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Friday, August 31, 2012

Basic vs. Adv Beginning, Beg/Int vs. Intermediate

Hello, dance friends!

Next week, I've got some new classes starting and I thought now would be a good time to define what each level of class means to me - and for you, the student. Because my classes are drop-in and open to all, it's a good idea to know what you're getting into.

Basic: the class for the absolute beginner. If you have never done ballet at all, this is the class to start with. Typically, I will stand near the new student and guide her at the barre.  I will use my hands to move her hips or feet or arms to where they need to be. As we progress, though, I ask that the new student observe and follow along as best she can so as not impede the advancement of the other students. Much can be learned by simply imitating those around you. Questions that arise are often answered in subsequent classes so it's important to give yourself time to catch up. You can't expect to know everything in one class!

Advanced Beginning: the next level up. Increased vocabulary and longer combinations at the barre and in the center. As usual, I break down new steps as they are introduced so everyone learns in a similar fashion. I will assume students know classroom etiquette, such as how to stand at the barre, when and how to ask questions, and how to space themselves in the center. I will do petit allegro and adagio combinations in my Adv Beginning class whereas I don't (as a rule) do them in my Basic class. Turns?  Of course!  We will put them in combinations.

Beg/Int: I have heard people say my Beg/Int is more Int than Beg and that may very well be true. At this level, I expect students to know all plies and port de bras at the barre, as well as tendus, degages, grands battements, frappe, fondu and rond de jambe en l'air.  They may not have mastered those steps but they are familiar with them.  In the center I will do adagio, allegro and turn combinations that are more complex. Lots of travel across the floor and multiple weight shifting in the center.

Intermediate: my most advanced class. I expect all of my students to be able to do multiple turns in the center, fouette turns at the barre, brise and beats in allegro as well as more advanced turns like attitude and arabesque.  Again, students may not have a command of all these things but they should be familiar with them.  I will do plenty of weight-shifting at the barre along with more complex combinations that reverse. With my more advanced students, I do not expect to have to walk them through combinations on both sides. 

So...ready, set, come check out my new classes!  See the schedule below for exact times and locations.  Happy dancing!

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