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Michelle_Richer

Simply Adult Ballet

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Hi Girls I’m back

 

I’m setting up this thread up for everyone concerned with adult ballet, all are welcome, dancers, teachers, physio’s everyone. I claim no ownership to it what so ever, however I will continue to report about my journey on it, I hope others will too.

 

Leaving “the Going back to ballet” thread left me extremely sad, especially as its almost like a record of my growing up in ballet right back to page 2, from my first leotard and how self conscious I felt, to my first bun, and of course my first show. I wont dwell on the hostility shown to me as its no where to go. The change of heart is simple, I’m on my second wind now, Last week I was extremely tired, not just from the Northern Ballet trip but the fact I was given a document to review for Wednesday morning board of trustees meeting, this arrived by email at 5pm Monday night just before my Lincoln ballet class, I printed it off later when I go back (after 10pm). I review it Tuesday using both train journeys between Peterborough and Leeds (Northern Ballet). Wednesday morning I hardly slept as I was freighted of oversleeping as I had to be away from home by 9am. Thankfully at the meeting I had two coffee jugs in front of me, at least the caffeine kept me awake. When we came to the document in question, it turned out I was the only one that had reviewed it with all my post-it corrections stuck all over it, needless to say I was furious. At the end of that week it didn’t take much for me to throw the towel in. That was then, now is now, time to leave that behind.

 

 

Update from City academy, as these details are largely embedded in the Giselle thread but are not relevant to Giselle, I have posted them here:

 

The Masterclass is a day where participants will experiment the full workout that a ballet dancer has to endure to be able to enhance their technique and performance. It will be divided in three sections:

 

1) Body conditioning for dancers (floor exercise) Focusing on line, strength, flexibility, core stability, and some ballet exercises on the floor.

 

2) Completed ballet class (barre, centre, diagonal) This include; adage, pirouettes, petit allegro, grand allegro

 

3) Choreographic work. The teacher will create a small classical ballet piece which we can be performed by the end of the master class. Don Quixote will not be taught now, as repertoire will be offer during the specific repertoire workshops.

 

 

In Swan Lake, they plan to do the Waltz of the Swans, Odette's solo and Pas de Quatre (Cygnet Dance). If they do have a male participant the schedule may change to Odette and Prince Siegfried 1st encounter scene, Odette's solo and coda with Corps de ballet. I don’t know what other male dancers are likely to join this class, other than Tony, one of my friends from ENB, I will check with him on Tuesday.

 

LinMM if you see this, I’m not sure if you are doing the Masterclass, I have already booked it, but I have to be away smartish at 6pm as I am due at the Lanterns Theatre, Docklands before 7.30pm.

 

 

All the tickets are booked for my 500mile round trip between 5 ballet classes, the logistics are a bit tight, it will have to be a meal on the train I guess. I wont be posting back possibly late Wednesday night or even Thursday as I need to get a good deal of sleep in for prep on this one.

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Have just checked and its a wide ranging class....beginners to advanced....so will probably do it. As it was called Masterclass I thought it might be for more advanced pupils.

 

I like the idea of the choreography at the end but a shame not Don Q now....does this mean they might do a separate workshop on this ballet?

 

Will still seem strange going into the ROH as a non audience member though!

Hope your big ballet trek went okay today don't forget to tell us the ins and outs of it all!

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Have just checked and its a wide ranging class....beginners to advanced....so will probably do it. As it was called Masterclass I thought it might be for more advanced pupils.

 

I like the idea of the choreography at the end but a shame not Don Q now....does this mean they might do a separate workshop on this ballet?

 

Will still seem strange going into the ROH as a non audience member though!

Hope your big ballet trek went okay today don't forget to tell us the ins and outs of it all!

Yes Lin she will be doing a separate workshop, but don't forget RAD are doing one too. I'm trying to promote those where ever I can so these courses can fly, as their (RAD) Swan Lake failed but was not properly promoted.

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The Journey Continues

 

Tuesday’s long distance ballet round has been upgraded to doable but not for the faint hearted.

The day started at 4.30am so I could be ready to leave home at 6.10am. Had laid everything out the day before including all travel documents, maps etc. However when I got to Peterborough station, I couldn’t find the printout with the ticket number on it, although I was certain I had put it in my handbag, my handbag was full of just in case things, but no quite the kitchen sink. I opened up my pull along case with all my ballet gear in it including a plastic wallet of all travel plans. I found tee aim with the trainline.com booking; it was the second page and no booking number. I was watching the time and the big queue at the booking machine, things weren’t going well, I had to calm myself down and methodically go through my handbag, hey presto I found it. Lifting up my pull-along suitcase by it handle, all the stuff fell out, I had forgotten to zip it up, the expletive I used were not very ladylike. At least I was able to get my tickets from the booking machine.

 

After that the trip to Leeds was quite uneventful, lots of time to spare to leisurely walk to Northern Ballet from the station. I did two nice classes with them, teacher and the dancers there are really fantastic and warm hearted people and I will to sorry I wont be visiting them every week now ENB are back. I was especially sad at not being able to have our usual coffee and chat session with them after class. For some reason I had 12.45 fixed in my mind for the train time and our class was supposed to finish at 12.15 and we over-ran by 5 minutes, I literally legged it from Northern Ballet, but running and power walking, I made the station in 10minute, half my normal time. I checked the train time in my docs, I was due out at 1.15pm. So it does look as if I can stay for a quick coffee at least with the girls on my next visit.

 

While I was at Northern Ballet I wanted to drop some RAD flyers of for repertoire courses RAD are running, but Northern Ballet don’t have a notice boars or do anything like that, so I guess it an email to their heard of learning.

 

The train from Leeds to London arrived at Kings Cross 5 minutes late; my choice of route was Piccadilly Line to Green Park, then Jubilee line to Bond Street then by foot to Danceworks. The distance walked trough tunnels and corridors in green park station is quite long and may not have been the best route, however I did just get there 5 minutes ahead of time, but that 5 minute was soon taken up registering me at Danceworks reception.

 

My first impression of danceworks was not good, but that was due mainly to the tiny temporary studio we had to a large number of dancers, my teacher phoned reception to ask them not to send anymore dancers up, she said we would have a different studio next time, but I really didn’t get a chance to chat with that teacher. I made one friend there, a young lady early twenties with really nice technique, I think she was the only one there in a leotard apart from myself. That class also over-ran by about 5 minutes. My judgement of danceworks at the moment is open as I think I just caught them on a bad day, if its no better next time then I will drop them. I did get to drop the RAD flyers off to them.

 

Getting to ENB on time was perhaps the most important to me, especially at it was the first week on a new term.

 

Even with power walking the long stretch from South Kensington station to ENB, I only had 10 minute before class to get changed etc, but I made it.

My first class (Level 2) was nice with a new teacher, when we were asked to raise our hands for existing level 2 dancers, I think everyone put their hands up, I don’t recall any newbie’s showing. I was surprised at this point that tiredness hadn’t crept in, but I was still going strong.

 

Following that was my level 3 class, with a change of teacher too, this was the same teacher I did level 1 with and I really like her, but she has a thing with my arms in second, they are never rounded enough for her, so I have to make that bit of extra effort. She was out last night with a pen as a spike, to raise girl’s legs when in arabesque en liar, I didn’t get that one. It was a really enjoyable class however I did spot about 4 new faces, but most like me from last term. Again at the end of class I’m still feeling quite fit.

 

My highlight of the day was going to the Pret Manager Café at Kings Cross and getting a hot pasty, as all had eaten that day was a bacon roll for breakfast at Northern Ballet and a couple of Marz bars during the day.

 

I tried to sleep on the train back to Peterborough which was almost impossible with my bun, I tried laying my head on my handbag which was passable until cramp hit one of my legs and I had to move my body position. Eventually I got back to Peterborough a few minute after midnight, before coming home I had a couple of bananas I had been carrying in my suitcase all day, by this time they were getting soft, but never the less they tasted fantastic. My final car journey home some twenty odd miles and still the tiredness had not kicked in, arriving home about 12.45 am. Job done.

 

Although the schedule is tight, there are a few minor tweaks that can trim off a few minute to add to contingencies, plus Danceworks would become the sacrificial part of the program to retain schedule at ENB. This will now be upgraded to a once a month activity, allowing me to still retain Pineapple and access to there studio’s and I also get to have coffee with the girls at Northern Ballet.

 

Although the sleep that followed was very welcome, I was still up for a workout prior to going to my Body balance class at 10.30am.

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Wow well done and still standing or should I say dancing!!

 

If you keep the Danceworks class get off Piccadilly lone Train at Holborn and take the Central line to either Bond Street and walk up or Marble Arch and walk down.....Bond street is nearer I would say. Quicker in the tube and less walking!!

 

And two Mars bars is not good for all that time. ...an oaty type bar like a flap jack especially one with sultanas in would be better nutritionally than Mars bar and even a banana that you left till the end of the day!

Could you make a flask of wholesome soup to take with you? I know it's extra weight and so on but that could be good middle of the day.

Anyway it's only once a month so you'll probably survive! Perhaps you could alternate the Northern classes with the Danceworks etc at half termly intervals. As you really enjoy the Northern why not just cut out Danceworks anyway you have enough on plate for one day.

 

Don't miss the interview with Sylvie Guillem tonight BBC2 at 10pm should be interesting!

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Hi Lin

Wow well done and still standing or should I say dancing!

Thank you but that’s what preparation is all about, that underpins the culture of all my training and career development and now my ballet too, which unfortunately is not seen or appreciated by some of this forum’s politically correct and complacent members. But hey, that will never hold me back.

 

Yes the central line was an option, but I wasn’t sure which to take, and I certainly didn’t anticipate the amount of walking I did underground. But that was the whole purpose of this exercise to check out the feasibility.

 

As for Danceworks, it was just a bit of padding as a substitute for Pineapple, to make productive dance usage of the available time (I never think in terms of having enough on my plate, just not in my mind-set, that's for others). I will check them out again but look for alternatives, as its only once a month I may consider private rep coaching from Rejane for that slot, that would be more meaningful but a little expensive. Northern Ballet will always be once a month unless we are working on a show, then it will drop to every two weeks which should be the case after Christmas, but I need to sort out timing with the LAB show and Northern Ballet’s so there is no conflict. I will also revert to Northern when ENB are on break so I can take advantage of there intermediate/advanced class.

 

Since coming off that other tread it’s made me more determined that ever to succeed, as a result I have spoken to the people that hire out our local hall that we use for ballet class on Thursdays, there are several morning slots available for me to hire. I have been wrestling with the one that makes most sense, which is the slot that follows our ballet class. It means I’m already warmed up, and my teacher only needs to hand the key over to me, she knows I intended to hire the hall at some point, but I’m just a bit uncomfortable following the class, so I will see her tomorrow and start next week. I would have like her to provide repertoire coaching but she declined, so I must go it alone for the time being.

 

The hall gives me an area bigger than most stages to work in, its well lit, good acoustics, a nice floor, quite slippy for pirouette but unfortunately not sprung, but it will do for most rep I’m working with. Where I require a sprung floor then it’s back to Pineapple.

 

Once the rep feels to a reasonable standard and complete, I will be video it for my own feedback review and I have also ask my Angles Theatre teacher if she would review it too and she’s agreed. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

 

As I’m perceived to be the bad girl on the block, I’m seriously thinking of getting one of Sheila’s black professional tutu’s akin to that of the black swan to symbolize my defiant and progressive character.

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I really hoped that this thread wouldn't go down the same route as the previous one with underhand comments but clearly I was wrong. That's two threads I will now have to avoid reading as I don't like it one bit!

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Michelle, may I respectfully suggest that you do not make negative comments about other members of this forum and confine yourself to describing your dance training and performances, which is what people want to read about.

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Michelle, may I respectfully suggest that you do not make negative comments about other members of this forum...

yes

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Interesting, do you think I wasn’t hurt by the negative and unjustifiable comments I received on the “Going Back to Ballet” thread, and all because I go the extra mile and really work hard, as I say interesting.

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I'm glad your once a month ballet day covering all those miles and classes in just one day has proved doable for you - as you say certainly not for the fainthearted. I would echo Lin's comment about trying to take some soup, or a sandwich or salad or something with you to eat on the train going from north to south. You definitely want to have something inside you to get the most out of your afternoon classes as you won't be dancing your best if you are running on empty.

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Interesting, do you think I wasn’t hurt by the negative and unjustifiable comments I received on the “Going Back to Ballet” thread, and all because I go the extra mile and really work hard, as I say interesting.

There have been no negative comments to you on this thread Michelle, so I am bemused as to why you feel there are. I do not understand why you are referring to a separate thread.

 

Please continue as you intended when setting up this thread; i.e. "continuing to report about (your) journey".

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Hi Michelle,

 

I do read your posts now and again, but as a man who is not returning (or even starting for the first time, much to the relief of many I reckon) to ballet don't always read them as they are not so relevant to what I visit here for (regarding dancing children). However, I feel that you don't have enough space on a forum to write about your journey.

 

Blogs are a really good place to do this, and they then also allow you to be much more creative in how you post, what you post and how people find your blog to follow/comment. For example, blogs will be much more likely to be picked up on google and other search engines. This sort of thing is my 'dayjob' and forums are often limiting in the thread nature of the medium.

 

also, forums tends to be more about 'one-off' things. Reviewing a performance, asking a question about pointe shoes, advice about classes to start, or about an injury. Forums are hardly ever in my experience used as a record of a journey in the way you would like to write.

 

as I say, blogs are there for exactly that purpose and you may find it much more liberating. Of course, questions and comments are perfect for the forum, as you have found in the past and I sure will do in future.

 

I am trying not to sound patronising here, so apologies if I do. It's just if I was wanting to write what you are wanting to write, I would use a blog.

 

happy dancing.

 

Tim

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Michelle this is going to be hard to write.....but I do so much agree with Aileen when she says please can you just relate your dance info without keep making references to either others or yourself as being bad or other negative such statements. You can be yourself without putting either yourself or others down!!!

 

The other thread was beginning to put me off because of the backlash (with due cause in some instances) from when you posted so when you started this new one I too thought we could get away from all that and just back to accounts of your ballet experiences etc.

 

Am sorry if this sounds patronising too but don't want to come on here with vague feelings of misgiving instead of happy anticipation!!

 

Anyway I don't know whether you have seen the thread someone started about the Rambert is moving free classes, rehearsals,tours and company classes on various dates in December. They are moving to South Bank just behind National Theatre....remember we were going to look on the Academy workshop day but I was too exhausted but you were up for it!! I really don't know how you keep your energy levels going(especially on two Mars bars!!)

I have applied for a few things not heard anything back yet. The link is on the post but I'll have to do another post to let you know where!

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The Rambert info is in the section Ballet/info and news section and is called Rambert free events started by Josephine!

 

You could just go to the Rambert website where there is a link to all the events under Rambert moves

 

They may give preference to local community members or people living in London....though it doesn't actually say this. I know they are keen to develop links with the local community though.

 

One of the free events is a ballet class on the Monday (dec 2nd) the day after the Swan Lake workshop which is why it may fit in etc.and on the Tuesday (3rd December) they are doing a tour of new premises plus a chance to see company in class.

May be worth a look! :)

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Michelle, I'm not trying to discourage you from contributing to this forum, but I think that Stirrups' suggestion of you starting your own blog is a really good one. Dave Wilson, who posts on this forum from time to time, has a blog about starting ballet completely from scratch as a 23 year old. Like you, he is extremely keen and spends as many hours a week doing ballet as his studies permit. He is also a member of a youth ballet company. I think that he writes under the moniker 'DaveTriesBallet' (that's also his Twitter name) and you may like to look at his blog and Twitter timeline for inspiration.

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Firstly the suggestion that I write a blog elsewhere is a non starter. I made it clear on page one of this thread what I intended to do and also I did not own this thread, so it’s free for others to contribute too. Others ballet class experiences are contained on other threads too, so what I’ve been doing is not unusual or unreasonable. I know my posting recently have been quite long, but then I’m not like someone who is only doing one class a week and little in the way of firm goals for the future. If I do twelve time the classes plus lots of other ballet related activity, it’s likely I have a lot more to share. That’s the way it is, also my untraditional introduction, progression and determination in ballet seems to have attracted a lot of criticisms, I guess I will always be surrounded by controversy and the black swan image.

 

At least we won’t be short of a conversational piece at the next BalletCo Annual Lunch, as I fully intend to be there, but please that is not intended in any way to be nasty.

 

Lin I am truly sorry about the backlash and I hope you understand how much I value our friendship.

 

Lin and 2DancersMum

As for the food thing, yes I had intended to get something to eat other than Marz bars, however as the schedule was so tight I was using most of the contingency up just getting to each of the locations on time. I guess I was also high on adrenaline too; I just had to make it work. Either at Leeds station or on the train to London is logically the best times for a proper meal, and then with a high energy bar just before ENB in the evening would give the best solution.

 

Lin

OK about the Rampart Ballet class, I haven’t read about that one; however it’s very unlikely for me, as it will be the rehearsal at the week before our Lincoln show, which is a public paying one. If I was to let them down especially if they were to take up my suggestion of “Giselle’s Friends Dance” for our ballet schools part, I don’t think I would dare ever show my face there again.

Edited by Michelle_Richer

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Just as a matter of interest, why is a blog on a blogging site a non-starter?

 

I don't think anyone has mentioned the length of your posts.  I've done many long posts myself and so have many other members.

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Hi Balleteacher

 

It’s nice of you to drop by into this thread, and also that’s a very interesting question you have.

 

My perspective is, the situation that occurred on the forum was the catalyst. In any case I was never going to be just anything, I’m definite not one in a crowd, you could say I’m bit of a loner and but highly motivated, however I’m still happy to dance as part of a corps de ballet, but my real passion is solo. So the black swan image seems to fit.

 

Although I may come over as hard hearted, it has taken me months to tell my local teacher I was looking to booking the same venue for my repertoire practice as we use for our class for fear of upsetting her. It also made sense to utilise the time slot immediately after our ballet class that made things even harder. I finally spoke to her today before making the final booking. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her as we have a really good relationship, she seems quite happy with that. I think its also important that I discourage other students from staying behind to watch as I in no way want to appear to undermined my teacher in any way. I’m just hoping from time to time she stays behind; I would really be honoured by that.

Edited by Michelle_Richer

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Ah ok. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by black swan analogy. It was merely an observation which may be misplaced if I misunderstood. As an objective observer I cannot see anything on this thread that has been discouraging or disrespectful in relation to your posts. Let's try and keep this about adult ballet as opposed to personalities and I am sure it will move in a more positive and inspiring direction.

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Just as a matter of interest, why is a blog on a blogging site a non-starter?

 

I don't think anyone has mentioned the length of your posts.  I've done many long posts myself and so have many other members.

I'm still interested in a response to my query.

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I must say I'm not into Twitter etc so if you had to follow someone's blog on Twitter and therefore open an account etc I wouldn't be doing it.

Ive only barely got to grips with Facebook so don't want to take on Twitter as well.

 

That's just me however.....I'm sure lots of others on the Forum do have Twitter accounts etc so could follow a blog there.

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I didn't think blogs had anything to do with Twitter necessarily

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I love twitter but it is hard to blog on it as the limit per tweet is 140 characters Lin.  In fact these days I tend to use twitter more than facebook.  It's not quite as personal as facebook and, obviously depending on whom you follow, you can learn a heck of a lot!

 

Wordpress seems to be the blogging tool of choice. I know several people who use wordpress for their blogs.  I accidentally started an account when I was pratting around with gravatar the other week.  It offers a heck of a lot of facilities besides the blogging tool.  When you blog, there is an opportunity for people to respond with comments but I do not know if that facility can be switched off.

 

I know a number of people who blog and link the URLs to their twitter accounts. They often tweet the link to their latest blog entry.

 

DavidW, as already mentioned, has his own blog which is very interesting.  Here is the link:  http://www.davetriesballet.com/

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Just shows you what an ignoramus I am with all this!!

 

I don't really know what a blog is and how this differs from posting twitters...or is it tweets...which I thought was info about what you are doing hour by hour throughout the day. Now I know what my partner means when he says I should be forced to send my emails from a twitter account as if there is this restriction on characters then my emails would have tobe shorter!!!

 

I know someone in the Team I worked for last year said she had set up a blog about her cordon bleu type cookery classes because she thought it might be useful but I didn't really take in what she meant at the time except she did say it was really easy to do it and anyone could set up a blog about anything!!

 

I don't fully understand Facebook in that when I post something there I'm never sure whether just my "Friends" can see it or anyone who looks at my profile can.....but this is probably not the thread for discussing my short comings in these respects!!

It just seems Twitter is a step too far and I don't know anything about blog sites but will look at Daves one!

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Looking at Dave's is a good start :-) I think of it like writing a book but you publish a chapter at a time. I considered starting one about our ballet journey when my son started out but decided he might not like it!

 

LinMM maybe I'll start a thread later on Not Dance for tips and guidance on using social media!

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