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Posts posted by FireDancer

  1. 57 minutes ago, Fraildove said:


    Hi again :)

    I would love to know how your teacher taught you to work with your hyperextension as I don't personally have it so have never felt in my own body and can only imagine it... 

    Also, I usually can't watch his videos (and especially can't listen to his sneering voice)  and end up skimming to see what new horridness he's put out there so he may have called it second at some point. However, if you watch this video specifically on hyperextension, he talks about how the heels should not be together in first and the legs should be "fully straight" which for him means to their full hyperextension (I completely disagree as already started) so I really think he means that position to be a first 😩 


    What do you think?

  2. 4 minutes ago, Balletwannabe said:

    Fraildoves post- her opinion that much of what he says is accurate.  You and others disagree.  That's ok, it's just interesting to me; the differing opinions.

    I can give you my opinion about anything specific you may be wondering about 😉

  3. 1 hour ago, Balletwannabe said:

    I'm reading this all with interest yet it's left more confused than ever as far as his teaching being correct or not.   

    Ego, much?

    What are you confused about?

    And yes, so. much. ego.

    And why the constant swearing?


  4. 13 hours ago, Fraildove said:

     It is very different than what is taught here in the US, I don’t agree with all of it, but a good deal is right on target. 

    And by the way, she is standing in a true Vaganova 2nd position, with the heals placed only as wide as her hips, not 1st. I don’t agree with having her sit in her knees to that degree, but I would be guessing that he is trying to get her to understand how to actually straighten her legs, as opposed to locking back or relaxing. Once she figures that out she will not need to sit back that much. It is unorthodox in the extreme, but so far what she has been doing isn’t working.

    Yes, he actually did teach at the Bolshoi, yes he actually did graduate from GITIS, and yes there are things that he is teaching that are accurate and correct.

    I, too, was trained by teachers from the Kirov and Bolshoi but I disagree with most of what he says. I don't believe in squeezing or gripping anything including the butt. He's all about that which creates so much tension and then none of his students can move!

    I agree with you that that is a second position  (minus the sitting in the hyperextension) but unfortunately he is teaching it as first... 

    To understand how to actually straighten one's legs, the heels must be together. I just don't see how it's possible to do it otherwise. And saying he doesn't care where her weight is at the moment is just ridiculous.

    I know he graduated from GITIS but he can't possibly have had a class at the Bolshoi Academy. I know he did some choreography there and I don't think he did much more. 


  5. 9 hours ago, Katia Kapustin said:

    I am very surprised and really shocked to see Misty Copeland - at this stage in her advanced career (!) - struggling to control her hyperextensions, so much tension in the body and stiff epaulement. Surely she should have all this under control by now...? It seems (based on these videos) she really needs to go back to basics and re-train.

    I find this very odd for someone who is after all a principal ballerina.


    3 hours ago, Helene said:

    It doesn't surprise me at all: dancers describe their post-injury comebacks as starting from the beginning and, in the process of making themselves stronger, unlearn old habits.

    It's definitely what he's doing to her, she can't possibly be that weak.

  6. 53 minutes ago, vagansmom said:

    Regardless of whether or not he is good at what he does, I admire Misty for her decision to work on her technical issues by going back to the absolute basics. Such a hard thing for a principal dancer to do! 

    Unfortunately, if it makes one worse, what's the point? One has to be discerning when choosing a teacher.

  7. Just now, Balletwannabe said:

    Thank you for your reply.  I do wonder though, how he came up with the heel apart for hyperextension thing if not during his years in Russia??  Svetlana's turnout during plies is pretty incredible though, I can't argue with that result.  I agree he's very rude; there was a particular episode that he was really talking down to his wife, *cringe*.

    The thing is it doesn't matter if she can turn out if she can't even stand on one leg or let go of the barre while doing a plié... And it's not that it'll come later, it's that it would have to be retaught...  

    As for the heels, he may very well be making an assumption that since their legs are hyperextended then they should have their heels apart, and/or, sure, it's possible someone in Russia may have told him the heels could be apart. But I can't imagine anyone ever said one could basically be in a (bad) second position. 

  8. 5 hours ago, Balletwannabe said:

    What are your reservations?  I'm just curious- I have no background in ballet training, so I'd love to hear the specifics of what's wrong with his teaching.  I'm very interested in this topic because I have a daughter who is training in ballet.

    Well this would be a very long post which I don't currently have time for, but in short: 

    _ His attitude is just awful. He is so condescending and rude, always, and even to Misty, who is a principal dancer. He treats her like she has no idea what she's doing, the way he does everyone. For that alone, I couldn't work with him, even if he knew his stuff. 

    _ On the technical side, he is so wrong about most of the things he says and does. For an easy example, just look at how he has Misty (and his wife and son) do first position. They have their feet so far apart and they are completely sitting in their hyperextension and their heels. Not to mention, there's no way to lift one's leg while between 2 legs, let alone let go of the barre. So his whole "it's all about placement" is true, HOWEVER he has no idea what correct placement is. I can tell you from experience that the teachers at the Bolshoi Academy where he claims to have taught (riiiight) have the students stand with their heels together even if they have crazy hyperextension because that is exactly what teaches one to stack the bones of the standing leg and pull up out of one's hyperextension as is necessary to dance. 

    He never danced: he was in the tech industry until he decided to study dance as an adult. Since he had the means to do it, he studied in Moscow but that doesn't mean he understood it properly. He hasn't felt ballet in his own body and that is necessary to be a teacher and to pass on the art of classical dance, especially its technique.

    His poor wife could be so much further along than she is if she had a proper teacher. She wouldn't need to cry the tears of frustration featured in a recent video. She can't do it because she's not on her leg!!!

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