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Useful ballet class videos


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Hi all,

I have been beginning to study anatomy a bit more and brush up on my technique as I move into teacher training (had a dance break for a few years) and found these really useful ballet tutorials on YouTube. Perhaps everyone knows about them already (or perhaps there is a reason they don't!) but I have found them very thought-provoking and useful and just thought I'd share.


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I watched the film on adagio - and except for one item (the use of her foot) - there is nothing with which I would disagree. However, I do wonder if film clips such as this and even the name "OnlineBalletClass.com" wouldn't encourage dance students (or even potential students) that this is something that can be learned at home from the TV. It is more convenient and certainly less expensive - and very tempting.


There is already a tendency, as can be seen in many threads at this and oher sites, for students to practice at home; doing barre work, stretching, etc., without the supervision of a teacher.


As he says repeatedly, everyone is different - and therefore I would think that one should conclude - just from that statement - that the supervision of a teacher is crucial. But a novice student might conclude otherwise.


I'm not sure what the answer is....or if there isi one....but I hesitate (more than hesitate) to encourage dance students to work without a teacher's supervision.

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Anjuli I completely agree with what you're saying. In fact, I went back and looked at some of the comments and didn't realise people were actually saying things like that. From reading his website and his own comments I always thought it was in addition to professional class and not in place of. I only posted it here as I thought that knowledge would be a given in this community but you can't be too careful, thanks for pointing it out.

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We've occasionally found things on youtube that can be handy, we saw one once about how to do fouettes that explained everything, broke it down into individual elements and showed it in slow-motion.


I agree, this is handy.....but then you need a teacher to tell you how and if you are actually doing those elements.


As I recall, in her autobiography, Margot Fonteyn, relates that she was having trouble with her fouettés until one day Nureyev changed her arm position and it all smoothed out. Even she, knowing all the elements, needed another "eye."


I had much the same experience.....another dancer was observing me practice my fouettés and standing behind me she noticed my back was not alighned correctly. She corrected the alighnment of my back - and it all came together.


I'm not saying that these film clips aren't useful - but they should be in addition to - not instead of - the supervision of a teacher.


Perhaps it would be helpful if the film clips this was clearly stated. Even then, there would be a temptation to use them incorrectly especially in something like stretcching in which real injury could occur.


But....I suppose we can't keep trying to save the world from itself. :)

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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Apologies if this has been covered before but ....


What if you don't have a teacher? My DS is at vocational school and, for various reasons, has no "home" school for holidays. We have yet to find a teacher (we are in a very rural area) who is willing to take on a new student for holidays only.


Although he cycles and runs to keep fit - currently cycling well over 10 miles per day and at quite some speed - unless he is at summer school (ouch! expensive!) he is unable to prepare for exams etc he is taking shortly on his return to school.


This is a serious question and I would really appreciate your input.



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The problem with trying to do this without a teacher is that bad habits creep in. Even when we are aware that this might happen, and even when we think we are constantly on guard for this probability - it still happens. It is not possible for us to truely "self-check." We are not able to see ourselves from the outside - from the back - from many angles. There is a reason why busy professional dancers make time to go to class instead working out by themselves. Sometimes, if there is no class available, the company will gather in a group and work together - each of them correcting the other. Yes, occasionally a dancer will work alone - but that is an exception not the rule and not for any length of time.


In addition to the physical problem of bad habits and laxities creeping in there is also the problem of taking instruction from an outside source - a mind other than one's own. Let me give you an example:


I went on a vacation to Maui (Hawaii) and of course the first thing I did was look up a ballet class! The teacher and I decided, since all her classes were for children of various levels, to work together giving one another a ballet class. She had been giving herself a class for years since there were no other teachers in the area. It was immediately clear that many bad habits had crept in to her ballet technique but they were nothing compared to the fact that she was unused to dancing an enchainement that came from another mind (me). She, of course, had been making up dance sequences for herself - but that is totally different than taking instruction - registering and then doing - a dance sequence that came from an outside source - another person's mind.


Aside from technique, this is one of the most important things a dance student learns; is to hear an instruction - a dance sequence - from another mind - incorporate it quickly and then perform it. You can't do that by yourself and you can't do it from a film clip.


I know this doesn't solve the problem of where to find a teacher in an area in which they are scarce - but it is the reality of dance training.

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