Sunday, 6 June 2010


I need help!

I actually cried today because of ballet, and that's so not me. I'm getting myself really worked up about the [unseen] enchainement part of my exam because a) I really struggle with enchainement anyway, as it's not something I did before taking up IDTA syllabus but b) I really messed up my enchainement yesterday, and whilst I knew it was bad, I'm pretty certain that I saw one of the studio teachers mouth to another that I was 'dire' just after I'd done it. I knew it was bad, I may even have said it was dire myself, but I am now just feeling really negative about this part of the exam.

I need to get over myself and just do it! I know. It's just hard, as it means a lot to me. I really want to go on and do my next grade and now I'm worrying that I won't be allowed to do that.

So, dear blog readers, if you've waded this far through my moaniest post so far (so sorry! I'm picking myself up as I write, I promise!), do you have any tips for tackling unseen enchainement under pressure. I don't have a problem with the moves, just the putting together under pressure. How do *you* do that? Have you any tips or practical advice for picking it up and just going with it. Meanwhile, I'm going to give myself a good talking to and get out of my temporary dip to make sure I blitz this exam (in a good way!!).


  1. I have been trained my whole life in vaganova and cechetti and only very recently in the past year have had some exposure to RAD with a wonderful guest instructor from New Zealand and England. It would be ridiculous at 14 for me to give you advice anyway, so all I can say is - you know this!! And you can do this. The only real pressure that will crush you here comes from the inside.

    If you know the steps, you can put them together.

    When you hear little children first read, they are just saying words without connecting them. When they become fluent, they read more like they would when they speak. Try that - think of the steps as words, but the enchainement as the story that you must speak when you dance.

    Merde! You will be great.

  2. You will do those steps. You can do them. And I look forward to reading your triumphant post.

  3. p.s. how log until the exam ? Thinking I may be able to find a pro dancer who can talk you through this. Sooooooo unfair of that teacher if that is what happened. That's just not on. Ballet is hard enough and quite often the negative side comes out in training/rehearsal, but you need help when you are trying your hardest and doing your best, not anything that re-inforces what you might already be concerned about. I'd have serious issues with teachers like that. As a journalist I have sat through a lot of so-so shows, but I tell you something. I will ALWAYS clap, and appreciate what the dancers have done, ESPECIALLY if one has fallen or made a mistake, because they have tried their best and done it for me. And I know how hard the rehearsal process will have been and hey, nobody is perfect. It's something we all strive for but don't always achieve. C'est La Vie. I so feel for you here.

  4. Thanks both Madeline and Elise! I've had a couple of lessons since this, and haven't felt so bad about it all. I'm having a couple of private lessons too, with an amazing teacher, so I'm hoping she's going to rid me of my mental block (ok, I hope she's going to fill me with confidence, I have to do the rest!!!). I even did a pretty good enchainement today (well, good by my standards). I spoke to my main teacher after the end of my lesson and she pretty much said to stop beating myself up as it was much harder for me, swapping (albeit 10 years later) from RAD to IDTA and having to pick up this skill I've never practised before when the girls she's had from 5 or 6 have always done it so find it much easier.

    The teacher who commented on my [lack of] ability last week is very young, and only used to teaching up to grade 2s/3s, and to be honest, when she taught us our grade for 1 week, she wasn't that certain about it either... I'll forgive her, I just need a really good week and a half to get me in the best mindset for the exam.

  5. PS- Thank you so much for your positive comments and affirmations, both of you!

    Elise, I'd LOVE to talk (or email) through this with someone/anyone if you have any contacts that would be AMAZING!!! (my email should be linked from this page, or I believe you have it from when I first emailed you about Ballet news...) I'd be eternally greatful!

  6. or grateful (sic greatful!)

  7. Hi Hannah. Have found you a pro dancer who is happy to talk to you via email. I can't find yours, sorry, so can you mail me and I will put you in touch with her. Just outline in your mail to me, what the main issues are so that she hears it from you and not my version of it ! My email is on the profile section. Don't want to leave it here because of the dreaded spam. Thanks !