Even if you are planning to focus on Hip Hop, jazz or tap, ballet training is essential to being a good dancer, especially if you plan to go professional. It provides the technique you need to flourish in all other dance styles. Plus, it helps you build the strength and stamina necessary to complete long combinations.
Don’t Be Sorry Later.
It’s important to add at least one ballet class to your weekly schedule to start. Then, add more as your time and budget permits. Now, you may hate pulling on the leotard and tights, warming up at the barre and jumping and turning to classical music. But trust me, if you don’t get the training now, you will have a lot of catching up to do if you want to work professionally.
You see, as a young girl, I took ballet. But I hated wearing the heavy tights in the non-air-conditioned studio during the hot and sticky Ohio summers. It was awful, and I ended up stopping my lessons because of it (and the fact that none of my friends were in this class with me). My other dance studio where I took baton, jazz and tap was much cooler. Plus, it was a lot more fun to hang out with my fellow dance friends. But this would all come back to bite me.
A few years later, I was surprised to see a student from my jazz class in a ballet performance. She was fantastic. I told her how good I thought she was at ballet. And she said,
“I don’t like ballet at all, but it helps me in jazz.
Well, this got me thinking, and I started to focus on ballet again. Unfortunately, at this point I was way behind all of the other dancers and had to spend extended hours in class at the barre in order to try to catch up! But you know what? It was worth it, and I became a stronger dancer.
Stop Bad Habits Before They Begin.
Remember, it can be extremely difficult to fix “bad habits”you create over the years by not learning proper, dance technique… not to mention competing with other dancers who have been studying ballet at length.
Why? Ballet gives you the basic arm and leg movements you need in jazz, modern, tap, and ballroom. It helps you find your center of balance, gain strength and agility and move gracefully. And most important:
Choreographers look for this technical capability.
If you don’t have the technical training that comes from ballet, and your competition does, you will not get the dance job. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the ballet dancers who also study other forms of dance (example: the finalists on “So You Think You Can Dance?”).
And while many of the ballerinas you see may be a little “stiff” in Hip Hop, they tend to have more control over their bodies in modern, jazz, ballroom, and other, dance styles. And they are almost always better turners.
Get An Edge Over The Competition.
Today’s working dancers who are not specifically focused on being professional ballerinas still incorporate ballet into their regular, dance-training efforts… so whether you like it or not, ballet is an essential part of being a good, all-around dancer.
And if you have any interest in pursuing a dance career, please enroll in a ballet class as soon as possible. I promise all of your hard work will pay off. You’ll be a better dancer:and get more dance work in your future career.
(Note: For you dance Moms registering your children for classes, sign up for both tap and ballet at the same time. Later in life, it tends to be very difficult for ballerinas to “pick up”tap routines because you move your feet in a very different manner. However, if your children start young, not only will they avoid learning “bad”habits they’ll need to fix later, but they’ll have a good understanding of several dance styles.)