Ballet Class Pet Peeves 1 - spacing

This post might sound like a bit of a bitching session, and some people  probably think it is. The reality is; this is a health and safety issue  to protect all the dancers in a  class.

Unless it's

  • the cygnets from Swan Lake
  • jazz/ showgirl 'kick line'  
  • partnering 
Anyone whose 'box' is coming inside the 'box' defined by your demi seconde arms is too close! and demi seconde arms? your finger tips would graze the edge of a pancake tutu. so that sets the very minimum  distance you should be from another dancer and even then it's probably too close most of the time.  even at the barre ...

If you are at a relatively crowded barre and  the exercise is one  where  you take up lots of space and there is a risk of hitting one another (e.g. cloches or grand battements at the barre or if it's really cramped developes), a sensible teacher either sets it to be done ecarte and/or croise  (to give the  extra space of working on the diagonal) or splits the class in two ...

This is generally a nicety though ... unless it's a really small/overcrowded studio space

In the centre it becomes a health and safety thing.

Firstly, because if you don't give people the space they need  there's a risk  that you'll  crash into them

Secondly if you are holding back/ 'dancing small' your balance is off / you are concentrating more on not crashing into people than on your balance and  safety. So it's not arrogance  when you see  some of the taller girls heading to the front in the centre - it's for our and anyone's else's safety as we'll set ourselves to give us enough space to dance  safely... 

That's not to say that  smaller or less confident  dancers shouldn't come to the front  when  a combination is being taught , demonstrated or even marked through, but when it's being danced give the  taller / larger/ faster moving dancers some space...

related to that, in a travelling combination , keep moving  an  follow the circulation  around the studio, don't just stop  you  run the risk of being flattened, which if you are unlucky  could be by a fast moving 6ft tall  dancer  ...

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