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The LAB Summer Intensive - Beginner Friendly?


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Hi all,


New member, so first of all hi! :) I'm a male adult dancer, starting out again at 25. Currently living in London


So onto my question, I'm really interested in the the LAB Summer Intensive, but I'm unsure as to if it would be suitable for relative beginners.


Now I did do a fair bit of ballet around 3 years ago (6 months on and off) and I'll also be doing another beginners course with City Academy up until the intensive starts so I won't be a "absolute complete beginner". 


The website did mention that dancers would be split into 3 groups, Low, Medium & Advanced. I assumed from this that low = beginner (possibly advanced beginner)?


If anyone has any insight I'd greatly appreciate it.


I did email but I haven't had any response as of yet and I'd like to get this booked in my diary ASAP if I was to do it.


Thanks all!





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You would really have to have a couple of years experience so at least advanced beginner to get the most out of it.


The dancers in LAB do vary a great deal though as some are pretty good (Advanced level standard) and others probably about grade three standard.


However it's not just about the level if you thinking of doing one of their intensives......it's about the fitness and stamina required to keep up with 4-5 days dancing and if you are not that fit then you could end up as a comparative beginner with injuries.


Well you do have youth on your side though so if you have been doing other activities which have kept you pretty fit then you'll probably be okay.

I do belong to LAB but because I am older (and now wiser where intensives are concerned) I now do their weekly class to learn the repertoire rather than several consecutive intensive days........though not at the moment as am injured!!

This injury was on another course not an LAB one but basically I misjudged my fitness levels and got too tired so this is when injury happened.


I'm sure you WILL be okay but do email them first and I'm sure you will get the advice you need.

It is great fun and I'm sure you will love it but just check out what Tom Linecar thinks first


Do let us know what you decide.......I will be coming to watch the intensives on the last day as friends are in it :)

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Hello Dave, welcome to the forum!


I am sure other people here will be able to help, but in the meantime, does LAB do any one-day workshops, or taster classes? That could be a good way of deciding whether the level would be appropriate.


Good luck!

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I haven't seen any one day LAB intensives advertised but I was also going to suggest another couple of options.


I think Dave you said you were doing classes with the City Academy. Well City Academy do ONE day intensives and they have one coming up in July ....about the 19th I think ....so it could be good to try a one day intensive to see how you get on with that as S and P suggests.


Also on Sunday July 27th the ENB are running a three hour workshop at the Coliseum based on Coppelia......with the added benefit of being able to watch a bit of Company class.....I am hoping to be fit for this as am booked on it but keeping fingers crossed.


Also Franziska Rosenzweig is running a four hour workshop on Saturday 5th July .......and this one ( she does workshops with various focus points) is on repertoire (I can post the link for this but will have to do so in another post)


It is a good idea to try a half day or one day intensive first ......before taking on a five day one!!! That is if you have just been used to single ballet classes of one hour or an hour and a half up till this point.

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This is the link but alas I see that the 5th July one has been cancelled and may be done at a later date but perhaps not in time before the LAB intensives you are interested in.


As I know some people who do Franziska's workshops are also in the LAB I wonder if this has been cancelled because the 5th July is the LAB weekly classes yearly performance date!!!

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Thanks so much for all the replies, much appreciated!


I'm not concerned at all when it comes to fitness or the fact its a 5 day intensive, I've done many intensive courses in other sports in the past including snowboarding, surfing and boxing which really take it out of you and have not had any issues. It's fair to say my fitness level is no problem.


I think my main concern is that it'll just all be way too above my level.


I really like the idea of a 5 day intensive as I typically learn better when I do sports repetitively (as you can tell from my other hobbies!) I struggle to learn when it's just 1 day or 1 class...I also tend to learn allot quicker with an intensive course so I think this would do wonders for me!


Does anyone have a phone contact for Tom? I'm still waiting for a reply on the email :(


I'll try emailing again in the meantime and will also take a look into some of the 1 day intensives.


edit: oh and I also regularly play Ice Hockey and practice yoga! I have allot of hobbies...

Edited by david2189
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Dear David

You will be fine, on the last two LAB intensives we all did the same enchainements, there was no difference due to level, not even placement position in the performance. The first LAB intensive for the Girls was done on height; the second one was done on alphabetical order of names. The guys were grouped together for their own party piece and also attached to one group of girls in the last intensive which was my group dancing the Friends dance from Sleeping Beauty, as three different groups did that dance of about 25 dancers each.


Usually there is only 5 or 6 guys, their ability ranges enormously, two of my friends from ENB both belong to the same LAB performance group as I do, and also do the LAB intensives, LinMM know one of them “Tony” who is a really nice dancer (Level 2 and 3 at ENB) and does most of the City Academy Repertoire Workshops as I do, we also have another one who is from ENB level 2 (Improver/advanced beginner) who is to some extent is recovering from an operation so is somewhat limited in mobility, but full marks to him he really does try hard.


The two summer intensives coming up are 6 days in duration not 5, with the friends and family performance on the Saturday. There is a 3 day Autumn Intensive 31st Oct – 2nd Nov, but Tom hasn’t decided what rep that will be yet, I’ve ask him to consider Giselle. Needless to say I will be doing all three LAB intensives, as I do most adult ballet repertoire and performing courses in the UK. I will be doing the City performance course when it starts in September for the show at Sadler’s in December. 


If there is anything specific that you want to know, I will be seeing Tom on Thursday and I can ask him then if you wish.


I hope to see you there.

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Hey Michelle. Thanks for the reply, it would be great if you could just confirm with Tom that it would in fact be suitable, from the sounds of it I'll most likely be attending! :)


Once I have confirmation I'll get paid up.

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Hi David was working with Franziska yesterday (not on ballet though) and the new date for her solo study course is sat 9th August .


Both the girls and the boys will be looking at the different solos in the Pas de Trois from Swan Lake.


This is now a three hour course from 10- 1 pm and will be held at The Place near Euston in London.


So if you survive the LAB intensive in July and your appetite is whetted then this will also be a nice day to attend for £50.


There will be a barre first and then two hours on the solos.

I did this last year when we worked on Sleeping Beauty and it was a great day.


You usually divide into groups and learn the solos bit by bit and adapt any awkward bits for yourself (they are already adapted anyway)

Then once each group has "performed" it she has a section at the end which if you are extremely brave you can ask for coaching(in front of the group) on parts of the solo. But she will then ask you to perform the bits coached or whole solo on your own!!!

But this was great for those with a bit more ambition or at a more advanced level.......some of the people who do Franziskas workshops are pretty good and on pointe too. But the men get their solos too!! Again though levels vary a great deal from about grade 4 level to advanced standard......only about half a dozen at this level I would say.

However this is based on last year as since my injury have not been able to do any of her workshops this year.


Personally I like them because they are shorter than a whole day and on the 4 hour ones the first hour is a floor section on Pilates etc before you do the barre which is great as you feel really ready to do the barre by then.

If she is not working on repertoire the last section is given over to a study of a part of the ballet class......eg focussing on pirouettes, adage or petit allegro or grand allegro and so on. Then you work on the steps first and she will then put into a short combination with occasionally a section from repertoire if appropriate.


Franziska also teaches at Danceworks on Thursdays and Sundays as well as individual lessons in her Shoreditch studio.


I'm not a promotional agent for her (don't know her on a personal level) but just feel she has been very helpful in her advice and like her approach generally. But she is for serious ballet lovers I think.......the classes are very focussed.

Edited by LinMM
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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to share some thoughts following the end of the LAB DonQ Summer Intensive...


Overall I was really happy with how I progressed throughout the week, there were a number of steps in the classes which were way over my head but I managed to get through the vast majority of exercises (minus 1/2 per class). Nothing unexpected there, although I did do allot better than I was expecting in some of the longer centre work.


I found the repertoire much easier to get into and Tom was really amazing at giving me steps for my level, I didn't do every single step in the solos or virtuosity so I never felt out of my depth. My aim of the course was to get some big jumps in and I got them so I left very happy!


All the staff working at the intensive were amazing, really great teachers, pianists and they even threw in some really great assistants who Tom teaches at The London Studio Centre (impressive stuff!!)


Finally, it was great to meet all the other dancers and it really shows what you can achieve if you stick at it!


Moving on...I'm hoping to join in with the regular company classes at LAB and I'll continue with my regular weekly classes at Central

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