Ballet class can get quite repetitious. You hear the teacher say the same phrases day in and day out. Why? Why do you hear these same corrections over and over again? Maybe, just maybe because you are NOT hearing them. You know, not fully paying attention in class. Is your mind is else where. When you are in class, be in class. It is just as nerve racking for your teacher to repeat the same thing over and over again as it is for you to hear it.
One correction that comes to mind, daily, or should I say, every class, is Pointe your feet! Honestly, the most beautiful of dancers looks like a sore thumb with un-pointed feet. When I see un-pointed feet I feel that the dancer is lazy. Stretch through the entire foot beginning with the ankle. Feel the stretch in your arch and reach with the toes. As soon as that foot disengages form the floor the stretch needs to be felt.
Since we are discussing the feet, the next step up the leg which gets me is the knee. To feel a full extension in your leg, your knees also need to be stretched. Pull up in the leg and straighten those knees. Achieve proper pull up in your releves by stretching the backs of your knees upon releve. When the knee is relaxed the leg appears bent.
Which brings us to, plie. This little word is so important to ballet training and performance. Without proper use of plie, no combination of steps can be executed properly. Whether it be adagio or allegro combinations, plie is there. Be sure you open the knees out over the toes to maintain correct body alignment. A simple plie is most important when dancing en pointe. The spring of a plie upon releve to full pointe essential and the coming back down to the floor is softened by a simple plie. How would you become air born in those beautiful jumps that you use in a grand allego, without a good foundation of a plie. Learn to plie correctly, remember it is the first thing you do at the barre upon the beginning of class.
Spot! Spot! …You are not Spotting! How is it you are not dizzy? Or are you dizzy? Spotting is an important technique during the execution of turns…all turns. Its’ goal is to attain a constant orientation of your head and eyes. In order to enhance your control and prevent dizzines As your body rotates at a constant speed your head rotates faster and waits for the body to catch up. Use it! Every time you turn. It also makes a cleaner looking turn….all turns
Well I know I have not exhausted my normal teaching complaints…there are many more. But I must say that these are the ones I say most often and the ones that I am sure you have heard many times. Lets get with it dancers pay attention to yourself. To the beauty that can be yours if you work at it and listen to what is taught every ballet class time.