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Open classes in London


Jellybeans
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My dd has said that she would like to try a couple of open classes in London when we visit before she goes back to school. Does anyone have any experience of these? Do places like pineapple or Danceworks offer any correction or feedback or are they designed only to keep confident dancers in shape?

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It probably depends on the teacher. I haven't done any classes at Pineapple for a really long time, but have done Danceworks more recently. Because the classes are so large there, corrections tend to be mainly given to the people who go to that class regularly and know the teacher, and general corrections to the class as a whole (in my experience). But it's nice to do class with a pianist every now and then as my regular London class doesn't have one, and I enjoy trying different teachers and classes just to mix things up a bit from time to time! If you're only visiting, I'd say she should go for it and not worry too much about whether or not she'll get any corrections - just go and try a class and enjoy it!

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Are the classes that big? How big is big? My dd was hoping that she may learn something from doing a class with someone different but perhaps not!!

 

Can anyone recommend any particular classes for a teenager who is studying at RAD intermediate level?

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I've done Anna's class and agree that it's really good - definitely not beginner level, I'd say it's around the level of ISTD Intermediate, maybe a little higher - but maybe it only seems higher because it's fairly past-paced and the thing I found hardest about it was picking up the combinations immediately. I expect that the exercises are often similar so those who go regularly are more used to them. It was pretty full, even on a Monday lunchtime - I'd say maybe 30 people (it's hard to estimate) but it's in studio 10 which is the best one, so that helps. I really like her as a teacher and I liked her exercises. She encourages you to really perform them as well. And she has a pianist which is always enjoyable!

 

Edited to add: if she wants corrections, she could try Zina Mamedova's clas (Russian Ballet) - I haven't been brave enough yet... :) (I've heard scary things from friends! I think it's probably great if you can take that level of correction - but I think I'd probably crumble...)

Edited by JaneL
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Thank you everyone!

 

janeL, do you mean at the London russian ballet school? I didn't realise that they did open classes but hadn't actually looked, either!! What sort of scary level of correction are you talking about? PM me if you would rather!

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Sorry, no I mean Zina does a class called 'Russian Ballet' at Danceworks. A friend went and said she got shouted at a lot and that the teacher drew attention to people who hadn't been to the class before. Very good, no doubt, for improving and learning, but I don't think I'd like it!

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I had this reply back from Danceworks which may help:

 

"Hi,

 

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Elementary classes are post beginner classes.

Anna du Boisson's classes, specifically, are closer to intermediate level than beginners.

 

From what you described, sounds like your daughter will do percfectly fine in Anna's class.

Note that Anna is away untill the 27th of August and has cover teachers untill then, who varie in style and level. I suggest she tries them and see if she likes them.

 

Also, Danceworks is a studio for adults. Anna usually accepts the younger crowd if they are her students (she runs West London School of Dance). So it is up to the teacher's discretion as to whether they will allow a younger student in the class, or not. It is unusual for any teacher to refuse entry to anyone who is obviously training, and perhaps advanced for her age, however, which might be your daughter's case.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries.

 

Kind regards"

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DD attended Russian ballet lesson on a Sunday at Danceworks, so we think teacher was Zina. Only problem was DD doesn't understand Russian but teacher suddenly realised DD was English and used English a well so no problem. Thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and hopes to go back again. :) Has also attended Ian's lessons at Pineapple on a Wedensday and found him excellent. :)

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for that level, I recommend Ian Knowles' Elementary ballet class on Mon,Wed & Fri at Pineapple. They are so fun and enjoyable and have a large age range. He often corrects the class as a whole and sometimes points people out.. it depends on the business but if she wants to keep up her dancing and enjoy it too, this class is great!

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  • 3 weeks later...

We had a few days in London last week and dd did go along to Danceworks. She tried a couple of classes and enjoyed it but said that Anna's class was REALLY busy and apparently much more so than usual!!! She said that the class was quite a high level but that she was comfortable as the participants were of mixed ability.

 

She said that not many people received any corrections or comments but did think that that may be because it was busier than usual. Talking to people while she was waiting she was led to understand that Anna will sometimes approach a student after the class if she "likes" them. Has anyone heard of this happening?

 

Maybe she will try pineapple as well next time we visit!

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My dd went to Anna's class yesterday at Danceworks with her friend who is at YDA. Apparently it is even more crowded than usual because the larger studio is being renovated so Anna is currently teaching downstairs. There seemed to be a lot of Anna's YDA crowd there who got a lot of corrections, but Anna did come and correct dd's "line" once or twice.

 

Dd said Anna was very nice indeed and that the class was pitched between Inter Foundation and Intermediate level so she had no problems with it. :-)

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Jellybean yes it does happen, she approached my dd and was later invited to attend her full time school. Its a shame the class was so full. She does do classes on a Saturday morning which I would really recomend if you could get there. Anna is a lovely lady who is not only a fantastic teacher but one who really cares about her students.

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As I understand it, Anna's WLSD Saturday class takes place at Danceworks - so unlike Mon - Fri open classes, you have to sign up through WLSD. Most participants 14-16 year old "serious" dancers. But not sure if this is still the case now Anna has renovated huge new studio in Shepherd's Bush...

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