Ballet is a gorgeous art form that takes years to master but only a few minutes to appreciate. Perfect for children and adults ballet teaches:
- How to Move Well
- The Foundation of Dance
- Body Awareness
As ballet grew in popularity around the world, certain individuals began developing it more in their own countries and formalizing methods for teaching it. As such, there are now several styles of ballet, the most popular styles being Cecchetti (Italian), Vaganova (Russian), Bournonville (Danish), RAD (English), and Balanchine (American). No one style is better than another, but to a trained eye, all are slightly different; and no matter what style a company, if a dancer is great in a different style he/she still has a good chance of being hired. Most studios will teach a combination of styles as it leads to a more well-rounded student.
At Green Room Music Studios our ballet teacher Shannon, teaches primarily in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) style of England. Although she does not use their curriculum, she does teach their technique. However, she believes that different techniques work well for different people, so she may critique and shape an individual with a different technique depending on the individual’s needs.
A typical class begins at the barre, a long rod on the wall to hold onto for balance. Roughly half the class is spent here perfecting detailed movements with the support of the barre and learning to find one’s balance. Because barre work begins the class, the exercises begin slowly with soft movement to warm up the muscles and gradually work up to high leg kicks by the end.
After barre work, the class moves into the center of the floor for center work. Center work is less stationary, and one must now learn to move without help or stability from the barre. The first exercises are relatively stationary and slow in order to find balance, but later they move across the floor, turn and twirl, jump and lastly, fly.
It is recommended that the dancer brings with him/her a notebook. It is helpful and beneficial to write down things that made an impression or self-discoveries made during class.
Ballet Fun Facts
Dance is the only art that is also considered a sport and is considered to be as athletic as football or Olympic gymnastics.
Ballet is considered the foundation of all other dance styles. In many studios, ballet is a required class or strongly encouraged to supplement whatever the elective may be.
Many dancers do a significant amount of practicing in their heads. By visualizing the steps inside and outside of the body, they can figure out physical complications, become more attuned to the music, develop their artistry and the coordination to put it all together.
Ballet develops coordination, strength, memory, self-discipline, self-confidence, and excellent posture.
Ballet originated in Italy but all the terms are French words because of where it was formalized.
Ballet builds lean muscle because it utilizes the deeper and smaller muscles that people do not use instinctively