Regardless of whether you have ambitions of becoming a prima ballerina, or simply want to increase your body awareness and improve your posture, ballet is a wonderful activity for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
You will learn how to move your body gracefully, build strength, and be part of the history of a beautiful style of dance that has been passed on from dancer to dancer over hundreds of years. Here are some ballet tips for ballet beginners to help you excel in your dance endeavours.
Ballet Tip #1: Take corrections gracefully
One of the hardest parts about starting ballet, especially if you’re not used to practicing a formal style of dance, can be getting used to having someone correct you and tell you “you’re doing it wrong” all the time. Although ballet teachers should also be encouraging, they do need to be tough on their students in order to see progress. It is important not to take this personally, and if you keep getting a correction that you don’t understand, that you talk to your teacher after class. Similarly, if you get a correction but you know that your body is simply not able to do that yet, talk to your teacher and ask if they have any suggestions for exercises or stretches you can practice at home.
Ballet Tip #2: Stretch, stretch, stretch
Speaking of stretching, you’ll quickly discover that, as a ballerina, stretching is your best friend. You need to be flexible in order to move through the various positions seamlessly and to get those impressive extensions that look so beautiful on stage. Stretching will also help you avoid injuries like pulled muscles, which can be painful and prevent you from dancing. You will also be much less sore following a ballet class if you’ve taken the time to properly warm up and stretch your body before venturing into the more advanced steps.
Ballet Tip #3: Don’t compare yourself to others
Although it is true that this is easier said than done, it is important to remember that everybody is unique, shaped differently, and is working with an individual set of strengths and weaknesses. A move that may seem effortless to other dancers could take you months, or even years, to master. Meanwhile, your natural turnout could appear to be a miracle for a dancer with different hip alignment. Set individual goals for yourself and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. If you stick with it, you will see progress and will have lots to feel good about.
Ballet Tip #4: Mix up your routine
As many dancers get more serious about their training regime, they find that they benefit from mixing up their fitness schedule with additional activities like yoga or swimming. Although ballet can certainly be practiced on its own, the body often benefits from a more diverse range of movement and less structured activities like yoga can even be beneficial for helping you relax. You will learn different breathing techniques and might even discover that your body is capable of something you never expected to be able to do.
Ballet Tip #5: Never stop believing in yourself
This is probably the most important tip of all. As with anything, when starting your adventure in ballet or working towards taking it to the next level, you are going to have setbacks and experience failure. Some things might come easy to you and other things might surprise you by seeming to be impossibly difficult. It is important to take things one day at a time and not to be too hard on yourself. Celebrate the small victories or milestones you achieve and remember that if you keep working at it, you really can achieve anything.