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Ballet/Conflicting information?


Hello. I have a question about relating to teachers and understanding their instructions. What should students do when they hear information from different teachers that seems to conflict? Sometimes it is a style difference, other times it is an opinion difference, and other times one teacher could be incorrect, but in any case it can happen, and it can confuse the students. If the student finds out that a teacher, who may be excellent overall, is incorrect about one bit of instruction, what should that student then do? Thank you very much.

What a great question!

Having trained with Royal Academy, Cecchetti, French and Russian teachers I experienced contradictions in training. Yet I never felt any of my teachers were wrong.

When I started to teach, I chose whatever worked for each student, according to their physique. Unless, of course I was teaching Cecchetti for an exam.

Ballet is not anatomically correct. I think therefore that a teacher must know basic technique well enough to prevent injury.

It is a shame if a student loses confidence in a teacher because of the perception that a teacher is wrong. Some teachers are eager to say another teacher is wrong (only human) yet a kinesiologist will say most of ballet is wrong!

Teachers also may not know how to say what they really mean.

I would tell a student who is serious about continuing in ballet to investigate some aspects of technique for themselves, and see how they would apply is to their body.

Check your library for these books too!
I recommended The Perfect Pointe Book - (this covers all basic technique)

Tune Up Your Turnout -

Inside Ballet Technique -

Written by therapists and kinesiologists these are excellent guides as to what is "right", sans any style.

I hope that answer helps!

All the best, Dianne  


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Dianne M. Buxton


I can answer questions about ballet positions, ballet movements and ballet technique, pointe shoes and pre pointe exercise, mens training, ballet diet, general health issues related to dance, artistry, performance, modern dance, rehabilitation from injuries, and teaching ballet. I have taught ballet, choreographed, produced and directed dance companies. For any answers related to health questions I will offer my experience, and give references to information, but I also automatically include "see a professional".


dancer, ballet and modern, choreographer, dance teacher, artistic director, ballet mistress, producer

I.S.T.D. Actra, Actors Equity


Graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada where I studied Cecchetti, Bournonville, Vaganova and Graham technique. Taught at the National Ballet School of Canada, York University, George Brown College and Harvard University.

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