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Ballet

Ballet Dancing can be very easy to get into and very rewarding. Apart from being a very good exercise, Ballet is fun to do and creates flexibility and great posture. It is never to late to start learning and improving on your ballet skills. Getting started is as easy as buying the basic ballet items and finding some of the terrific local teachers and teaching studios available.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Ballet resources. We have a Ballet forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Ballet how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Ballet books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Why learn ballet out of all dance forms?


Ballet has always been considered as a unique dance form that can improve co-ordination, memory, posture and rhythm. Movements involved in ballet help a dancer to bring beauty and grace in the body movements. This dance form can be learnt by anyone at home. One important reason why many people get attracted to ballet is that it not only promotes cardiovascular exercise and strengthens the muscles of back and abdomen, but also tones the body. You can learn this dance at home as well and gain a healthy mind and body. This can be a hobby, which is effective in development of creativity, poise, responsibility and focus. Those who learn ballet, find it easy to channelize their energy in the right direction and in a constructive manner. It helps them learn non-verbal communication and appreciate music. Learning ballet can be a fun and enjoyable experience. The discipline you learn can be applied to other aspects in your life like in school, at work, within relationships or for good health. Surprisingly, a few years back, some engineers started a ballet company because according to them there was a lot in common between ballet and engineering as far as structural dynamics are concerned. For more interesting information on getting started with this dance form and making it a vitalizing and fun hobby, this article can be of help to you.




Equipment required for learning ballet:


Ballet shoes are the most important equipment required for learning this beautiful dance form. It is not only important, but also fun to wear these elegant ballet shoes. They have a very pleasing design and are made of soft material so that you are able to move with grace and strength while dancing. When you purchase ballet shows always remember to buy ones that are made of leather and not canvas, as they will last longer. The closure on flat ballet shoes should also be considered. Purchase shoes from a discount store rather than opting for expensive ones. When you learn the dance, you can buy expensive shoes. You need to be very comfortable to maneuver your body. You should buy tight fitting ‘tights’ to move nicely when practicing. Ballet barre is the third important equipment used for balancing. This can be expensive so try and find the best deal. If you cannot afford this then make use of any rod or solid surface that is at or above your waist.



Pursuing ballet as your hobby:

This is one dance form that can be pursued as a hobby by anyone who has the much needed will and interest. Nowadays, many people are learning ballet due to its numerous health benefits. You can either join ballet classes according to your daily schedule or learn it at home. It can be a good mental exercise whether you learn it at home or in a class. The kind of refreshed perspective it provides will help to clear your mind of all tension, even if you were upset when you started the session. If you cannot join classes due to your schedule, lack of adult ballet classes or expense, then try learning it at home. Since a trained ballerina needs years of instruction, you will also have to put in lot of effort.


 


The cheapest and easiest way of becoming a good ballet dancer could be searching the Internet for videos and ballet guides. If you don’t have access to the Internet then buy a video, DVD or book on the subject. Make sure that you buy a book or DVD that provides you some inspiration to learn this dance. The steps must be represented visually in the book or DVD so that you learn the right moves because in case you do a step incorrectly, your might get hurt. Once you have finalized the source through which you would be learning this dance form, you will have to find a place in your house that is suitable enough for practice. Having a lot of floor space in your house can be an added advantage, but in an opposite case, create space by moving the furniture of your living room to one corner for practice. Wooden flooring is the best for learning ballet as too much of turning and jumping will not hurt the way it can on a concrete or carpeted floor. Before you start practicing, it is essential to do some warm up exercises like bends, so that you are ready to face complex floor work. Music is another factor that is essential in learning ballet. Choose a music piece that has a lot of rhythm and suits the steps. The steps you select should be done with the help of the balancing aid and after a lot of practice sessions you must try doing it without the balancing aid. Make sure that you are cautious while attempting the big jumps and other fun ballet steps. In case you want to take ballet classes, make sure that it is a good one that provides adequate instructions. You can get injured if a qualified teacher doesn`t train you.




If you want to make the most out of your ballet lessons at home or in a class then there are few tips and warnings that you need to remember in order to make your ballet learning experience an enjoyable experience:




• There are chances that you might not succeed in your first attempt, but don’t lose hope. Keep practicing until you master a step.


• Even if you are learning at home try to attend ballet classes once or twice a month so that a trained professional can see what you have learnt and where you are going wrong, if at all. It can be a totally different experience for you to attend a class and learn it under the supervision of a professional.


• Ballet is a beautiful dance but there are few complex steps that can hurt any beginner if attempted in haste. There are chances that you might get injured if you don’t follow the process step by step. It is good to have someone at home when you practice so that in case of injuries you can get immediate help.


Always remember that ballet dancing is a gradual endeavor and you can get disappointed if you are expecting fast results. Give time to your body to respond to every learning session and with small strides, you will be able to see a significant change in few days. Great deal of determination and focus can make you a very good ballet dancer. You can visit online sites dedicated to the dance form for more useful information on the steps and benefits of ballet. An excellent variety of books and videos are also available.




Types of Ballet


Technicality is one word we’d like to stress on when we talk of ballet because it is known to have its own vocabulary basically taught in ballet schools all over the world. Considering the various movements depicting the storylines of each performance, ballet has got to have some kind of history right? It does and it goes way back to the 15th century. Surprising enough, ballet actually came to be as a dance elucidation of the art of fencing. Yeah, it’s quite hard to believe but that is exactly how it all began in the Renaissance court of Italy. Ballet was then modernized in France, which truly explains the French terms used in the art of ballet.




Towards mid 18th century, ballet spread out its roots to Denmark and subsequently Russia. This is exactly why ballet’s techniques are now known to many as French ballet, Russian Vaganova method and of course, Italian Cecchetti method. As a ballet enthusiast, you’d like to know the different forms of ballet that you can learn, oh yes, we said forms, there are three to be more precise. The first form is the classical ballet wherein it follows the rules strictly laid down by tradition ballet. This may vary a little with respect to the style due to the place of origins. This means that the variations could be seen in forms of French, Italian and the Russian ballet. The second form would be the neoclassical ballet. This differs a bit from the former in the sense that although this style uses the same vocabulary that is seen with respect of traditional ballet, the movements are a bit more unyielding in a way. Simply put, the performers are more likely to perform some more technical and extreme feats during their performances. This usually makes the neoclassical form more complex and modern than our traditional ballet performances. The theatrical/visual setting for this form of ballet is particularly strong and its style is a bit more narrative.




Last but not the least; we have the contemporary form of ballet. This form has been received quite well by avid dancers and teachers being a mix between classical ballet and modern dance. This form of ballet has got more movements than what are traditionally taught at ballet schools. This becomes more than evident from the movements usually used in the 20th century dance forms with many turn-ins in the legs, a lot of floor work, etc.




So that’s ballet for you, it could be a great hobby, preparing you physically as well as mentally at the various challenges that life has to throw at you. Sounds a bit over the top??? Well, ballet can help you prepare for life in a way. Hey, how can putting on some pink tights and black leotard help me with my life, besides, it’s not like I’m in a spoof of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy/Girl”? Did you happen to read something interesting in there? No!!! Not the thing about queer, but the guy part. Yes, that’s right, even guys can set their foot in the waters of ballet. I mean the movie “Billy Elliot” quite created a rage you know. The bottom line is that ballet is for everyone; no doubt the steps are a bit demanding to accomplish. But it does prepare you for the toughest life’s lessons. Ballet helps to give you that focus in life that you had always yearned for. It teaches you how to follow the rules without any distractions, gives you the concentration when you have your goal right in front of you and gives you a certain self esteem and confidence so that you can tackle even the most difficult of all situations. It invokes a certain amount of self-respect in you and perhaps the most important lesson that it teaches is to finish what you had started in the first place.




Ballet as a hobby can quite give you the thrill and that enjoying experience you were always looking for. Sure, going for your first ballet lesson could be a bit “nerve wrecking” but nevertheless, choose a good ballet instructor and you’ll slowly be on your way to learning a traditional dance form. It doesn’t matter if you want to take up ballet as a professional dance form or you’re one of those who are just keen enough to learn a few of their moves. This hobby is fun and it doesn’t really matter how old you are, you can always stop by to take some lessons. It could also help you in improving your posture and your reflexes. Ballet is truly a fascinating dance genre that gives the dancer a feeling of beauty, grace and discipline. One of the most fascinating moves of ballet would quite aptly be dancing on your toes. The scene from Titanic in which Kate Winslet does a toe stand demonstrates ballet in its rawest form. And the reaction that she got from the crowd(that of astonishment) simply proves that ballet is one thing that can capture the audience’s attention.




So yeah, why not consider taking up ballet as a hobby, besides, unlike other forms of dance, ballet quite has the ability of transporting its audience to a different world altogether. Practice, hard work and dedication is needed in order to take this hobby seriously and along the way you are bound to have some fun and learn some of the lessons that life has to teach you.