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Now That's What I Call A Correction Volume 1


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What's the best, most insightful, most useful, most inspiring, funniest, or bitchiest technique correction you've ever received? I say received so you can't hype your own gems of wisdom, of course.

 

So: You will post your favourite correction. If you feel you can, credit the teacher, but it's OK if you leave the arms out for now.

 

Here's one from Nicola Simpson, last week:

 

(I ask for a correction on turns to my weaker side)

 

Keep your weight forwards. Always forwards. Don't let your head go back. (I mumble with incoherent bafflement) This means you must keep your hands forward in your port de bras so you can track them through 5th without letting your head go back. That way your plié tracking will be better as well.

 

Why it's great: it worked! Also it hits like three important issues at once. And it's very non-obvious. I asked about turns and here we are marking port...but it makes total sense, because a turn has a plié/relévé movement.

 

And I also noticed that we'd been working on just those issues all week.

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One of my teachers gave the class the following tip to avoid droopy arms - when you buy something from Amazon, it is packed in those little pillows. Save them and put them in your armpits. This is the stuff she means
 
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The above picture reminds me of a fright thay I gave my boss. This stuff is a pain to dispose of, as it very quickly fills up the bin, so you pop it, usually by stabbing it with scissors. We had a load of it in the resource room, and I decided to pop the bubbles by tap dancing on it. The boss was fiddling around inside a photocopier and I was doing this and leapt across the room. He didn't half tell me off!

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One of my teachers gave the class the following tip to avoid droopy arms - when you buy something from Amazon, it is packed in those little pillows. Save them and put them in your armpits. This is the stuff she means

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

The above picture reminds me of a fright thay I gave my boss. This stuff is a pain to dispose of, as it very quickly fills up the bin, so you pop it, usually by stabbing it with scissors. We had a load of it in the resource room, and I decided to pop the bubbles by tap dancing on it. The boss was fiddling around inside a photocopier and I was doing this and leapt across the room. He didn't half tell me off!

Talking of underarms .. I overheard DD's teacher explain precisely the size of cherry tomatoes she was to imagine under her arms.

 

Most of her imagery is food related. I think lots of teachers like to refer to food as another teacher I overheard (in Cambridge) described someone's movement as "overlooked spaghetti" where it was continuing to move long after it should have stopped! :)

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DD did a class at RBS with a teacher from Paris Opera (sorry can't remember his name) where the class was told to pretend to be kicking your least favourite teacher in the face when doing battement frappés . According to DD the whole class' frappés suddenly became a lot "fiercer" in DDs words.

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Actually, I was just reminded of DD's first private with the illustrious head of our dance school (who only teaches the vocational kids). She was explaining something to DD and turned to me and said "Is she bright?" Naturally I nodded vigorously, but on the way home had a hilarious conversation with DD about other possible answers... "No she's a bit slow, but use easy words and she'll get it eventually"... "Well, she can be a bit dense, but keep trying...", "Not really, but we love her anyway" etc etc :D

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Cara, that reminds me of another teacher who is always making comments like that when watching classes! Walks in and comments in a stage whisper to whoever else is watching about how terrible this or that area of the dancers' technique is, or their attitude or, even worse than yours, actually saying they are slow! Does also pick out good things occasionally and really likes a hard worker, so you know any praise is well-earned, but it does lead to some students being a little terrified of said person :D

 

Trying to pick my best corrections is very tricky but I will come back to it.

 

One I really liked I picked up a couple of years ago was I think from Stephen Williams from Central. To help with arabesque turns keeping in alignment, staying on releve for the whole turn etc: think of blowing a feather off your middle finger the whole way round. It requires quite a directed, powerful blow and he made everyone actually blow as they went round and it made a massive difference. He had so many good corrections actually.

 

For intentionally using and placing arms so they are properly doing their job of using the back muscles etc, he would get students to stand in bras bas and would drop a water bottle for them to catch. It's the same strong use of muscles that you need when they engage to catch something as when you use them in ballet. Or he would have them hold it and he would try and move it/knock it out of their hands and they were to resist.

 

The thing I loved about his teaching was he didn't just tell students to imagine, he actually made you do something practically so you could feel it in your body.

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We got a tip from a tutor during a course that I thought was brilliant and I always use it now.  Onr of the hardest things to get a child to do is to not over turn their alignment placing. I used to use the image of having their own personal square and then they would stand facing the corner of their own square, but somehow that didn't work well.  Anyway this teacher told us to stand at 5 to 12 on the clock or five past twelve and it works!  I only have to tell my student that she's standing at 10 to 12 instead of 5 to and she adjusts it! 

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  • 2 months later...

A couple of fresh ones. Renato Paroni at Central School, to fellow student who is practicing a few turns before barre:

 

 

Equal weight, my darling

 

On one foot? I guess it's true by definition. File under "cryptic meditations from the guru"

 

Same class:

 

 

NYET KRASNOYARSK!!

 

File under "I think it's....traditional?"

 

Same class:

 

 

Come up to passé, then turn your knee in front of you, then turn out again and you'll get an incredibly high passé

 

File under "install the app on your legs, it works"

 

And Lisa Palmer, this Monday:

 

 

Think like a fish

 

File under "OK...." or possibly "Cryptic meditation"?

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We had some good imagary last night. Firstly, glisse are the height of a baked bean off the floor. Miss has said this before, and I've often been tempted to ask if that is with or without the sauce. Secondly, in arabesque to keep the hands alive, think of Dr Who regenerating, with Miss holding her hands in the correct position saying "pshhht, pshhht" which was supposed to be the energy coming out. Finally, in pirouettes pass an orange from one hand to the other.

 

Pirouettes generally elude me but last night they were really good. When they don't work, I'll often say "Pirouettes must be in my other leotard" - I obviously found which one these are in yesterday :)

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A couple of fresh ones. Renato Paroni at Central School, to fellow student who is practicing a few turns before barre:

 

 

On one foot? I guess it's true by definition. File under "cryptic meditations from the guru"

 

 

I took Renato's class a few times on a recent visit to London and thoroughly enjoyed his teaching style. He comes up with some fantastic analogies! I have a whole bunch of them saved as notes in my phone for future reference. 

 

One of my favourite corrections was when he talked about how engaging the correct muscles and sorting out your alignment is your shower and everything else - port de bras etc - is just perfume i.e. you need to shower first and then you can spray your perfume. He expresses it better, but you get the idea!

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Yesterday night: the student teacher covering for Renato came up with something really insightful, so much so I turned to say "Vintage correction!" to the girl behind me on the barre. But can I remember what it was? NO.

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  • 1 month later...

Renato on Sunday:

 

 

A passé is like a dog, a Viszla dog, like Theresa May *and* Jeremy Hunt. You need to keep it on a short leash

 

Also:

 

 

Keep your vagina perpendicular to the floor. And when you tendu derriére, arabesque, anything behind you...I want you to press it against the invisible wall in front of you

 

(If you forget that he thinks men have them, it actually makes sense - keep your hips level and your weight forward)

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I was trying to find this thread the other day - thank you for popping it up.

 

I have one teacher who when doing any forward movment, will slap her bottom and say "Take your luggage with you". She had also remarked about keeping £50 notes between the bum cheeks. I can relate to this. A long time ago, I took tightwire lessons at Circomedia in Bristol. One of the exercises we had to do was walk across the wire, holding a 50p piece there; we couldn't afford £50 notes. :)

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I was trying to find this thread the other day - thank you for popping it up.

 

I have one teacher who when doing any forward movment, will slap her bottom and say "Take your luggage with you". She had also remarked about keeping £50 notes between the bum cheeks. I can relate to this. A long time ago, I took tightwire lessons at Circomedia in Bristol. One of the exercises we had to do was walk across the wire, holding a 50p piece there; we couldn't afford £50 notes. :)

 

And there you have it - the difference between a noble art and a mere circus trick. Money!

 

Now perhaps I'll go and try to fix that leak in the studio ceiling...

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For boring old RAD exam work, where they want the kids to practise expression, the favourite instruction is "Look charming!". I don't think any of the kids have any idea how to do this, however!

 

 perhaps a modification from the ' drill pigs  phrasebook'  saying of 'look expensive'  ... when trying to get a squad  of  military  persons to stand properly  ( which is wrongly  for dance and vice  versa ) 

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Actually mph, I could well imagine Nicola Simpson on the parade ground. "In that position you can turn out until BONE CRUSHES BONE! We are dancers! We do MORE!"

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Actually mph, I could well imagine Nicola Simpson on the parade ground. "In that position you can turn out until BONE CRUSHES BONE! We are dancers! We do MORE!"

drill  is a form of danc  really,  yes it  had it's purposes in the pre rifled firearm days  but realistically it is a form of  dance now ... 

 

if you look at the left pondians they have turned  drill into a  performing art - colorguard / winter guard  ...  

 

but even  with proper drill if you  consider the USMC silent drill team or soem of the stuff that   peopel like the  QCS  do ...  the choreographey and the processes to learn it are like  dance 

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drill  is a form of danc  really,  yes it  had it's purposes in the pre rifled firearm days  but realistically it is a form of  dance now ... 

 

if you look at the left pondians they have turned  drill into a  performing art - colorguard / winter guard  ...  

 

but even  with proper drill if you  consider the USMC silent drill team or soem of the stuff that   peopel like the  QCS  do ...  the choreographey and the processes to learn it are like  dance 

 

 

 

I would agree that drill is a form of dance, I have often thought that when I have watched (on TV) parts of the Trooping of the Colour and the Edinburgh Tattoo.

 

For a non-drill expert could you please explain what left pondians, colour guard / winter guard, USMC silent drill and QCS is?

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I would agree that drill is a form of dance, I have often thought that when I have watched (on TV) parts of the Trooping of the Colour and the Edinburgh Tattoo.

 

For a non-drill expert could you please explain what left pondians, colour guard / winter guard, USMC silent drill and QCS is?

leftpondian - a colloquial term for North Americans 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_guard

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Marine_Corps_Silent_Drill_Platoon

 

http://www.raf.mod.uk/queenscoloursquadron/

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Talking of underarms .. I overheard DD's teacher explain precisely the size of cherry tomatoes she was to imagine under her arms.

 

Most of her imagery is food related. I think lots of teachers like to refer to food as another teacher I overheard (in Cambridge) described someone's movement as "overlooked spaghetti" where it was continuing to move long after it should have stopped! :)

i can also imagine some  'racist' ( to geordie)  comments and advice about  the  'carpet carrying'  stance

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DS's teacher says when the students are running (or what ever the term is!!) You look like you're running for "a bus" "the next sale" or the latest one " you're holding your hands like you're carrying two soups"!!

 

 carrtying two soups presumably  fitting with the tomatoes under the armpits / carpet carrying ... 

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