I have done Ballet for more than 14 years. Unfortunately I don’t do ballet anymore, but I miss it more and more everyday. The experience that I have picked up in the ballet studio was unbelievable. Our teacher was wonderful, as she knew just how far to push each individual.
Dance was something I could fall back on whenever I felt unhappy or insecure. I put on my ballet shoes, the practice will start and the stress of a long day just melts away. It was also a way to discipline myself and understand the movement of my own body.
I started ballet at a very young age and I didn’t really then had a choice as my mom believed she saw potential in me so she put me in class straight away. However, the world of ballet was mysterious and intimidating to me, and also a source of curiosity. At a later stage I became more intrigued by its rich history as one of the highest forms of art, and the strength and athleticism it calls for, even as it is characterised by great beauty and delicacy.
I would like to share a few reasons why I have the love of ballet. Maybe then you will realize the beauty of it.
Reason # 1: Ballet is precise.
Ballet can balance out the uncertain grey shade that is life. Whenever I was in class, there was a very correct, very precise way of conducting your body in ballet and I love to know when I’m doing something correctly or incorrectly for once. I was also very happy in class when our instructor gave every individual special attention to their mistakes.
Reason #2: I found that when words fail me, ballet does not.
“For everything that I can’t put into words, a thousand new ways of expression are suddenly possible for me when I dance.” This quote explains everything. It’s like finding something new in the ballet class.
Reason #3: Ballet makes me feel good about my body.
I always tried to find reasons to dislike, reject, and hate my body. But dancing gave me some new sense of belonging and that appreciation for my body as a tool of artistic expression, rather than a thing that must be honed and corrected into something perfect. Ballet helped me to focus on more than just my body, like my feet, hands, neck and soft movement of the body. My body grew stronger, increasingly flexible, and more capable.
Reason #4: Ballet is exercise; ballet is love. Therefore, exercise is love.
Ballet is a great way of precise training, and it a great way to form your body, as well as getting some aerobic work-out once your on the floor. When I danced, I did not even realize I’m doing any exercise. It is so exciting and I enjoyed every moment. I think that exercise should always be something that we find enjoyable, and that interest us in every way. We should always love exercising and not just do it because we have to.
Ballet has given me so much love for dance, and I will always have the love for dancing even if I’m not dancing at all right now. I will always respect a dancer and my dream is that my daughter will take over my ballet shoes one day.
When practicing for a performance, a particular exercise or step will be practiced in class over and over again. I will finally notice some improvement, and the joy is unbelievable. Ballet is hard, and not everyone can do it, as you may very well know. And if you’ve never been in a ballet class before, you won’t understand how very difficult it is, even as I tell you how very difficult it is! Whenever I saw improvement in my technique it was quite rewarding. Going to ballet classes after school was addictive, and I think it might be addictive to many other dancers as well.
Editor: Roelien Zwart
Picture 1: Source: (www.booklounge.co.za)
Picture 2: Source: (www.wunderbuzz.co.uk)