Better late than never, right?
Most ballet dancers normally start around the age of 3 or for some, even younger with all these creative movement classes offered which in a way is a form of pre-ballet. Meanwhile, formal training normally begins at age 7. But what if you start in your teens? Or as an adult?
It may always seem intimidating in the beginning, but what is to lose if there is so much to gain?
Here are a few tips on how you could actually cope with the usual struggles of uncomfortable “beginnings”. Knowing these things will let you be more calm, and bringing in a little bit of knowledge beforehand has always been a good idea, right?
PATIENCE REALLY IS A VIRTUE
Nothing comes easy, and that definitely applies when it comes to dancing. Before you even get frustrated with all those stretches you couldn’t do (yet), just think about all these professional dancers training 6 days a week, 8 hours a day and that does not even include those years they’ve spent dancing as a child, PLUS, those extra hours they train themselves outside of the studio. So relax, take a breather, and you’ll get there---it may not be as amazing as those you watch on stage or as your teacher(s) but again, it takes time. You’re doing great!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
plié, jeté, relevé all day!
What does that even mean? You might be hearing these French words in class mentioned by the teacher, but don’t worry! You can always ask especially if you have come halfway in between the year. These words do mean something and all have a proper way of how to execute them. (See list of common terms below). But the most common words you’d probably be hearing and should know would be the positions of the feet. Which is basically just First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth. In addition, this generation is just always a click away where could always check the internet for words/terminologies commonly used in ballet. (Which luckily we have also provided for you below).
MEMORY AS A MOTIVATION
In a ballet class, you will find yourself moving your body parts all at the same with learning the proper way of how to use it. On top of that, you’d have to memorize a combination and try to work on your coordination. Whew! But don’t get yourself down. Remember, ballet takes time, which means that the saying is true...“practice makes perfect”, and it does. One day your muscles will get so used to it, and all you’d have to worry about is how to get improve on the basics.
So don’t hold back! Trying new things was never NOT fun, especially if you know you’ll benefit a lot from it too! (which you will, trust me!) Go ahead, look up those adult ballet classes near you, get ready to stretch this cold winter away, and you won’t end up feeling like a GRAND PAS*.
As said earlier, here are some of the most commonly used ballet terms for beginners:
Battement Tendu (tendu)--to stretch
Rond de Jambe--round of the leg
Relevé--to be raised
Port de Bras--movement of the arms
Sautè--means to jump
Pas de bourrèe--a series of precise and fast steps
Grand Battement--large battement (done in a form of a bigger battement tendu by throwing the leg into the air)
Reverance/Curtsy--a bow done after class acknowledge and show respect to the teacher and accompanist. Also done at the end of a performance.
*grand pas/grand pas de deux-A dance for two people, normally a man and a woman. A set dance for a danseur and ballerina consisting 5 parts: Entrada/entrée, adagio, variation for each dancer, and a coda.