7 Things to Learn About Ballet Before You Start
7 Things to Learn About Ballet Before You Start!
by Sarah Wilkiamson
1. You have to stretch your body. Always ask your ballet instructor if the class will stretch out together. Stretching is very important in ballet. It is used to loosen and strengthen muscles and to lengthen your posture. Stretching is vital and it has to be done before you begin each ballet class session and before a ballet performance. If you avoid stretching, you are at a higher risk of injury during class. Always stretch after the class is over.
2. Learning all the dance step names. Study every single dance step name before you attend a class. This will help you not get overwhelmed by how many steps you have to memorize. Most of the steps are in French and there are many to learn. If you can find a local ballet store, purchase a ballet dictionary or search the internet for ballet terms and print them out and study them all. Make sure your ballet instructor is present, you do not want to learn the steps the wrong way. A great ballet class will teach dancers slowly for the first couple of months. It will take a while to learn the words and steps, just be enthusiastic and motivated! You will survive.
3. When you are choosing your ballet slippers, make sure they fit tightly like a glove. Do not have them fit too tight. Your ballet slippers' drawstring should be tied loose.
4. Don't even think about skipping the barre work! It might not be your idea of ballet dancing but it's crucial to preparing your body for the activity ahead. Barre work aids your balance, your flexibility, your posture and of course your strength. All ballet dancers do barre work, so if you want to do ballet - take your place at the barre!
5. Find out what the ballet school's dress code is before you go shopping! Ballet classes are notorious for having strict rules they expect to be followed and they may well require a certain type of ballet clothing to be worn by all students regardless of ability. You may be allowed to wear a tutu, or your ballet school may have a rule that says tutus should only be worn for performances. Leotards, tights and shoes are standard, but colors of these will vary so it's best to check in advance. There may also be a requirement to have hair pinned up so if you have long hair you should also ask about that before your first class.
6. Ballet dance style requires certain things from your body and if you take different types of dance class you could find that you aren't able to separate out the various poses and movements. Ballet beginners should at least have some basic ballet steps and posture requirements perfect before they participate in less formal dance styles.
7. A ballet dance class is a formal environment. You should approach your ballet teacher with respect and carry out instructions without question. Failure to follow this tradition may mean you are asked to leave the class. Remember always, the ballet instructor's word is final.
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