Not all beginning classes are equal

If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know I have a love-hate relationship with beginning ballet classes.

I love the technique building part of it. Fundamentally, I know I need to get better.

The pace of the class, that’s a different story. After taking intermediate, advanced and company level classes, there are times when I loathe the pace.

I love to move. I love doing complicated combinations across the floor during center work (something I never thought I’d say when I returned to dance as an adult).

Most of the beginning classes I’ve had in the past few years, we’re lucky to be off the barre with 15 minutes to spare in class.

Because of sickness and wacky weather cancellations, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to taking a beginning class Monday night, But I worked too late Sunday night to make my usual intermediate open class on Monday morning.

It was my first opportunity to move, to take class in two weeks,

I was expecting a painstakingly slow, OK here are the positions and tendu kind of class.

I was pleasantly surprised by the class I got.

It was taught by a former company dancer I once danced with in class. She moved back home this year after graduating from college.

The tempo at the barre was actually more intermediate, even though the combinations were basic. It was really cool.

And we hit center halfway through class. I was totally shocked.

We worked on the fundamentals of a pirouette to be honest that I sorely needed,

But then we ended up moving through somewhat complicated combinations across the floor for a beginner class. There were five of us. Two ladies who had some experience and two ladies who were pure beginners, and myself.

I felt sorry for the two pure beginners, But I was enjoying the chance to finally get to move, to finally get back into a routine.

I also had a chance to focus on technique. I’m flat-footed, so it was an eye-opener to me that I dance a little too much on my heels. And it was a jog down memory lane to get a refresher on the eight facings.

I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things, but the weather may not be cooperating.

We’re expecting a somewhat rare snow storm in Alabama to hit just as tomorrow’s open advanced class is ending, Since I have a commute and have to cross a bridge to get to class, it may unfortunately be a no go,


3 responses to “Not all beginning classes are equal

  • Dance Pundit

    I’ve always been hesitant about going to a beginners class for the same reasons, however I think I sorely need one at this point…

  • asher

    I’ve noticed our true beginner classes (which are the “Essentials” class, due in part to the level-creep that occurs when people cram in whichever class fits in their schedule and never move up) tend to have only about 15 minutes left once we get off the barre as well. Interesting. I wonder if that’s in the Official Manual for Teaching True Beginner Classes!

    I, too, appreciate the focus on technique that beginner classes offer: I think there we all have our weak spots, and beginner class lets us focus on them in a depth we don’t always get otherwise.

    That said, I’m definitely missing the more complex combinations going across the floor right now. It’s kind of cool to be tapped to demonstrate everything, but I’m looking forward to getting done rehabbing my leg so I can get back to that.

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