This week in one of my classes…….The class was an intermediate class, with dancers of high caliber. Dancers who take many classes per week. Dancers whose parents spend lots of time shuffling their children back and forth to the studio almost on a daily basis. Dancers whose parents spend a quite a bit of money on tuition for classes. Dancers who are having difficulty with a step since November ….that I write this blog post.
There are many children who take dance class, that one day would love to be professional dancers. Many dance students will spend an entire lifetime studying ballet, me included as I still study every day even though I am a teacher of this wonderful thing called ballet. Practicing and studying this craft has many benefits. Taking ballet classes or any dance class for that matter, should not be considered just an “after school activity” a social gathering place for children to meet. Dance class is education. Just as school has homework time, dance class needs practice time. There is no way to perfect this art without practice, as I have seen dancers who boast that they have had 10 years of ballet experience and look as though they should be in a beginner class…this is no joke, as I see and hear of this daily. They are those who do not practice and take their classes and parent’s hard earned money too lightly.
First and foremost, to be progressive in dance, it is essential to have perfect attendance. I must interject here that the class in which I am referring to above, does have perfect attendance. Every dancer in that class I cannot complain about their attendance record.
To keep up with your personal progress, missed classes cannot be tolerated, as you will fall behind, and the class as a whole will not progress as they should, since too much correction will be needed for the dancers with poor attendance.
How to practice dance is up to you. It is important to make progress every single day. This can only be done by practice. Practice of steps and combinations what was taught in class when you arrive at home. It is beneficial to practice in front of a mirror, but not necessary. Keep in mind what was taught in class that day and write it in your dance journal if you keep one. Keeping a dance journal is a good practice point. Practicing what you have learned in class ballet requires you to repeatedly doing the same physical movements over and over again, until the steps feel right.
To have music to practice with is helpful. While dance schools are in what I like to call recital, revue or concert mode, your teacher may be able to supply you with music for your dance piece that you are working on in class for your presentation. When you are practicing technique, there is a web site www.balletclassmusicforfree.com where short selections of classical piano pieces are available for download, for free. To have the proper music for practice is most beneficial as it makes your practice time at home more like an extension of class time.
To progress in this wonderful art called ballet and to become a true dancer you must master what is learned in class. Remember class time is valuable time spent but worthless if you do not practice what you learn.