Archive | August 2012

Look Like A Dancer, Feel Like A Dancer

At this time of the year I  felt a need to discuss the uniformity of a dance class.  The new dance season is upon us with a freshness and excitement of the next level of  dance classes coming up. The topic of dancewear is so important to unity in class, but some dancers don’t realize this important part of the the dancer’s appearance.   

Some schools are lacked in the appearance of their dancers during class time. Allowing for different colored leotards and tights, tee shirts worn over leotards, stylish bras being visable and the like. Some schools say, that it allows for the dancers to be “an individual”. The problem with that maybe that dancers may be “individual” as need be when they are outside the danceroom, why do they need to be “individual” in the danceroom? Yes, they are considered individuals to their teachers, but need to dance as one.

Individual dancewear choices distracts from learning procedure. It distracts attention from unity in the mirror. Individuality has nothing to do with learning to dance. Unity does.

When performing in an ensemble on the stage, aren’t the dancers exactly clothed alike? Would a dancer even allow a portion of an undergarment to be seen from the audience? Why should it be different protocal in class? Professionalism is the key word here. The local dance school should always follow professionalism in all areas in order to teach their dancers that important quality.

Keeping in mind that uniform is a form of discipline, which is also the case of dance, escpecially ballet…All dancers should read the re-post from February 2012, below or re-read it if you have already.

If one is recognized by one’s clothes then a dancer who looks like one goes part of the way in convincing people that they are a dancer. If apparel proclaims the person, a change of apparel proclaims a different person. What better idea than to change into ballet clothes and feel like a dancer? The dancer’s attitude in class will be one of elegance and confidence. Proper dance clothes will also teach students discipline, helping with overall focus and energy. By “dressing the part,” dancers feel like dancers.

In a traditional ballet class room, black and only black leotards are the norm. Pink tights sometimes along with a skirt totally completes the dress. Pink ballet shoes that fit properly are essential.

Dressing in black leotard and pink tights ensures that the teacher will be able to see a dancer’s alignment and positioning. The teacher needs to be able to see a dancer’s mistakes. Baggy clothing can mask bad habits, making corrections impossible.

There is no better treat for a teacher to look into a mirror and see a class dressed in black leotard and pink tights. Looking into the mirror seeing several different colors of leotards and tights just makes for disorganization .

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Beginning A New Dance Season

As the new dance season begins, you will want to be prepared for your first class. Although, hopefully, you have been taking class all summer, September always has a newness about it. Dancers always want to be prepared with new dancewear and new dance shoes. It is nice to have a new leotard and fresh new tights with no runs in them to begin the season. And wonderful to have new pointe shoes without a “mushy” box. The teachers always look forward to a properly dressed dancer. Who is going to be in my new classes? What will our new barre work be? You can’t wait for the new combinations across the floor and center. Excitement and anticipation for the new dance season to begin is so much fun!

Most importantly, as a dancer should prepare your mind. Prepare yourself for the next dance level. A more difficult level than the previous year. Dance should never get easier, it should get more difficult each season you begin. You should always feel challenged, and only accomplished to a degree, in that you are more pleased with your technique in the steps and choreography you have learned previously, but you should always feel that you need to improve what ever accomplishments you have already made. In ballet especially, there is always someone out there working harder to produce beautiful ballet technique. If you keep that in your mind and remember Michal Baryshnikov’s quote” I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself”, you will remember that you can always improve your technique.

Taking multiple ballet classes will do just that. With this thought in mind, first register for your level class, then decide on lower level classes so as to refine what you learn and to build and correct your technique. Taking multiple lower level classes gets you to put the foot in the correct position, or fix that arm in the por de bra. Not having to think about the steps being taught, you get to focus on what direction your body is to face and how you actually look.

Never be concerned with who is in your class. That actually has nothing to do with you or your progress. You are there for you and no one else. You get out of your classes exactly what you put into to them. Have faith in that your teacher knows what placement is best for you. You should never dictate to your teacher where you think you belong. She knows her classes and what is to come in the year and most of all, as your teacher she knows you!

With these thoughts have a wonderful dance season. I myself am anticipating a great year with lots of excitement. Enter your new classes with that thought in mind and you will too. I will be posting more technique posts as the months progress….