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I am confused ...


Dormouse
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I am confused. I now have two ballet teachers (M and R). I did have a third (A), but he is now too busy with other aspects of ballet; R has taken over his classes.My problem is that M and R are telling me different things, this would not normally bother me, but I've just been mad enough to enter for an RAD exam ... at my age! One teacher says that in 2nd, my palms should face the audience, and the other says they should face the floor because it gives a better line from shoulder to fingertips. What does the team think, please? Thank you for reading this.

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But it's neither directly one nor t'other - your palm will not face directly downwards, not directly open to the audience. I always establish my second by establishing my first - then simply moving the arm out. Although I do turn the wrists occasionally - anything such as tendu or grand battement derriere, I tend to adjust the palm a bit downward, and in grand battement a la seconde, I know my palm opens. BUT - that is more to do with the arm turning from the shoulder/back, than the palm in isolation. I know that sometimes, for some combinations I prefer a wider higher second, and other times a lower more rounded lower second seems to suit the movements or style or music more.

 

But I'm not a teacher & I don't do exams, so you probably need to take advice about the style preferred for the exam.

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I agree with the demonstration video. I was reluctant to say anything as I haven`t taken a ballet class for over 30 years.! But I only know of palms facing the audience while in second position. Unless it`s Checchetti perhaps? 

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In all the different ballet methods, arms to the side (most call this 2nd) have palms facing the audience. It is one of the curved positions. Allongé is when the whole arm and fingers stretch with the palm facing down. Arabesque arms are an example of this. When arms are in the 2nd position, some teachers (methods) like to see the stretch and palms turn before lowering to preparatory/bras bas. Sometimes there is even a little lift first. Others prefer an invisible adjustment as the arms lower.

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Thank you, Sim. As you see, it's easy to confuse me. I thought I was posting in Doing Dance - unless I got into a sub-forum.

 

M & R are both RAD teachers. I rather wish A (an RAD examiner) were still around, but examining requires too much time away.

 

M was taught by a Russian, and initially learned Cecchetti. R qualified very recently, and comes from Eastern Europe. There are other instructions they give that are conflicting :-( I'll do whichever they like in their lessons, and I think I'd better keep to palms forward for the exam.

 

By the way ... my niece teaches Cecchetti in Canada, and that was how (and where) I had my very first lesson when I was in my 60s.

 

Thank you for your replies.

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Welcome, Dormouse. :-)

 

Palms open to the audience, according to this:

 

 

-ish.  To my mind, those palms are tilted a bit too much upwards, at least where it's frozen on my screen :)  But then I'm not one of the people best qualified to judge.  Welcome to the forum, Dormouse.

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Errr ... going off the confusion topic slightly ... my exam is in June, and I'm still struggling with pirouettes. Does anyone have any tips, please? I've been told that the ability to do pirouettes just happens suddenly. Is this true? I do try all the ways I've been told to try to improve, but ...

 

My allegro isn't too good either :-( I know why my allegro isn't very good - I was cheating for ages before I got my new half-knee, and now I'm trying not to cheat.

 

My free movement and character are quite nice, so I hope they pull my marks up.

 

Do you want a silly aside? I was talking to my consultant before my knee replacement, and said that when I took my right leg off the ground: "my left knee bent to protect itself and one just cannot do a pirouette on a bent knee". he replied that I was not normal. Then quickly said that he meant it in the nicest possible way, and "If all my patients were like you, I would get better results". Walking out of the hospital the morning after the operation, with no walking aids, my consultant was looking smug.

 

Off to practise before my next lesson!

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I cannot see how to reply to each individually, so:

 

Moomin: RAD Grade 6

 

Janet: Thank you, I'll look at those

 

Lisa: I was 61, that was in June 2006. My niece in Canada was the teacher. My choice was to attend her ballet class, or look after her LIVELY four-year-old and two-year-old! She always has a pianist, and I was hooked. It was hard to find a teacher when I got back home, and I had my first class in October 2007. Then an arthroscopy in December 2010, followed by the replacement in June 2013. So, for those who don't like arithmetic, I'm 71.

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Wow what an inspiration, I imagine the consultant tells various patients before surgery about you!

 

My dd used to have a RAD book ' Step by step ballet class'. It is based on the old grades but was very detailed in giving correct positions so might help with the hand question. It seems to be still available via Wordery, eBay etc.

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Dormouse how wonderful you are still doing ballet and even more courageous to be taking an exam after a knee replacement.

 

Also I'm in my 60's and still at it and am invariably the oldest in a class or group now .......so nice to see someone older than me still so keen!

 

I work at grade 6/7 level when in a graded class but have given up the idea of taking an exam now.

It's increasingly harder to get much beyond this level......intermediate.... though because of the higher requirements for the allegro section with beats etc to perform at a good enough standard that is.

And after this level pointe work would be a requirement rather than a choice etc.

But good luck with it all especially those pirouettes grrr....I love doing pose turns or soutenus turns but hate doing pirouettes as a set exercise ....okay if attached to an enchainement.

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Dormouse, so lovely to read your story and that you are enjoying your dancing so much, new knee and all  :)

 

This may or may not apply to you, and it might be worth discussing with your teachers, but the RAD allows 'reasonable adjustment' in exams for those with pre-existing medical conditions which affect the way you dance. As long as they are informed beforehand, they can take such things into account during the exam. Your knee replacement might fall into this category.

 

If you look on the RAD website under 'Achieve', then choose 'Exams' there is a drop-down list and one of them is for Reasonable adjustments (I would do a link, but I'm not that clever at all that stuff!).

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I don't think I can get away with 'reasonable adjustment' A (an examiner) would have told M if he thought I could.

 

I started dancing in the RAD classes (rather than the adults) when I was 63. I started at Intermediate (two classes each week) and then one of them turned into Intermediate Foundation. So I did that. After my knee replacement, all the Intermediate students had passed their exam, so that class wasn't running, and I just had IF. So I started on Grade 6, and now I'm doing 6 and 7 - and trying not to muddle the plie, battement tendu, and grand battement exercises.

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Wow what an inspiration, I imagine the consultant tells various patients before surgery about you!

My dd used to have a RAD book ' Step by step ballet class'. It is based on the old grades but was very detailed in giving correct positions so might help with the hand question. It seems to be still available via Wordery, eBay etc.

A lovely book. We still have our copy. :-)

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