Monday, March 22, 2010

Non-major Dance Classes

I am a junior at SUNY Purchase and ever since I've been attending this school, I have been taking the non-major dance classes available to everyone. My first semester, I asked about Introduction to Ballet since I had been dancing ballet for 15 years at that point. I was told it was a good class to start off with and you will be able to learn the basics. I knew the basics but I thought maybe it would be okay and I would learn some new things as well. What a joke! Lesson learned - if you know ballet or if you have taken it before in your life, this class will be a bore. For me, this was a very slow moving class and because I had taken 15 years of it before, my teacher used me more as an assistant then a student. If she was stuck in traffic on the way there, she would call me and ask me to start class. It was definitely a good learning experience because I learned how to work with the pianist and make combinations for everyone abilities. I loved the class because at least I was dancing but it was hardly an exercise and wasn't worth getting up early for. BUT if you have never taken ballet or you did when you were very small and don't remember anything really, this is the class to take. They take it slow and show how to do each step until everyone in the class gets it.
After that, I tried Intermediate Ballet. This was what I was looking for when I took Intro. Although, I still find this class a little slow and easy, the professors usually give the more advanced students a harder version of a combination or add in extra steps to make it more difficult. This semester I am taking Intermediate for the second time, and I have had two different teachers. Both classes I like and even though it has been almost 18 years that I have been dancing, I am still learning new things from each teacher. I get a workout from this class. Both times I've taken it, there had been students who have never taken ballet or did when they were very small and they still can keep up with everyone else in the class. If I had to offer this class to a group of students, I would say it is definitely a good idea to know some kind of dance before taking this class because you will have more fun and not feel as though you are confused.
I have also taken Introduction to Modern Dance. I loved taking this class because I had also taken modern dance while I was growing up. For those of you who don't know what modern dance is, it is a more contemporary form of ballet but without the classical techniques and structure that comes along with ballet. In this class, you don't wear shoes, we learned cartwheels and handstands, how to roll on the ground without hurting yourself, and fun jumps that you would never see in a classical ballet piece. This class can be taken by anyone really. Its fun and can fit anyone's abilities even if you have never taken dance. It helps if you have some experience but it might be even more fun as a first dance class.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this particular blog entry because you entered the non-major ballet class with an open mind. Although you had plenty of years of ballet and modern experience, you were still willing to get something out of the class. I think more dancers and people in general need to be more like you and stop entering situations with the "I already know everything" attitude. Going into a situation with no pre-conceived ideas or emotions allows a chance for you to open yourself to new opportunities. Thanks again for writing this blog!