would echo the advice to ring them.  In ISTD grades your DD is not studying at intermediate or advanced level so  I suspect these adult classes at intermediate/advanced may well be too much of a stretch for her as she might well be with adults and students studying several grades above her. I think the 'elementary' level with Anna du Boisson is one I have heard recommended for students at interfoundation level by other parents.

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Thanks I will definitely call in sometime soon,

Has anyone done the under 16s classes before in ballet?

By under 16 classes do you mean the classes listed on website that will accept children? I can't see any classes listed specifically for children that are drop in.

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Danceworks drop-in classes are intended for older teenagers and adults, unless stated otherwise. Anna du Boisson's classes have a higher proportion of teenagers as her YDA students often attend her classes at Danceworks during the holidays. My dd went along to one with her YDA friend (I think they were around 14 at the time) and loved the class BUT it was very busy. There was hardly any room at the barre and Miss du Boisson didn't give corrections as the ethos of the class was more "self study" and maintaining fitness. We did have to phone Danceworks to check that under 16s were allowed in that class.

 

In terms of levels, "Elementary" at Danceworks referred to what the RAD used to call Intermediate, so would likely be too advanced for a 12 year old studying Grades 4-5. Advanced is for students who are at RAD Advanced 1/2 level, full-time Upper School students and professionals etc.

 

If Danceworks now offer under-16 classes it's always best to phone them if you're not sure of the most appropriate level.

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I wouldn't think a 12 year old at Grade 4 & 5 would manage Intermediate/Advanced at Danceworks. Elementary or Beginners would be more appropriate IF the teacher is happy with under 18 year olds. I've watched bits of Advanced classes & they're for fully-trained equivalent to professionals - I wouldn't dare go to them & I've done the Advanced level at Birmingham DanceXchange!  If your DD is still learning particular steps etc (dance vocabulary), which I'd assume she is at Grades 4 & 5, then I'd say Beginners would be the right level.

 

I do Christine Mittelmaier's Intermediate class on Sunday mornings when I can, which is lovely & I learn a lot, but it's about practising & developing technique, while as class participants we are already confident with most ballet technical vocabulary/steps. It's not a teaching class of that sort, whereas most of the teachers of beginner level classes are prepared to explain & teach basic & more complex steps/technique/ballet vocabulary.

 

Edited to add: do you mean the specific Danceworks children's programme, rather than the Open classes (which are primarily for adults)? If it's the former, you probably need to contact Danceworks. They're very helpful & friendly, I've always found.

Edited by Kate_N
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Primaballerina - to clarify - Danceworks does not offer classes that are just for under 16s. Classes are for older teenagers (16+) and adults. Some teachers allow under 16s in some of the classes but you do need to check the website/phone up to be sure and she would be in class with adults. Personally I would be inclined to try out a lower level class for the fist visit so she can find her feet but do reassure her that a class description of 'beginners' for an adult class is not the equivalent of her going back several grades

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In my opinion, a 12 year old of grade 4/5 would be a danger to herself and a great frustration to others in a class of intermediate level in a place like danceworks and pineapple. Grade 4/5 is not a very high standard in terms of ballet generally and this would be most inappropriate. I am only just considering it being appropriate for my 15 year old who is about to take advanced 1and at vocational school.

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I agree with what others have said, intermediate would probably be far too difficult. I don't know about danceworks, but certainly at Pineapple, most students in the intermediate class are adults, in vocational training, or professional dancers. Maybe a beginner class would be worth a try?

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I know this is a slightly off topic question, but what do people generally wear in the open classes? Their website just says no dress code but I'm a bit scared of being the only one rocking up in a leotard..! I'm thinking maybe a leotard with tights and shorts over or just leggings over a leotard?

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I know this is a slightly off topic question, but what do people generally wear in the open classes? Their website just says no dress code but I'm a bit scared of being the only one rocking up in a leotard..! I'm thinking maybe a leotard with tights and shorts over or just leggings over a leotard?

Depends which classes I think - for ballet the open classes are normal leotard & tights, and some wear warm-up gear as well if they need to - legwarmers, tops etc.  Don't know about the others.

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Adults in open (ballet) classes all wear leotards - not sure why you would think they wouldn't? I usually wear a long-sleeved leotard and pink tights, with leggings over, which I can strip off as I - and the studio - get warmed up.  But really, no-one notices ...

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Adults in open (ballet) classes all wear leotards - not sure why you would think they wouldn't? I usually wear a long-sleeved leotard and pink tights, with leggings over, which I can strip off as I - and the studio - get warmed up. But really, no-one notices ...

http://www.rambert.org.uk/join-in/adults/

Pictures like the one displayed in this link made me wonder! But thanks for clearing it up :)

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I regularly go to one of the advanced ballet classes at danceworks on a Saturday and people wear a real mix of stuff - in fact I would say very few people wear just a leotard and tights but lots are probably wearing them underneath layers of other clothing. Shorts rather than tights are quite popular too. Really people just wear whatever they want/feel comfortable in. The danceworks studios can get very hot, especially during busy classes!

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  • 1 month later...

My DD has not been to this class but if you read the description on the website it tells you that the class is aimed at advanced to professional dancers. Your dd is not yet studying the advanced grades. The grades you quote are not advanced grades or even really intermediate so I would have thought terminology used for many steps would be unfamiliar to her let alone the technique.

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My DD has not been to this class but if you read the description on the website it tells you that the class is aimed at advanced to professional dancers. Your dd is not yet studying the advanced grades. The grades you quote are not advanced grades or even really intermediate so I would have thought terminology used for many steps would be unfamiliar to her let alone the technique.

I agree completely. Primaballerina1, it really is best if you avoid any open/drop-in classes with "Advanced" in the title while your dd is still so young and around Grade 5 - UNLESS the classes are children's classes and you have checked with the studio.

 

"Advanced to Professional" generally means upper school vocational students, graduates, professional dancers, older teenagers about to take Advanced 1 or studying Advanced 2.

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It would be really helpful if they gave some idea of grade level. A class tagged as suitable for over 11's General to advanced level wouldn't suggest professional level to me either if I hadn't read previous threads!

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It would be really helpful if they gave some idea of grade level. A class tagged as suitable for over 11's General to advanced level wouldn't suggest professional level to me either if I hadn't read previous threads!

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The graded exams are aimed at children, though some adults may take them, too, of course. I would think labelling a class as "suitable for grade xx" would actually baffle a lot of adult dancers, for whom the grades might not have much meaning. I can see, however, that a child doing grade 5 might think that because grade 5 is about halfway through the graded syllabus, that would make them intermediate, or one doing grade 6 might think because that's near the upper end of the graded syllabus, that makes them advanced. Some might not even realise that there is a separate vocational syllabus (if studying RAD and the like) that has other "grades" labelled as Intermediate or Advanced. And even these Intermediate/Advanced grades don't correlate to intermediate or advanced classes at places like Danceworks.

 

I do think labelling a class as "suitable for over 11s" does give the wrong impression, unless it is a set of classes specially designed for children of that age or a school holiday workshop. Classes at Danceworks/Pineapple and the like aren't in general geared up for teaching children, unless they are perhaps mid- to late-teens with vocational aspirations.

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