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European College of Dance/formerly Ruggieri Dance Academy & Dance of Life?


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Hello all, 

 

I wondered if anyone had any experience with the adult classes at the above school? It seems to have great reviews on Google, but despite how small the world of adult ballet is (esp in London), I've never known anyone who has heard of it, let alone danced there, and I've found no real discussions (including on this forum). 

 

I'm having to reassess my dance schedule post-reopening & a lot of other moving parts, and the location, pricing and timetable here are almost perfect for me. Whilst I'll look into doing a trial class, it would also be really helpful to have feedback from people who have been attending a while. 

 

Many thanks!

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Hmm, I must agree that I've never heard of it either.  I find that particularly surprising since they also seem to be offering a degree in dance, so you'd think that someone on this forum would have investigated them, or even tried going there.  I'm always a bit wary of merely Google reviews, as I'm sure it's possible to fake them, but the ones I've read do sound genuine.  There does seem to be a lot of focus on children's classes, though.

 

If you do go, it goes without saying please report back.

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"Upon completing the course, you will be granted a Degree in Dance entitled by IDTA. "

 

Please correct me if I am wrong but I did not think that the IDTA had the authority to confer full degrees and their diplomas are Level 4.

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I’ve not heard of this school either. However, despite the heading of “degree” in professional dance, it clearly isn’t a recognised degree. The website then does go on to refer to a “diploma” - but a diploma recognised by whom? The IDTA don’t have diploma in dance, only a level 4 diploma in dance teaching, and a lower level 3 one for dance teaching assistants.

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I’ve never heard of the college, nor do I know any of the Teachers.  I agree, the “degree” course sounds somewhat spurious.  Meetmeatthebarre, as you’re looking at the Adult classes, I’ll attach the Adult Ballet tag to the thread in case any of our regular adult dancers have advice for you.

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Of the teachers listed for adult ballet, one doesn’t appear to have teaching qualifications. The other is the principal. Didn’t manage to find him on the ISTD website, the dance school is listed on the IDTA site but they don’t seem to have a search for accredited teachers. 
They list 3 levels of adult classes, all have pointe work, even beginners which I’d be a bit worried about. Having said that at least they do have a video of their actual classes which is good as so many use stock photos. If you’re an experienced dancer I can’t see

any harm in trying a lesson and seeing what you think?

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Thank you all for your replies! I honestly hadn't looked in that much detail at the full-time side of things and not sure what to make of it. 

 

Peony - I emailed and I think it means that they allow one of the weekly beginners classes to be taken in pointe shoes, rather than putting beginners directly on pointe. They very helpfully sent me a list of all the pointe steps that the class involves at the barre and in the centre too.

 

I'll pop along to a trial and report back... maybe it's an undiscovered gem!

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11 hours ago, Meetmeatthebarre said:

I think it means that they allow one of the weekly beginners classes to be taken in pointe shoes

 

hmmmmmm, still doesn't sound reassuring. Frankly, too many adult beginners go on pointe way before they are ready. But that aside, I hope their classes are good, and what you need @meet-me-at-the-barre - do report back, as it's always good to hear of studios & teachers for adults.

Edited by Kate_N
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On 26/08/2021 at 08:13, Kate_N said:

 

hmmmmmm, still doesn't sound reassuring. Frankly, too many adult beginners go on pointe way before they are ready. But that aside, I hope their classes are good, and what you need @meet-me-at-the-barre - do report back, as it's always good to hear of studios & teachers for adults.

Very true re adults going on pointe too early. Some young people who want to go on pointe may be advised against this due to not having sufficient mobility in foot and ankle to form a straight line whilst standing on pointe. On the whole they tend to cope with this quite well if it is explained that they risk injury or not being able to achieve a proper line on pointe. It therefore means that there will also be adults who should be advised against pointe work for their own safety but it is hard to stop an adult going out and buying a pair. 

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8 hours ago, Thecatsmother said:

Very true re adults going on pointe too early. Some young people who want to go on pointe may be advised against this due to not having sufficient mobility in foot and ankle to form a straight line whilst standing on pointe. On the whole they tend to cope with this quite well if it is explained that they risk injury or not being able to achieve a proper line on pointe. It therefore means that there will also be adults who should be advised against pointe work for their own safety but it is hard to stop an adult going out and buying a pair. 

Unfortunately  this  line of discussion often  ends up with people  casting aspertions towards teachers and /or  fitters or the application of standards  used with  youngsters towards  adult  dancers  

there is an often repeated , not by  teachers who regulation  teach  ab-initio pointe to adults  ,  set of  criteria  that fall down  under  actual analysis  that seem t obe based on a  requirement 'to earn'   access to pointe training  by suffering rather than objective physiological means  and any time based  requirement  has to acknowledge the differences physiologically  - as  a  good proprtion of  young  dancers are kept  off pointe  where  their technique and strength might suggest  it;s possible ot start or  kept to very minimal  and carefully controlled  pointe work due to other physiological concern. 

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Unfortunately, restrictions due to anatomical structures are present regardless of age. Adults are even less likely to gain mobility so teachers are acting in the correct manner by limiting who can commence pointe work. If this is not heard by the adult then this says something about the adult rather than the teacher as it will lead to problems further down the line.

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Yes, @ThecatsmotherI actually feel sorry for teachers who need to make classes pay, and I assumed that this might be the situation at the school that @Meetmeatthebarreis enquiring about. That they know the market for beginners adult ballet can often turn on the question "Can I go on pointe?" Rather than saying a flat out - and sensible - "No" it sounds as though they're trying  to meet that demand safely.  

 

I've seen the way adult students can put teachers under pressure to start pointe work. When someone is unable to hold turnout, can't get over the box of their shoe, and is overweight (not as a dancer but as a 'civilian') it's a red flag for me. But I suppose it's the adult's responsibility & look out - it's their body, their feet. I'd rather keep dancing without the injuries, myself.

 

I think that some adults have a very unrealistic image of being a "ballerina" - all the tutu-wearing and less than sensible pointe shoe wearing that goes on. It's a pity, because, in my experience,  the actual learning is way harder, more interesting, and far more satisfying than just wearing  shiny pink shoes & a tutu! 

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20 hours ago, Thecatsmother said:

Unfortunately, restrictions due to anatomical structures are present regardless of age. Adults are even less likely to gain mobility so teachers are acting in the correct manner by limiting who can commence pointe work. If this is not heard by the adult then this says something about the adult rather than the teacher as it will lead to problems further down the line.

Interestingly people often  claim  anatomical restrictions or weight  are the reasons why  adults should not  start pointe  work  despite all the evidence otherwise,   there are aproption of people whose bony anatomy is such that  they will never get over their box  / pass the 'pencil test'  ...  but to claim that   anatomicla restrictions cannot bew worked upon is a brave step  especially  when you  consider the  gains that can be maide in terms of  soft time limitations with a consistent  application of the the techniques  recommended in PBT  and  the like 

 one  might  question the motives and motivations of those who keep trying to put adults off  ,  and unsurprisingly the topic has  ended up with aspertions being cast towards  teachers some of whom are very  well qualified, hold examiner awards and  in some cases also had extensive professional experience. 

Edited by NJH
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Just my experience for what it’s worth! Young students are usually allowed en pointe even without the required range of movement. They don’t tend to make it very far as it’s pretty impossible to do much without it. They’ve been doing ballet for years and have worked on strength and technique but the restriction just isn’t going to get better. What’s different with adults is that sometimes they’re allowed to go en pointe having studied ballet for a reasonably short time (hence the worry about pointe in a beginners class). The strength and technique isn’t there and they literally look like they’re going to snap an ankle. Which as an adult is quite serious as it impedes your ability to drive/ work etc! 
some restrictions can be worked on however pretty much everything I’ve read says that some such as fixed flat arches can’t. 

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On 30/08/2021 at 10:33, Kate_N said:

 

Is it possible to elaborate, @youngatheartIn what way was it different? I'm always up for learning new things in ballet ...

I understand it was Vaganova which I hadn't tried before - so just a very different style & emphasis. (It could also explain the early introduction of pointe work as that is also a Vaganova thing I believe). Sorry I can't be more specific, but it was just one class many years ago.

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Thanks, @youngatheart - that's really interesting. I've never studied the Vaganova style, so that studio is one for my "Ballet tourism" list! A professional dancer relative trained in that technique and I recognise the differences between the Russian style and the English style (and the American style) of teaching & technique.

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On 30/08/2021 at 10:32, Kate_N said:

I've seen the way adult students can put teachers under pressure to start pointe work. When someone is unable to hold turnout, can't get over the box of their shoe, and is overweight (not as a dancer but as a 'civilian') it's a red flag for me. But I suppose it's the adult's responsibility & look out - it's their body, their feet. I'd rather keep dancing without the injuries, myself.

 

I think that some adults have a very unrealistic image of being a "ballerina" - all the tutu-wearing and less than sensible pointe shoe wearing that goes on. It's a pity, because, in my experience,  the actual learning is way harder, more interesting, and far more satisfying than just wearing  shiny pink shoes & a tutu! 

 

I fully agree.  Personally I've never wanted to go on pointe.  It looks beautiful but I like being comfortable too much and there are too many challenges in ballet as it is for me as a middle aged woman.  I will however defend my pink glittery leotard and flat pink shoes.  I love the hard work but I don't see why I can't fulfil my childhood desire for pinkness.  

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8 hours ago, Tango Dancer said:

 

I fully agree.  Personally I've never wanted to go on pointe.  It looks beautiful but I like being comfortable too much and there are too many challenges in ballet as it is for me as a middle aged woman.  I will however defend my pink glittery leotard and flat pink shoes.  I love the hard work but I don't see why I can't fulfil my childhood desire for pinkness.  

it is an individual choice if  someone who  doesn't have an  absolute anatomical contraindication wishes to go en pointe  and there is plenty to learn and do  without  doing pointe  

the challenges are what  suck people down  the rabbit hole  and why there is a certain type of individual who is the   adult ' recreational'  dancer 

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