Let me preface this post by saying that I am totally looking for your input here, please, feel more than welcome to throw your thoughts and experiences at me.
So in the last couple of weeks I’ve worked up some bravery and tried a bunch of new ballet classes, meaning new studios and new teachers. Let me remind you that this was not a successful thing for me in the past. Somehow I found every version of “bad” teacher and honestly got a little scarred from that. When I found my awesome ballet teacher, I think I kind of attached. That has not been entirely a bad thing because his methodology is totally working for me, I’ve come so far in just last year with him that I stand amazed and I’m not that easy to impress 😉 I’ve watched other people come to his class – trepidatious, unsure and then just come alive and I’ve watched the classes go from being a group of adult dance students to become a group of good friends. It’s not just ballet because I have experienced ballet classes that have left me sad, discouraged and physically ill. My awesome ballet teacher creates and nurtures this wonderful ballet environment. Plus I am a big believer in loyalty.
But I have challenged to try some new teaching methods mostly to get out of my comfort zone and get used to a occassional change in my ballet scenery. Mostly so that when I go out-of-town, which can be a lot, I can feel comfortable finding and going to new classes. So that’s what I’ve been doing, I’m not replacing my current line up of classes with my awesome ballet teacher, I’m supplementing with a few additional classes.
Here is where I hit a conundrum… the classes I tried where “Basic.” They were not difficult at all. Don’t get me wrong, I know that each and every class no matter how slow is an opportunity to learn and each and every class I’m still working on the basics. And I enjoyed them, the teachers were nice and competent and I did get some good corrections… but am I not challenging myself enough by not moving up in difficulty? My current lineup of classes include (1) Intermediate Beginner, (3) Advanced Beginner, and (1) Intermediate all with my ABT. Am I chickening out by taking Basic classes elsewhere and is that actually holding me back? A lot of people who I’ve talked to who take Beginner level classes elsewhere have years of training behind them. I take a lot of classes a week now but I’m not going to kid myself that doesn’t add up to years of training, plus I’m just not a natural at anything… I don’t have great feet or great lines, I’m not naturally flexible and my sense of balance sucks bad. I’ve got two days where I’ve got the option to take a “Basic” class or a more advanced “Beginner” class, so… what do you think?