Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I teach the class I want to take

There are so many different styles of teaching, from the hardcore discipline where every girl has her hair in a bun so tight she gets an inadvertent facelift to ballet-jazzish classes where students wear booty shorts and plie to Justin Bieber (or whoever is popular at the moment - I know nothing of contemporary music!). Vaganova, Cecchetti, Balanchine, RAD, many styles of schools across the globe.

So what do you teach, Leigh?

I teach what I would want to take. I teach the way I like to move and what feels comfortable for my body. Conventional wisdom has always been that you take class with a teacher whose body type is similar to yours so you can accomplish what they are showing you more easily. Conversely, to challenge yourself, you take a class with a teacher who is nothing like you at all!  I can remember classes with teachers who were tiny little things who could do petit allegro faster than a hummingbird flaps its wings and dash across the floor in milliseconds.  Meanwhile I would lumber through the space feeling like a giant in the land of the littles.

But the experience definitely challenged me and it taught me to move my body in a different way.  Even though my body type is best suited for adagio, I learned to like (nay, love!) petit allegro and to actually perform it in a half-decent way. 

But I digress...about my classes...whether it's Basic or Intermediate, pointe or flat, I construct a class that makes sense to me and that I would feel comfortable in. Each class is structured in what I consider to be a logical fashion, based on YEARS of classes and personal research.  This is not to say I don't incorporate the academic research I did as a student in college but I base a lot of my combinations and corrections on my gut instinct.  I know what to do (and what you should do) because I have done it myself and have applied it to my own body.

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