Forum: General / Jazz / Jazz - General

Placement Question - Opinions Wanted
By travelfan
On Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:43 AM

I posted about a week ago that I was restarting jazz dance. I found a studio I really want to dance at. It is Alonzo Kings LINES Dance Center in SF. I am pretty much convinced that for ballet (since my studio was much more jazz focused, we did take ballet though for technique) I'll take the beginning and maybe advanced beginner courses because I feel that for ballet it is better to perfect the simpler moves than attempt more difficult ones without the proper technique.

However, I've been able to watch class combos from the jazz classes online, and I feel kind of the opposite. There are two levels offered, beginning and intermediate. People's advice about this studio is that beginning doesn't necessarily connotate actual beginning technique, but that like many professional studios it assumes some familiarity with dance. However, in the combos I've watched the choreography looked fairly elementary...pivots, jazz walks, pirouettes (with the majority of the class attempting only singles).

The intermediate class had choreography that was leaps and bounds more difficult than the beginning classes. Triple pirouettes, extensions, turning pas de chats, floor work, etc. These steps would not have been an issue for me at all in my prime, but after taking five years off I think I'd be rusty with them, particularly with regard to core strength, flexibility and fluid lines (I'd imagine I'm pretty stiff now). That being said, I know I can still hit a mostly clean double/triple, my flexibility is coming back, etc. I'm wondering if for jazz I would improve more by taking the more challenging class. I feel like I could do the choreography, I'd just be stiffer and less fluid/flexible than I'd like.

Any opinions? Should I do the easier class in order to polish my technique and just work on perfecting my basics, or should I take the more challenging class where I could do the choreography but would be much harder? I guess I'm leaning towards being the worst in a class rather than the best (for jazz, not ballet, I'd go the opposite route for ballet), but I want to hear from others.

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