Jose Alves - @dancers.of.london

 

 

 

 

Have you read our previous article?

How to stay motivated? The Art of Visualization!

 

 


 

Welcome back!

 

You might love or hate classical ballet. Either way, this article is for you! Perhaps you are not a dancer at all; in that case, find out why you cannot skip ballet!

 

We are all about Horton and Graham at M-Intensive Online Dance Training which I believe are fundamentals to any serious dance career.

Ballet is a must too. It is sometimes regarded as rigid or emotionless, which is entirely wrong because, in reality, ballet will tremendously complement your contemporary technique.

You will learn and solidify an essential palette of movements in dance; therefore, in one ballet class, you will also be able to explore a wide range of emotions artistically. It starts at the barre during the slow plies, tendus, fast glisses, ronds de jambe, fondus, grand battements, and later on in the centre with a lovely adagio, pirouettes, and batteries to finish with big explosive jumps. The diversity required in terms of quality of movement makes it a perfect way to gain artistry and confidence while building up your technique.

That is why in my opinion, any dancer, regardless of their background, should take ballet classes and would benefit from it. Starting your dance training with classical ballet will allow you to understand most of the academic forms of dance, such as contemporary, Modern, or Jazz. 

 

Here are the reasons why you should take on ballet classes regularly:

 

1) Posture

Ballet will enormously improve your posture; whatever your goal, an excellent posture is essential. Like Horton and Graham, ballet will correct your posture by working your deep muscles from your lower back through the spine.

That is one of the traits shared by many professionally trained dancers. You can spot them from far, and this is the magic of ballet. You could be a contemporary, Latin, or jazz dancer; ballet will always benefit you.

2) Lines

The work at the barre is universally known to create beautiful and graceful dancers.  Ballet will help you with that; it is not just steps. Think quality. 

Taking ballet lessons will give you great lines and elegance.

A professional dancer spends long years at the barre to perfect those lines, it's challenging, but the rewards are priceless. You are not taking ballet lessons only to perform the classical ballet repertoire but to become a better dancer.  

 

3) Strength 

Horton is well known for that, and this is why so many ballet dancers have attended my class the past 12 years; they love the challenge offered by this fantastic technique, but it's also quite familiar to them.

Ballet does the same thing. It will give you lean and strong muscles, which everyone loves. Those releves at the barre will fortify your ankles, your calves, and you will have strong legs and a better balance making every single one of your movements effortless and graceful!

Ballet will help even in your daily life; you do not need to be a professional dancer to do ballet, ballet is an art form, but like Horton, it is also a real workout! 

 

This is ballet! 

 

 

4) Technique

 

That is probably one of the main reasons why professional dancers have ballet in their curriculum.

This excellent art form will build your technique which will compliment any dance style you do, ANY! Taking ballet classes will magnify your technique. The strength, the lines, your overall technique will tremendously improve and enhance the quality of your dance. 

You will also learn about the terms used in dance, which is advantageous as the same language is used in modern, contemporary, or jazz techniques. Knowing these terms is crucial, especially if you want to be a professional dancer. 

You will learn some French as the ballet vocabulary is French!... This dance language is universal and spoken all around the world. It is a bonus as knowing those terms will allow you to learn and progress faster as a dancer, either as an amateur or a professional; it will always serve you. 

 

You can even take ballet classes if dance is not your primary way of expression. I know singers and actors who take ballet lessons regularly for all its benefits. It is so valuable! 

 

5) Feet

"Feet have been a crucial component to the aesthetics of dance ever since Marie Taglioni brazenly went to new heights by stepping 'en pointe' during that game-changing performance of La Sylphide in the seventeenth century. Since then, dancers have aspired to elongate the line of the body as much as possible, and beautifully pointed feet with a high instep and pronounced arches aren't just an extension of that line. It's also a point of pride amongst dancers and a testament to the incredible specialization of a dancer's body..."

Elly Ford

 

The famous dancers' feet! 

(Alicia Graf Mack - Andrew Eccles)

It is where dancers build them, at the barre!

Ballet will work your pointe daily; although some dancers are born with beautifully natural arched feet, it is not the case for everyone. We have to work hard for that, and classical ballet will give you those feet if you take ballet classes regularly. There are many exercises at the barre that are essential and will help with degages and releves.

I recommend preparing your feet before dancing by stretching and warming them up with a tennis ball, for instance, or using some great accessories such as a foot roller. This magical tool is perfect! It's very affordable and quite robust; it will last forever!

 

 

 

 

6) Determination

Most of the dancers I know are quite driven. When we want something, we work hard for it; this is what we've been taught for many years. Determination is an excellent quality to have, and it will take you very far. 

Ballet will give you that state of mind; ballet, as any other dance form requires many days of repetition; we repeat the same movements for many years until it's perfect! You must be pretty determined to achieve this high level of self-discipline, and this is something every ballet dancer learns in class. 

That is a life skill that will move you towards your goals.

 

7) Success

If you are a professional dancer, regular ballet training will boost your career by polishing your tool. It will make you a more competitive dancer, and you will be way more successful at company auditions.

Indeed many dance companies use ballet classes during the first round of their auditions as it is one of the best ways to test a dancer's technique. Sometimes, you won't even dance the contemporary repertoire if you are not successful at ballet! 

Ballet is there to maintain your dancer's body; use its countless benefits to support your technique.

 

8) Happiness

That is why we dance, right?! We love it; we dance because it makes us happy!

Ballet will do that; it's funny because, at the same time, it can be pretty depressing on a "bad" day, but in the end, we love that challenge! We love seeing our daily achievements, and we love those little things, such as getting our legs higher or doing more pirouettes.

Everyday ballet will give you that joy of self-accomplishment; you will love surpassing yourself daily! The more you do it, the more you want it! Everyone loves being a better version of themselves.

Ballet is inspiring!

 

9) Health

Ballet is an art form and a perfect workout. Yes, it is. You will work your entire body!

Like any other form of dance, ballet is perfect for your health; it is ideal for stamina, muscle tones, your legs, your core, and your entire back. Dance is a complete sport that is perfect for cardio. Ballet will make you healthy and full of energy; it is excellent training.

You will also stretch your entire body. Stretching is highly healthy and will make you stay young your whole life. Ballet is an excellent sport, and you can apply those principles to any other type of dance.

Dance is also fantastic for your brain and could be a genuine lifesaver! Watch this amazing video later on; what a powerful speech!

 

10) Culture

Ballet opened my mind to an entirely new world. Before taking ballet lessons, I never listened to classical music; I never really paid attention to specific notes or the musicality in certain pieces; ballet truly changed my vision about classical music.

Today I enjoy the plies at the barre for instance, with a piano it's just amazing, it is like having wings in class, I love it. Even though I'm entirely focused on technique when taking a ballet class, I can still enjoy the music and dance! It makes it so easy.

I also discovered the classical ballet repertoire, which is important for a dancer and a dance teacher. That is part of our dance history. Even if you choose another path, if you are not into classical ballet as a performer, it is still excellent; knowing about classical ballet is as important as learning about the contemporary repertoire. Understanding and appreciating it will make you a complete tutor who will share this precious knowledge with their students.

Maurice Béjart, the famous French choreographer and founder of The Béjart Ballet Lausanne, used to say:

"The Perfect artist has the legs of a Russian ballet dancer and the torso of a Graham dancer!"

I had the immense honor to perform with The Béjart Ballet Lausanne (Switzerland), it was for a small role, but I learned so much about ballet. I've seen some of the best dancers at their top, and that journey was priceless. I will be forever grateful for this experience.
 

From the powerful Spartacus and Don Quixote to the magical Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake, ballet will open your eyes to a new world full of emotions and dreams. 

 

11) The best Bum ever!

Yes, you read it right. Ballet will also give you a fantastic bum, and to be honest, everyone loves having a great bum!...

The work at the barre will work your bottom very intensively and stimulate your deeper muscles to design lovely and harmonious buttocks. It is essential for dancers'; strong glutes will allow you to lift your legs higher, protect your lower back, and reinforce your thighs.

Start classical ballet today for the best bum ever!...

 

 


 

Now you know why you shouldn't skip ballet.

Ballet might be tricky sometimes and even discouraging; I know exactly how it feels; however, it's completely worth it.

You will gain confidence and happiness as you will feel challenged every day. Classical ballet is essential to your training if you are a professional performer, and you shouldn't ever give up on that. You will stay young and healthy with ballet.

Do ballet, and your body will thank you!

Like Horton and Graham, Ballet will preserve your technique over a long period, allowing you to have a long and successful career.

 

 

Thank You For Reading; please Share With Your Friends And Family!

 

 

 


 

The Modern Dance Programme

Do you wish to give your students excellent Modern Dance training? Based on the Horton and Graham techniques, the Private Professional Programme is a fantastic way to fortify and correct the body. These techniques are grounded in a knowledge of the human anatomy and emphatically correct physical faults, preparing you for any dancing you wish to pursue!

Read More ...

 


 

 

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