Posts Tagged ‘Ballet Class’
Question: What can I do to prepare myself for ballet?
I’ve read up on it and everything, I have wanted to start ballet for ages and I finally get the chance next month. What can I do to prepare myself?
Exercises like releves and plies?
What was your first ballet class like, if you have ever taken ballet?
Also, my turnout is horrible, how can I get more flexible hips?
Answer by Rockie
My first ballet class was quite easy because i danced jazz and other dances before i began. Only practice plies and releves and tendues etc, if you know how to properly do them, or you may hurt yourself, or get bad habits that your instructor will have to break. Working on your posture is going to be a great thing to do to prepare. You can stand with a perfect posture then have a friend tie a string around your shoulders tight enough that when you try to sloutch, the string wont let you. That’s how my dance teacher learned ballet posture when she was taking class. Another great thing is doing stretches. Make sure you warm up your muscles before stretching, i usually run on the spot and jump in first and second position until I’m warmed up. Then do all kinds of stretching, trying to stretch all parts of your body. One way to make your turn out more flexible is to lay on the floor in foggy position. Thats where you lay on your stomach and connect the souls of your feet together and try and reach your feet to the floor while keeping your hips on the floor too, harder than it sounds but it will help for sure. Also sitting in straddle and stretching will help, make sure you point your toes and keep your knees facing up. And sitting in butterfly position, which is were you sit on your bum and put the souls of your feet together. stretch down bringing your face as close to your feet as you can. gentlly press your knees closer to the ground as you feel your ready to. Take deep breaths when stretching and stretch further every time you release your breathe. I promise, it will make all the difference. Your turn out is usually the same as your straddle. so the further out your straddle will go, the more of a turn out you can have. Have fun! Ballet is great!
What do you think? Answer below please!
What should I look for in a good ballet class for my 3 1/2 and 4 year old?
I am looking to put my daughters in ballet classes as they really enjoy it. I am just not sure (especially after viewing some you tube “first dance class” videos) what I should be looking for in a good “dance school” that will provide my young ones with a fulfilling dance class. I understand there isn’t a whole lot they can learn at that age but I don’t want the class to be a “free for all” yet not rigorous that they can’t enjoy. And it is hard to tell what classes are like that and what are not. What should I look for in the teachers? curriculum? classroom structure?
The most important consideration in choosing a good dance class is the instructor. Is she/he good with kids? Is she/he patient? Your kids will be under her/his care for an hour, and if you have a teacher who isn’t used to small children or doesn’t have the patience, it will be a bad experience for your children, and might turn them off to dancing. At that age, kids have really short attention spans, and they will not be able to do complicated moves, they will oftentimes forget what they are learning within the next 5 minutes. In addition, some kids that age have their own agendas, some days they will feel like dancing, some days they won’t. I’ve seen kids enjoy a class one day, then the next time, they cry for the entire hour. So, your instructor has to be able to deal with these situations and be encouraging.
As to the question of curriculum. There’s not a whole lot of technique they can teach at this age. But, they should start out with the basics that are geared towards preschoolers. Learning how to stretch and easy technique moves that they can follow. Since small children have short attention spans, the class should move along at a good pace. At any dance studio, you should be allowed to view the class from outside a window. Go and watch a class and see if you like the teacher and how she/he paces it. Here where I live, the city’s parks and recreation facility holds dance classes for preschoolers starting from 2 1/2 yrs on. The classes are only 8 weeks long, 45 minutes a day, 1 day a week, so that is a good choice for many small children. Then, they can move onto the professional dance studios. See if you city has classes like this.
At the ages of 3 1/2 or 4, the class will be really easy and hard to tell if it is a good class or not. I dance at a really good school in N.Y. (65 people went professional) and we start a 4 years old. There basic class includes plies, tendu’s… . The class should be fun so the kids enjoy it but learn something in the class and not just doing things that won’t help them at all. In a bad school you may find if there two strict they will work there turn out to much which can hurt them. Also there is not basic ballet in the class
Are you looking for a studio that focuses only on ballet or just a dance studio to maybe transition into competition dance or just normal recreational classes.
I’m a competitive dancer so I can help you more with that aspect of looking. No matter where you go you want to look at the older students and see if there is room for your daughter to grow as a dancer. These dancers are the best evidence you can get as to the quality of instruction at that studio. If you can’t watch one of the classes ask if they have a video or DVD you can view most studios will be happy to show you, if they wont then this a good indication you should go else where.
Also look to see if the children are having fun and it is an atmosphere you would want her in. Just being in the studio and seeing the energy level and excitement of the children should tell you a lot about it. The number of students at the studio tells you a lot about the studio as well.
Good luck hope your daughter loves dance!
Children under the age of six are too young for the rigor of ballet. Until the age of 6-8 children should only take classes such as “creative movement” or pre-ballet. The young body is not ready for the positions of ballet, nor is the mind ready for the discipline involved. A reputable studio realizes that and does not offer actual ballet to children as young as yours. If they do, look for another one! Stick to “creative movement” or pre-ballet until they are a little older.
An excellent resource that was created to directly address questions like these is the “Ballet and Modern FAQ” that was compiled by the original dance USENET newsgroup, alt.arts.ballet, from 1995-2004. Meaning, many experts contributed to the document over many years, so you don’t have to rely on what folks say here. The document is copyrighted by Thomas Parsons and he only allows people to repost it in its entirety, which is really, really long. So I’m going to respect that. Since 2004, the good folks at Gaynor Minden, a big name in dance wear, have been kind enough to host the FAQ on their website, so that should also tell you that the information is reputable.
I think the biggest factor is the kind of teaching staff there. A lot of times, your daughter will be with the same instructors from the time they start dancing through high school. You don’t want to get teachers that all they care about is the technique of the dancer. Sure, they might turn your kids into great technical dancers, but they won’t inspire them to dance. I dance at a school where the teachers really care about their students, and over the years, we’ve gotten more and more girls coming from different dance studios saying that after 10-15 years, they just couldn’t put up with their teachers anymore. Their old teachers were really harsh, unfair in choreography, and often told skinny girls they were too fat to dance. I just don’t think that’s something your daughters should go through!
So meet the teachers, sit in during a class or two, and meet the girls (of all ages) taking classes there. If they seem stressed out whenever you’re there, that’s probably not the best place. If they’re smiling, laughing and happy, that’s definitely a good indicator.
When meeting teachers, they should be excited and interested in meeting your daughters. They should be willing to answer your questions, and not be totally focused on just getting them enrolled.
Another thing, (and this is strictly a personal opinion) is that I wouldn’t get your daughters started in a ‘competition school’. Schools that focus the entire year on competitions tend to teach girls how to win competitions, instead of encouraging passion for dance. But don’t get me wrong, competition schools often breed great dancers, but its just not for every person.
Once you chose a school, and after a while you don’t feel its a good environment, don’t be afraid to pull your daughters from classes. Its better to change studios while they’re young, so they can become integrated into that place.
I wish you the best of luck!! I really hope your daughters are happy at the place they end up at!!!!
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