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Dancing in France

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.Hi everyone

I'm really hoping that someone can help me with some advice. I am a New Zealander currently living in France. My eldest daughter (just turned 5) has just finished her first year of pre-ballet. It was a great success (I guess it's in the blood) and she absolutely loves it, which is probably what counts most at this age. However, we have just been to the end of year "Gala de Danse", and not to put too fine a point on it, I was horrified! Naturally we expect the little-ones to bumble around the stage, pretty much falling over each other- so cute, but what shocked me was the standard (or lack thereof) of the senior students. I really wanted to get an idea of the level one could expect from this teacher and ballet school. While one must expect a certain number of not-so-good students even in the senior classes (it's a wonderful form of exercise), I would have hoped for at least a few well trained and talented students. Unfortunately it was not to be. While some had some fairly strong pointe work, the rest was appaling. No suppleness, no musicality, no attention to detail at all ( feet not pointed, arms appaling, feet not closed in correct positions at the end of a move... I could go on and on)! I am really at a loss as to how to find a good ballet school here. While the teacher is lovely, I am forced to conclude that in the long term, she really isn't very good. Ballet schools in France do not allow you to sit in and watch classes, so I cannot decide for myself. Is there a nationally based syllabus followed in France? In NZ we followed the British "Royal Academy of Dance" syllabus, and had exams each year as a measure of progress. I cannot find any evidence of any across-the-board exam systems here, but I really don't know anyone qualified who I can ask. Can anyone who knows the French system make any suggestions for me? While I do not expect my girls to become prima ballerinas, I would love them to have the pleasure of dancing to a good level as I did. I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks in advance.

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Hi, Kiwidancer, and welcome to BalletTalk.

I can certainly sympathize with your despair, but unfortunately studios and pedagogy are beyond the scope of this forum, which is devoted to ballet from the audience's viewpoint. (The thread on the recent POB recruitment is basically to inform POB fans of who's about to join the company.)

Our sister board, BalletTalk for dancers, is for dancers at all levels and ages (over 13), their teachers and parents. We divide the boards by which side of the footlights they concern -- viewers or doers.

I suggest you register on BalletTalk for Dancers (link at top right corner of the page, on the banner), using the same name. You may be able to find help and support there.

But I hope you will enjoy our discussions nonetheless. I hope you'll find areas to join in and share whatever you're seeing. :dunno:

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Hello Kiwidancer.

Just a little advice, as I am retired, and can suggest the following, It is very important to choose a Dancing School, where the Teachers are fully trained and belong to a accredited Dance Organisation. In the UK, we have the RAD(Royal Academy of Dancing, ISTD ( Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance), BBO (British Ballet

Organisation. They all start with Nursery Classes, then go on to Primary, at about 5 years, depending on the childs ability. From this grade onwards is much more regulated. Ask to visit the studio's to see the children working, and choose the best you can find in your erea.a

I feel sure there must be similar schools in France, and suggest you go on the Internet to find out., there must be

equivalent arrangements as in the UK.

I worked for many years in the professional world of Dance, but now my interest is to sit back watch and enjoy.

although I occasionally still design and write for Ballet.

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